The College Level Exam Program (CLEP) offers exams for high school students, college students, and/or others who wish to earn academic credit without completing an entire college course. These exams are used to determine whether students have mastered the objectives of the course for which they wish to test. Students may have learned these objectives through independent study, extracurricular work, or general knowledge. Many CLEP exam students are re-entering school after a hiatus or entering after service in the military, whereas some are students who feel they could forego actually taking a course in lieu of a higher level course in that same subject area.
The cost of taking a CLEP exam is substantially less than the cost of taken the equivalent academic class. It is widely accepted as an alternative to academic courses and is available at approximately 3,000 colleges and universities. There are 33 CLEP exams from which students can choose. Each exam currently costs $80 and allotted time is dependent upon the exam in question. The following is a list of CLEP exams currently offered:
History & Social Sciences: American Government, History of the United States I, History of the United States II, Human Growth and Development, Introduction to Educational Psychology, Introductory Psychology, Introductory Sociology, Principles of Macroeconomics, Principles of Microeconomics, Social Sciences and History, Western Civilization I, and Western Civilization II
Composition & Literature: American Literature, Analyzing and Interpreting Literature, College Composition, College Composition Modular, English Literature, and Humanities
Science & Math: Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, College Algebra, College Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Precalculus
Business: Financial Accounting, Information Systems, Introductory Business Law, Principles of Management, and Principles of Marketing
World Languages: French Language, German Language, Spanish Language
Although each exam is variable on its time allotment and number of questions, most of the exams contain multiple-choice questions. It is important to note that there is not a penalty for an incorrect answer; if you are uncertain, at least make an educated guess.
Five of the exams contain essay sections. These include: American Literature, Analyzing and Interpreting Literature, College Composition, College Composition Modular, and English Literature.
Each exam contains sample test questions, which can be accessed by clicking here. There is also a CLEP Official Study Guide to further assist students. This includes additional sample questions, helpful guides, and suggestions for test preparation.