The Process of Taking a CLEP Exam

CLEP (College Level Examination Program) testing can provide students with excellent opportunities to gain college credits in general or introductory level subjects. After choosing a CLEP exam to take, students have to figure out how to schedule and prepare for their exam. The process for scheduling a CLEP exam is fairly standard across the board, and students have the option to take tests as often as they would like. Each CLEP test requires the same scheduling procedure. Here are the steps involved:

1. Find out what CLEP exam to take

There are 34 different CLEP tests available, and each one covers material taught in general or introductory level college courses. Examples of subjects covered include history, mathematics, and social sciences. A student can take as many of these exams as he or she likes, but each costs $72 to take. Thus, it is advised to find out which CLEP exams are actually valuable to a student’s academic pursuits as each college or university has different CLEP policies and given that some tests may cover courses that are not necessary to a student’s major. The best option is for the student to speak with his or her college academic counselor and find out which CLEP exams he or she can take to earn the general education course requirements for the desired degree.

2. Find a CLEP test center

There are over 1,300 CLEP testing centers located on college and university campuses across the U.S. Students can visit the College Board’s website or inquire with their school registrar’s office to find the names, addresses, and phone numbers of each testing center location. Students can then contact the testing center directly to inquire about the registration process and dates and times available to take a CLEP as well as to set up a testing appointment.

3. Register for the CLEP test

Through the above mentioned center, a student must pay the exam fees. CLEP exams each cost $72 and there may be an administration fee around $15 required by the testing center. After a student pays the fee, he or she will receive some detailed information about the exam and the time that the exam will be administered. Students are also required to complete registration forms that ask information such as the student’s name and address, exam to be taken, and whether or not the student requires special testing accommodations.

4. Study for the exam

In order to pass a CLEP, students must have knowledge of a subject equivalent to the knowledge level of a student who has already passed a college course in the same subject. Many students may find that they already have the knowledge required to earn a credit-granting score on the exam. For example a business student who has worked as a manager at a fast food restaurant and has attended management seminars may already have the knowledge required to pass the Principles of Management CLEP. Students who have little or no knowledge of a subject can often learn the necessary material through independent study using resources such as study guides, textbooks, and online study programs.

5. Taking the CLEP

At the time of the test, a student will go to the testing center for a 90 minute computerized exam and then leave upon completion. Although some test centers provide students with a score report immediately upon exam completion, it may take up to two weeks for students to find out the results of their exam. Due to the potential waiting period to receive a score, it is advised that students take their CLEP exams well in advance if they are trying to pick up last minute college credit. If other CLEP exams are pursued, it’s simply a matter of repeating the steps above.