How to Earn College Credit in Three Hours


These days, college can be expensive. And with tuition costs rising every year, many students are looking for alternative options that can get them in and out of school faster and for less money. One such option is the CLEP exams. In just three hours of exam time, plus the time spent preparing, students can exempt entire semesters worth of course work and tuition payments. Read on to learn why the CLEP exams might be a good option for you or your student.


What is CLEP?

CLEP stands for College-Level Examination Program, and the CLEP exam allows students to prove their mastery of certain introductory college-level subjects in order to earn college credit. The idea is, if you know enough about a certain subject, you can take a three-hour test to earn credit for a college course, instead of actually enrolling in, and paying tuition for, the course.

There are currently 33 CLEP examinations on varying subject matter, and the results are accepted by 2,900 colleges and universities. Not all colleges and universities have the same CLEP policies however, so make sure to check with your school or online here to determine what CLEP credits your school will accept.


Why Take the CLEP Exams?

The CLEP exams are a win-win for students and colleges who accept CLEP credits. The exams help colleges by opening up space in introductory courses and helping to place students in the classes that are right for their knowledge level. On the same note, the CLEP exams help students by exempting them from classes where they won’t be challenged, so they can spend their time and money on higher-level courses and courses in their field of study. Students who choose to earn college credit with the CLEP exams may be able to graduate sooner by using course credit to exempt their introductory level college courses. And for students concerned about the cost of college, the CLEP exams are one way to improve the affordability of attending a college or university.


Other Benefits

Students who take the CLEP exams often see more benefits than simply exempting their introductory college-level courses. Studies show the CLEP exams can actually help students complete their degrees. Students who received credit-by-examination through CLEP were more likely to:

  • Complete their degrees within seven years.
  • Perform better in subsequent courses and have higher GPAs.
  • Take more advanced courses in the subject area than those who did not take the CLEP exams.


Click here to learn more about the CLEP exams, and click here to register. If you already have mastery of an introductory-level subject matter, just three hours of testing could save you and entire semester of time.


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