Many students wish to take college courses through accredited colleges or universities in order to earn a degree, further their education, or achieve job advancement. Prior to gaining acceptance to most accredited colleges or universities, students must meet entry requirements, which often include achieving a minimum required score on a standardized exam such as the ACT or SAT. Once the student is ready to work toward earning a college degree or further his or her education at the undergraduate college level, he or she may choose to earn college credits through traditional or non-traditional methods. Traditionally, students earn college credits through attending classes at a brick-and-mortar campus or online. In addition to these traditional learning methods, over 2,900 accredited colleges and universities allow students to gain valuable college credits through non-traditional methods such as the CLEP exam.
CLEP, also known as the College Level Examination Program, allows students to demonstrate a college level proficiency of a given subject on a multiple choice exam. The student may have obtained the knowledge required to earn a satisfactory CLEP exam score through independent study or prior life, work, or cultural experiences. When the student achieves a satisfactory score on the exam, he or she does not have to take the college course. Each CLEP exam can result in the student earning between 3 and 12 college credits. Most exams cover material taught in a one-semester college course, but some exams correspond with material taught in two-semester or even two-year courses. In general, a CLEP exam covers material taught in the first two years of college. Currently, the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) offers 34 different exams for students to take.
Taking a CLEP exam can be highly beneficial to a large variety of students and learners. Military personnel, homeschooled students, adult learners, working adults, and traditional college students are all examples of people who use CLEP to gain valuable college credits. Some students get to the end of their college career and find that they need one additional class; these students can use a CLEP exam to gain the credits needed to graduate on time! Other students use CLEP to graduate early, advance their careers through furthering their education, or lighten their college course load. Students from all different backgrounds, age groups, and walks of life can use CLEP to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in undergraduate college tuition expenses.
Each CLEP Exam is administered at over 1,400 CLEP testing centers across the United States and abroad. Exams appear in a multiple choice format; sometimes, certain colleges of universities require students taking certain exams to answer essay questions in addition to taking the multiple choice CLEP exam. Students are generally given 90 minutes to complete the CLEP exam.
In order to obtain a satisfactory score on a CLEP Exam, a student must adequately prepare for the exam. Preparing for a CLEP exam requires strategic and thorough study methods. Many CLEP prep methods exist to help students prepare for their CLEP exam. These methods include CLEP study guides, college textbooks, tutorial cd’s and dvd’s, practice CLEP exam questions, and online CLEP prep methods. Each student must choose the CLEP prep method that is best for his or her learning needs and learning style and is best for the specific CLEP exam he or she wishes to take.
After the student takes a CLEP exam and achieves a satisfactory score, he or she can enjoy the achievement and satisfaction of gaining valuable college credits, saving both time and money, and graduating sooner.