ACE Credit Recommendations

The American Council on Education sets recommendations on the scores needed to earn credit for a course and the semester hours earned for a passing score.

What is the ACE?

Founded in 1918, the American Council on Education (ACE) is a major coordinating body for the nation’s higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents and more than 200 related associations nationwide. The American Council on Education College Credit Recommendation Service (CREDIT®) connects workplace learning with colleges and universities by helping students gain access to academic credit for formal courses and exams taken outside traditional higher education. For more than 30 years, colleges and universities have trusted ACE CREDIT to provide reliable course equivalency information to facilitate their decisions to award academic credit.

ACE has conducted periodic reviews of the CLEP Program. The ACE team of subject matter experts and psychometricians review all CLEP exams as well as detailed reports and analysis across the spectrum of technical and exam content areas. They also interview CLEP test development and statistical staff when necessary. In addition, they examine all publications and general test development and operating procedures. CLEP procedures, managerial controls, policies, and the exams' content validity and technical adequacy meet ACE standards.

ACE Credit Recommendations

Credit-Granting Scores for CLEP Exams

The scores and semester hours that appear in the tables below are the credit-granting scores and semester hours recommended by ACE.

ACE recommends a credit-granting score of 50 for each CLEP exam. This is a scaled score, equivalent to earning a C in the relevant course. The corresponding raw score (number of questions answered correctly) is determined after a panel of college faculty who teach the equivalent course perform a detailed and rigorous review of exam content. The recommended cut scores need to be approved by the test development committee that oversees each CLEP exam.

In addition to determining the recommended credit-granting score of 50, the panel of college faculty also recommend a scaled score that is equivalent to a grade of B. Although ACE hasn't endorsed this B score, it's provided to some schools that print grade equivalents for CLEP exams on student transcripts, or those specialized programs that require a passing score higher than the credit-granting score recommended by ACE.

ACE Recommendations

Business ACE Recommendations
Exam Title Credit-Granting Score Semester Hours
Financial Accounting 50 3
Information Systems 50 3
Introductory Business Law 50 3
Principles of Management 50 3
Principles of Marketing 50 3
Composition & Literature ACE Recommendations
Exam Title Credit-Granting Score (C-Level) Semester Hours
American Literature 50 3
Analyzing and Interpreting Literature 50 3
College Composition 50 6
College Composition Modular 50 3
English Literature 50 3
Humanities 50 3
History and Social Sciences ACE Recommendations
Exam Title Credit-Granting Score (C-Level) Semester Hours
American Government 50 3
History of the United States I 50 3
History of the United States II 50 3
Human Growth and Development 50 3
Introduction to Educational Psychology 50 3
Introductory Psychology 50 3
Introductory Sociology 50 3
Principles of Macroeconomics 50 3
Principles of Microeconomics 50 3
Social Sciences and History 50 6
Western Civilization I 50 3
Western Civilization II 50 3
Science and Mathematics ACE Recommendations
Exam Title Credit-Granting Score (C-Level) Semester Hours
Biology 50 6
Calculus 50 4
Chemistry 50 6
College Algebra 50 3
College Mathematics 50 3
Natural Sciences 50 6
Precalculus 50 3
World Languages* ACE Recommendations
Exam Title Credit-Granting Score (C-Level) Semester Hours
French Language Level 1 Proficiency 50 6
French Language Level 2 Proficiency 59 9
German Language Level 1 Proficiency 50 6
German Language Level 2 Proficiency 60 9
Spanish Language Level 1 Proficiency 50 6
Spanish Language Level 2 Proficiency 63 9
Spanish with Writing Level 1 Proficiency 50 6
Spanish with Writing Level 2 Proficiency 65 12
* For CLEP World Languages exams, material taught during first- and second-year college language courses is incorporated into a single exam, covering both Level 1 and Level 2 content. A test taker’s proficiency level is dependent on the test score; ACE recommends different credit-granting scores and amounts of credits at Level 1 and Level 2.



B-Level Credit Recommendations

See the CLEP exam scores recommended by ACE to earn the equivalent of a B.