Previously I posted “Introduction to CLEP tests for Parents of High School Students” which broaches this topic for parents’ benefit. Here I’ll share tips for someone who wants to try credit-by-exam testing themselves.
Winter break is coming to a close, and now it’s the final semester or second-to-last quarter of this school year. As you look over your schedule for the rest of the year and calculate the number of credits you plan to earn, you might be thinking you’d like to earn a few extra credits and jump ahead for the coming year. Then someone mentions CLEP tests. For about $100 or roughly the cost of two video games, you could earn 3-9 credits. That’s 3-9 credits closer to graduating.
As you ponder this option, you may have a few questions. Will my college accept these credits? Check your college’s website. If there is a search bar handy, try searching for “CLEP” or “transfer credit.” College policy for credit-by-exam tests is typically available in one of the college catalogs. Once you’ve found this information, check the fine print: is there a limit to how many credits you can transfer? a cut-off grade (such as junior status) when you can no longer transfer credit?
If you can apply credit-by-exam tests to your degree, the next step is to verify there is a test that matches a course you need to complete. Credit-by-exam tests can be excellent candidates to fill free elective and general education course credits. For more information about how to fit a credit-by-exam test to your degree plan, see “Where Will My First CLEP Test Fit into My Degree Plan?” (page 33) and Chapter 11: “How to Make a Degree Plan” in College Without the Campus. You might also peruse DegreeForum.net.
Now you’re ready to begin studying. Questions about textbooks? A Google search will get you started, as will a visit to https://clep.collegeboard.org/ I highly recommend CLEP Official Study Guide for practice tests, and you may be able to borrow materials from the library or from friends who have previously taken a similar course. One of the best parts of studying for a credit-by-exam test is that you are in charge of your schedule. You can decide how much to study and when to take the test. Perhaps you want to study for the test during the remainder of the school year and then take the test. Or, maybe you’ll knock it out in a couple weeks. The choice is yours.
Will credit-by-exam tests work for you? After a visit to your college’s website to see if they will accept transferred test credit, you might decide to give CLEP a try. By testing out 😉 a new method of earning credit, you can save time and money.