A Comparison of CLEP® and Non-CLEP Students with Respect to Postsecondary Outcomes

In December 2013, the College Board released research findings examining whether differences exist between CLEP and non-CLEP students on postsecondary performance outcomes.



  • 70% of CLEP test-takers said their CLEP credits made a difference in their ability to finance tuition and other fees.

  • 91% of CLEP test-takers said CLEP made a difference in helping them complete their degrees.

  • 92% of institutions offer PLA credits to provide a time-saving avenue for degree completion.

  • More than 50% of PLA students earned a degree in seven years, compared to 21% of non-PLA students.

  • Students who receive credit-by-examination through CLEP for an introductory course are much more likely to earn an A or B in subsequent courses than students who complete the introductory course.

  • Testing today’s students
    with today’s curriculum.

    CLEP exams are constructed by more than 600 faculty members.

  • Getting students to the right place.

    CLEP helps open up space in introductory classes.

  • Better retention rates.

    CLEP students are as likely or more likely to graduate as students of the same ability who completed an introductory college-level course.

  • A time-saving avenue to degree completion.

    CLEP students pursuing a bachelor’s degree saved between 2.5 and 10 months of time in earning their degrees.