Can I Get College Credit For My CLEP Exam?

Depending on you who are, it may not make sense for you to go to a traditional four-year college, live in a dorm, and take the average 15 credits each semester. Whether you’re just graduating high school, going back to college, or serving in the military, testing out of college courses through CLEP exams may be a good choice.

Overview of CLEP

The College-Level Examination Program, more commonly known as CLEP, is an assortment of tests that students can take to get college credit. If you already have knowledge of a subject from military training, career development, or self-study, you can choose to take a CLEP exam. Passing an exam will usually grant you three or six college credits, but some exams are worth more. These 90-minute tests are usually scored instantly and are accepted at almost 3,000 colleges.


Flexibility is probably the most beneficial aspect of taking CLEP exams. With 33 tests, you can get almost all of your general education requirements out of the way, and you can do things at your own pace. If you have a few slow weeks or months, you can take advantage of any free time you might have to plug away at your studies. Conversely, if you find that you’re going to be out straight for the foreseeable future, you won’t have to worry about getting that essay or homework done on time. You can study for multiple exams at once, or you can focus on one area at a time.

Exams and Scoring

As mentioned before, most colleges accept credits from CLEP exams, but that’s not all – many colleges even have testing centers right on campus, making it simple for students to work towards their degree in different ways at the same time. There are currently 33 exams offered by CLEP, and they all fit into one of five subject areas:

  • History and Social Sciences
  • Composition and Literature
  • Science and Mathematics
  • Business
  • World Languages

While the exams don’t cover advanced topics, CLEP offers lower-level tests in multiple areas, from Spanish to accounting. To get a full list of exams and decide what subject you want to study first, visit

Most exams are multiple-choice and are able to scored by a computer. This means scores are available immediately after testing. If an essay is required, you’ll get your results in a few weeks. Since there are multiple versions of the same exam, scores are scaled, meaning your score will be based on both how hard your version is and how many questions you get right.


Exams usually cost $80, making CLEP exams much cheaper than obtaining credit the traditional way; however, military personnel and their spouses can often qualify for full-funded tests and even free study materials. If you are a member of the military, gives an overview of education benefits that may be available.

CLEP exams are an excellent way for anyone to get college credit. They’re inexpensive, offer flexibility, and are accepted by the vast majority of colleges in the United States. Study materials are widely available, and testing sites are common, making CLEP exams a smart idea for both traditional and non-traditional students.