How Exams are Scored

Multiple-choice exams are scored by computer.

Essays written for the College Composition and Spanish with Writing exams are graded by college professors who are selected by the College Board from the faculty of two- and four-year institutions. The writing-section grade is combined with the multiple-choice score, and the result is reported as a scaled score.

Computing Scores

To reach the total score that students see on their score reports, we perform two calculations.

First, we calculate the raw score. This is the number of questions answered correctly. The raw score increases by one point for each question answered correctly, and no points are gained or lost when a question is either unanswered or incorrectly answered.

Next, the raw score is converted into a scaled score by a statistical process called equating. Equating maintains the consistency of standards for test scores over time by adjusting for slight differences in difficulty between test forms. This ensures that the score does not depend on the specific test form or how well others did on the same form. The raw score is converted to a scaled score that ranges from 20 to 80. The final scaled score is the score that appears on the score report.

Receiving CLEP Exam Scores

Scores are provided onscreen immediately upon completion of an exam. Test administrators are instructed to print out a copy of the score report and provide it to students before they leave the test center. There is an exception for the College Composition and Spanish with Writing exams, which are mailed to test takers 2–3 weeks after the test date (CLEP essays are scored twice a month). Test takers' scores are also available on the CLEP My Account registration portal one business day after taking the exam.

Comparing Scores Across Subjects

Different CLEP subjects are developed and evaluated independently and are not linked to each other except by the program's common purpose, format, or method of reporting results. For this reason, direct comparisons should not be made from one CLEP subject to another.

Sending Score Reports to Institutions

Test takers can send their scores to a college, employer, or other recipient. This service is free of charge if they select their score recipients at the time of registration. After testing, students can order official transcripts by logging in to My Account. There is a $20 fee per transcript ordered for each institution. Transcripts once ordered cannot be canceled, returned, or refunded. If a student wants to resend their transcript, they can’t change any of the original score send information unless they pay the $20 fee again.

Note: Test takers ordering transcripts for DANTES-funded exams must order a military transcript online using the Parchment Transcript Ordering Service. The cost for each military transcript is $30.

Canceling Scores

If test takers do not want their scores reported to the institution they have selected, they are given the option to cancel their scores in the testing software. They are asked to verify this decision several times before the score is canceled. Scores cannot be canceled once students have seen their instant score reports. Canceled scores cannot be reinstated, and canceled exams cannot be retaken for three months. Additionally, canceled scores will not be available in a test taker’s exam score page in My Account.