- CLEP offers computer-based exams in 33 subjects. These 90-minute exams (exams with an essay component take additional time), can be administered only at official CLEP test centers.
- Exams are scored immediately upon completion of the exam unless an essay is involved. Essays are scored on a monthly basis and scores are sent following that process.
- Exams costs $85. There are no fee-reductions currently available although matching reduction eligibility for other College Board assessments is being considered.
- There are no pre-set exam administration dates so exams can be taken year-round when students are ready.
- CLEP score results can be sent to one college or university selected prior to testing. Additional score results can be sent at a later date for a $20 fee.
- Each college or university determines how CLEP scores will be awarded. Exam polices vary by institution, so it is very important to research them in advance. Credit award policies for CLEP exams can change without notice which can help or hinder credit awards depending on the change. Some states have state-wide CLEP policies that facilitate the acceptance and transfer of CLEP credit awards.
- When administered at a college or university test center, a service fee of $25–$30 is typically charged in addition to the $85 exam fee. Some high schools are dedicating the time and resources to open CLEP test centers to avoid the additional service fee.
- CLEP and AP are both College Board examinations but they function very differently. There are no “CLEP Courses” or College Board–developed curriculum. CLEP is meant to assess learning regardless of where that learning occurred.
CLEP Exam Fees
Students with access to a credit card can pay for testing individually. Schools and districts can also pay for testing and may use CLEP vouchers to do so.
Bulk Purchase Program
Vouchers can be created at the request of schools and districts who wish to fund CLEP testing for students. To request vouchers, schools or districts must execute a contract with the College Board.
The contract process can take four to six weeks to complete and cannot be expedited.
Requests are fielded from multiple districts and schools in the order they are received.
Billing for exams taken will occur a month after testing.
Part of the contracting process includes collecting the date range for testing, what exams will be included, who will receive the score reports, etc. A nice benefit of vouchers is that schools and districts can order more than enough voucher codes to assign to students but will only be charged for vouchers that are actually used for testing.
Whether students pay by credit card or a voucher provided by the school/district, all students must register for an exam and then schedule their test day with the test center of their choice.
A batch upload option to register students is not available because each student, as part of the registration process, must provide specific information, including the institution selected to receive their scores, information on how they prepared, and what they expect to accomplish by CLEP testing.
This process takes about 20 minutes to complete. Students should complete this process prior to test day so that they can focus solely on the exam on test day.
Learn more about how students can register for a CLEP exam.
Promote CLEP in Your High School
High school CLEP testing is growing in popularity as a way to evaluate college readiness and accelerate progress towards degree attainment.
Step 1: Help students get started with CLEP
Share information about CLEP with students and parents during college planning and financial aid discussions. Share the compelling cost and time savings of a CLEP exam when compared to tuition in a college course with cost-conscious parents.
Before registering for a CLEP exam, students should search for an institution's CLEP policy to determine if the school they will attend grants credit for CLEP exams.
Test takers must register by setting up a My Account login and completing the signup process. They must use their name as it appears on their photo ID. Once test takers create a My Account login they will be able to:
- Purchase exams and study materials 24/7
- Identify a test center to take their exam
- Select the institution to send their score to
- Enter personal information in advance to speed up the check-in process on test day. They must enter their name as it appears on their photo ID.
Next, students need to schedule an appointment with a test center. CLEP examinations are administered throughout the year at over 1,800 test centers in the United States and abroad. Additional administration fees may apply depending on the test center policy.
Step 2: Prepare students and parents for a CLEP exam
Students can take advantage of free practice materials and online study resources to get acquainted with the types of questions that are available in a CLEP exam.
To prepare for the CLEP exam, students can also purchase a subject-specific CLEP Examination Guide (PDF) or the CLEP Official Study Guide (book), which contains sample items on all 33 CLEP exams.
CLEP also offers a video tutorial on the testing platform to familiarize students with the testing tool, the types of examination questions, and the types of calculators that will appear in a CLEP exam.
Step 3: Share CLEP resources
CLEP offers a variety of free resources, such as banner ads, print materials, and customizable templates, to support outreach to students and parents and promote CLEP exams.
Two popular items are:
- Take One (.pdf/636 KB), which provides a basic overview of the CLEP program and listing of exam titles.
- Information for Test Takers (.pdf/324 KB), which is a comprehensive brochure that takes students from initial consideration through preparation and testing processes.
Step 4: Become a test center
While the majority of CLEP testing is done in professional testing centers at colleges and universities, some high schools are interested in opening CLEP test centers to avoid transporting students to test facilities and to avoid paying the administrative fee test centers charge. Interested high schools or districts should apply to be test centers about three months in advance of testing. It is possible to get through the process more quickly, but few schools have the dedicated staff to expedite the process.
The process includes applying to be a test center, executing the required contract, training staff, and technical set-up and installation of the testing software.
The CLEP Resource Center is password-protected portal that contains information essential to administering CLEP exams. If you don't have a username and password for the Resource Center, request them by sending an email to [email protected] with “CLEP Resource Center access request” in the subject line. Include your name, institution, title, and email address. The CLEP Resource Center contains information and resources for applying to be a test center, updating contact information, technical specifications, test administrator’s handbook, and more.
Step 5: Help students explore exams
When implementing CLEP testing for high school students, consider guiding students to take CLEP exams that complement their knowledge base. It is important to know what content is covered in the exams. Test Information Guides, which provide an overview of the CLEP program and exam content, are available to teachers and administrators in the CLEP Resource Center.
A best practice in regard to preparing high school students for CLEP is to compare the content of CLEP exams to course curricula to identify alignment and gaps.
Consider recommending CLEP exams to:
- Students in honors, advanced, or gifted classes, where the content matches.
- Students who miss the AP Exam, where content matches.
- Students interested in business courses. The business suite of CLEP exams can help students earn credit in introductory business courses.
- Students interested in Early Childhood education. Recommend the Human Growth and Development CLEP exam.
The most popular CLEP exams by volume include: Spanish, Analyzing and Interpreting Literature, College Composition, College Algebra, and Sociology. Spanish is particularly popular with native speakers and has been the most popular title for many years.