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The local CC will take a good number of CLEP exams.  They aren't too expensive.  So I'm considering something like that for a few courses.  But I don't know how worthwhile it really is.  I guess I like the idea of kind of forcing my kid to study for something.  And it could end up saving him some money down the road.

 

Any thoughts or opinions about this?

 

 

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My kid's have done several both for the credit aspect and a relatively cheap verification of a mommy grade. One of the huge advantages is we haven't had to schedule a month plus in advance like SAT Subject exams or prepare for months like AP exams. When they feel ready we have been able to schedule within the week.

 

For my ds, the exams have made him be responsible for his own study habits. I find him the study material which generally includes an REA review book and hand responsibility over. Dh and I give him a target date for the final and he goes to work. He knows exactly what is expected and seems to thrive on the challenge. Some of the exams like micro and macroeconomics were done after a Coursera class had been completed.

 

I will be honest and say the best part of the Clep experience is I no longer have to be the one to make ds do his work. These have forced responsibility on him. I am willing to help. Happy to get different study materials if needed but he is in charge. Too be really honest in most exams dd goes first and she helps us adjust for her brother.

 

Remember some exams like Analysing Lit and Humanities are sorth 6 credit hours which are a whole lot credits for roughly $100. The foreign languages are also great value...depending on how well you do either 6 or 12.

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We did several for my oldest. He's at the CC by choice, but I picked ones that were acceptable to the 4-year that he likely will transfer to. He basically tested out of a good number of his humanities classes, so he's able to focus on his major (business/accounting). He also had credits from AP tests.

 

The local CC only does them on Friday mornings at 8:30, but it was easy. We registered in person two weeks before and paid then.

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My current 11th grader is going the CLEP route.  She has been investigating colleges and all of the ones she is considering accept CLEP credit.  The scores also verify her courses.  She took the CLEP cal exam a few months ago and scored incredibly high (more than 20 pts higher than required for credit).  She is now planning on taking both econs, American history, American gov't, biology, and maybe French (the French does not go to a high enough level and she will need a placement test at the university, but placement tests don't give credit and the CLEP will.  Her goal is to get enough credits that it opens up a lot of scheduling freedom.

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Are CLEP tests timed? And if they are, is it a real race to finish them like it is with the ACT or do they give you a more reasonable amount of time to work through the test?

Edited by OnMyOwn

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My kid's have done several both for the credit aspect and a relatively cheap verification of a mommy grade.

 

This is probably one of the most attractive aspects to me. 

 

If I had all kinds of money I could have him going nearly full time at the CC, but uh yeah I don't have that kind of money!  So he will take some courses, but it can only be so many.

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Are CLEP tests timed? And if they are, is it a real race to finish them like it is with the ACT or do they give you a more reasonable amount of time to work through the test?

 

Per the website they vary from test to test. 

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No personal experience but a local mom here has three kids, all of whom have taken CLEP tests.  Two are in college and doing very well.  CLEP credits were accepted at the schools they chose.  Her youngest is still in High School but is taking CLEP tests.  

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If your student will be transferring to a 4yr after CC, make sure the 4yr will also accept those particular CLEPs. (Although, FWIW, I have a vague memory of reading on a forum somewhere that if the transferring student has an AA, some 4yrs will accept the those credits as a single block, even if individual credits might not otherwise transfer.)

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Yes, you listed some of the pros to CLEP:

- college credit earned faster and at a cheaper cost while still in high school

- "confirms" homeschool level of work

- outside accountability for your student

- cheaper than dual enrollment (DE) -- unless your area offers free DE

- can reduce the cost of college later on (if credits are accepted by the university for gen. ed. coursework, can knock out 1 or more semesters of future degree, reducing overall time -- and hence, overall cost -- at the university to earn the degree)

- can schedule whenever it works for you (in contrast, AP and SATII tests only offered at the end of each school year)

- if you fail to pass, you can re-test 6 months later (in contrast to AP or SATII tests)

 

Downsides to CLEP:

- a bit more expensive than AP (which also can earn the student credit)

- not as prestigious or as widely-accepted as AP

- not all colleges grant credit for CLEP

- some CLEPs are only accepted as "electives", not as fulfilling gen. ed. credits (and so, not reducing cost of college)

- different universities accept different CLEPs, meaning you have to research carefully which tests to take to match up with college you plan on attending -- which means knowing early on which college you are planning on attending

- if you transfer from one college to another, your CLEPs accepted by the first college may not be accepted by the new college, meaning that coursework you thoughts was taken care of by CLEP is back on your plate as required credits at the new school

 

Dual Enrollment advantages over CLEP:

- practice of actual classroom/study skills

- practice of time management/scheduling of classes and homework

- actual teacher and class interactions and learning from questions asked by self or other students

- teacher as a possible recommendation for applying to special programs or scholarships

- can work towards an Associate's degree -- CLEPs don't tend to cover the same credits, other than some gen. ed. courses

 

Other considerations:

- no GPA/grade attached to CLEP -- just a pass/fail (credit/no credit)

- studying for/passing a test is not necessarily the same thing as actually learning material

- AP is more widely accepted by colleges

- many STEM degrees are scheduled such that certain required classes must be taken in each of the 4 years of college, so even if you take some CLEPs and even if they are accepted by the college, it doesn't reduce total time at the college

 

 

Really, it boils down to what your specific goals are, and what your specific options are.

 

Are you looking for an opportunity of accountability and maturing for the student and a few test scores to help "confirm" homeschool grades, and if not all of the test scores transfer as credit to the future college, you'd be okay with that? Then taking 1-2 CLEPs per year of high school would do that, and you'd only be "out" a few hundred dollars if not all of the tests were accepted.

 

Are you looking at an Associate's degree as the end goal for education? Then CLEPs can speed up that process for the gen. ed. credits of the Associate's, leaving your student more time during high school for dual enrollment in the core coursework for the Associate's degree -- the student may even complete the Associate's at the same time as finishing high school this way.

 

Are you looking to knock off 1 or more semesters of college through CLEPs? Then you are locked into applying to universities that accept a lot of CLEPs, and making sure you're taking CLEPs that fulfill those universities' gen. ed. requirements.

 

Are you thinking of reducing college costs by going with an all-distance/CLEP credit college degree and getting started with that in high school (for example, what College Plus sets up)? Then you'd want to make every CLEP count by setting up your specific schedule of courses and CLEPS that will fulfill the degree program with the degree-granting university first.

 

If you have a student working at an advanced level, you might also have your student do a few AP tests in high school, which would challenge the student, and if done with an outside AP class would also require accountability and self-discipline for studying. And when it comes to showing rigor, APs are more widely accepted, and increase your competitiveness for college applications.

 

Just a few random thoughts. BEST of luck as you think through how CLEP works for your family! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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I would use them if you plan on completing 2 years at the CC and then transferring otherwise it is hit or miss on the 4 year school accepting the credits.

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I would use them if you plan on completing 2 years at the CC and then transferring otherwise it is hit or miss on the 4 year school accepting the credits.

 

I agree. You really need to investigate which ones are accepted.  FWIW, most typical state schools seem to accept foreign language and both econ tests.  The others tend to be more variable.  If you take them your jr and sr yr and know where you are applying, it is really not that big of an issue. My dd is looking at all the big $$ NMS schools and almost all of them accept a lot of CLEPs.

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Well I don't think I'd have him do many.  And it's really hard to know what the future plans are now.  Just one of the many options I'm considering I guess.

 

 

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I like CLEPs for outside verification, and for having a specific goal.  I figure if any of them get credit for the CLEPs later, that's gravy. 

 

Oh, and by the way, the CLEP retest waiting period is now 3 months, rather than 6 months.  It changed a couple years ago.

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You should write a book Lori D!  You always have such good information.

 

 

Yes, you listed some of the pros to CLEP:

- college credit earned faster and at a cheaper cost while still in high school

- "confirms" homeschool level of work

- outside accountability for your student

- cheaper than dual enrollment (DE) -- unless your area offers free DE

- can reduce the cost of college later on (if credits are accepted by the university for gen. ed. coursework, can knock out 1 or more semesters of future degree, reducing overall time -- and hence, overall cost -- at the university to earn the degree)

- can schedule whenever it works for you (in contrast, AP and SATII tests only offered at the end of each school year)

- if you fail to pass, you can re-test 6 months later (in contrast to AP or SATII tests)

 

Downsides to CLEP:

- a bit more expensive than AP (which also can earn the student credit)

- not as prestigious or as widely-accepted as AP

- not all colleges grant credit for CLEP

- some CLEPs are only accepted as "electives", not as fulfilling gen. ed. credits (and so, not reducing cost of college)

- different universities accept different CLEPs, meaning you have to research carefully which tests to take to match up with college you plan on attending -- which means knowing early on which college you are planning on attending

- if you transfer from one college to another, your CLEPs accepted by the first college may not be accepted by the new college, meaning that coursework you thoughts was taken care of by CLEP is back on your plate as required credits at the new school

 

Dual Enrollment advantages over CLEP:

- practice of actual classroom/study skills

- practice of time management/scheduling of classes and homework

- actual teacher and class interactions and learning from questions asked by self or other students

- teacher as a possible recommendation for applying to special programs or scholarships

- can work towards an Associate's degree -- CLEPs don't tend to cover the same credits, other than some gen. ed. courses

 

Other considerations:

- no GPA/grade attached to CLEP -- just a pass/fail (credit/no credit)

- studying for/passing a test is not necessarily the same thing as actually learning material

- AP is more widely accepted by colleges

- many STEM degrees are scheduled such that certain required classes must be taken in each of the 4 years of college, so even if you take some CLEPs and even if they are accepted by the college, it doesn't reduce total time at the college

 

 

Really, it boils down to what your specific goals are, and what your specific options are.

 

Are you looking for an opportunity of accountability and maturing for the student and a few test scores to help "confirm" homeschool grades, and if not all of the test scores transfer as credit to the future college, you'd be okay with that? Then taking 1-2 CLEPs per year of high school would do that, and you'd only be "out" a few hundred dollars if not all of the tests were accepted.

 

Are you looking at an Associate's degree as the end goal for education? Then CLEPs can speed up that process for the gen. ed. credits of the Associate's, leaving your student more time during high school for dual enrollment in the core coursework for the Associate's degree -- the student may even complete the Associate's at the same time as finishing high school this way.

 

Are you looking to knock off 1 or more semesters of college through CLEPs? Then you are locked into applying to universities that accept a lot of CLEPs, and making sure you're taking CLEPs that fulfill those universities' gen. ed. requirements.

 

Are you thinking of reducing college costs by going with an all-distance/CLEP credit college degree and getting started with that in high school (for example, what College Plus sets up)? Then you'd want to make every CLEP count by setting up your specific schedule of courses and CLEPS that will fulfill the degree program with the degree-granting university first.

 

If you have a student working at an advanced level, you might also have your student do a few AP tests in high school, which would challenge the student, and if done with an outside AP class would also require accountability and self-discipline for studying. And when it comes to showing rigor, APs are more widely accepted, and increase your competitiveness for college applications.

 

Just a few random thoughts. BEST of luck as you think through how CLEP works for your family! Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

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I took 2? CLEP tests while I was in college.  It saved me a lot of money and allowed me to graduate a semester sooner.

 

 

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Are CLEP tests timed? And if they are, is it a real race to finish them like it is with the ACT or do they give you a more reasonable amount of time to work through the test?

Most are 90 minutes long. I don't think my kid's have ever had a hard time finishing in time. We generally return to get them in an hour and sometimes we wait and sometimes they wait for us. It depends on the exam and the student. DD takes about ten minutes more and generally scores a bit higher. ;)

 

Some libraries have the Complete Study Guide for Clep referred to herehttps://clep.collegeboard.org/study-resources. We bought our own copy and generally they run through the exam in the book a couple days before taking the actual exam to see what they consider to be their predicted score. I tend to take a look at the book when I am preparing thed study material for the exam.

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You should write a book Lori D!  You always have such good information.

 

lol… And… it would be out of date in 3 years, at the speed all of this info changes… ;) (rlestina's post upthread as case in point)

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Check out http://www.free-clep-prep.com/.  Jennifer Cook DeRosa has a book and Facebook pages (a general one and state-soecific ones) on using CLEP and other strategies. Look for "Homeschooling for College Credit."

 

So far my daughter has done one (biology), and I expect she will try several more at the end of this year. The colleges she's considering at this point all accept some number of CLEP exams for gen ed requirements. Our main aims have been verification and the possibility of opening up additional options in DE. Our state  offers free tuition for DE, but has a specific slate of courses that a DE student must complete before being able to enroll in any other CC courses. I'm hoping that she can leverage some CLEP credits to give her the option to possibly branch out a bit as a senior but still have free tuition. At any rate, the CLEP exam is less than the cost of textbooks for many of the DE classes.

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I think CLEP and AP tests are good for gen ed credit.  For my son, getting some of his non-major requirements out of the way via AP tests have made scheduling his college courses much easier. His major has a very strict sequence, so it can be difficult to get the gen ed courses in the available time slots.

 

I'm not a fan of testing out of credits within ones major unless the student really did do the all of the work and learn all of the concepts involved. It can be a real disadvantage in the upper level courses to have missed some of the entry level material.

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It's probably be a good idea keep in mind any potential future goals. (Yeah, I know. It's hard enough to plan for next semester, let alone a decade down the road...)

 

For example, if any of the classes will be a prerequisite for graduate school, CLEP tests may not be accepted unless the student has gone on to take more advanced classes in that subject. In that case, CLEP tests would allow the student to take higher level courses earlier, but it wouldn't free up the schedule or make college cheaper. 

 

When in doubt, leave it out is our mantra right now. That might change, but given how the CLEPs are regarded by some institutions, it's the best choice for my dd at this point in the game.

 

YMMV. In fact, our mileage may vary at some point in the future. Maybe even next semester. ;)

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It's probably be a good idea keep in mind any potential future goals. (Yeah, I know. It's hard enough to plan for next semester, let alone a decade down the road...)

 

For example, if any of the classes will be a prerequisite for graduate school, CLEP tests may not be accepted unless the student has gone on to take more advanced classes in that subject. In that case, CLEP tests would allow the student to take higher level courses earlier, but it wouldn't free up the schedule or make college cheaper. 

 

When in doubt, leave it out is our mantra right now. That might change, but given how the CLEPs are regarded by some institutions, it's the best choice for my dd at this point in the game.

 

YMMV. In fact, our mileage may vary at some point in the future. Maybe even next semester. ;)

If you only use them to CLEP out of CC gen-ed or Frosh classes - I doubt the future grad school will care 

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If you only use them to CLEP out of CC gen-ed or Frosh classes - I doubt the future grad school will care 

 

Depends on the grad school. Also, in the part of my post regarding grad schools, I mentioned prerequisite courses, not gen-ed or Frosh classes. 

 

A less distant and perhaps more compelling reason for my dd to leave out CLEPs is because of how some undergrad institutions regard them. Perhaps I was unclear about that in my post, but I have concerns on both the undergrad and graduate levels.

 

Again, YMMV. 

Edited by Woodland Mist Academy

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I'm considering having dd take some CLEPs so that I can justify awarding her an honors credit. I'm not really worried about her testing out of college classes, especially ones that are related to her major.

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I'm considering having dd take some CLEPs so that I can justify awarding her an honors credit. I'm not really worried about her testing out of college classes, especially ones that are related to her major.

 

I've wondered about this. Can a student take the CLEP for the reason you mentioned, but then take the course in college anyway? How does that work? Is the credit not used, just used as an elective credit, or something else? 

 

I can see situations where this might be a good route to take. 

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I'm considering having dd take some CLEPs so that I can justify awarding her an honors credit. I'm not really worried about her testing out of college classes, especially ones that are related to her major.

 

Yeah I like the idea of using it for some outside validation.  Maybe not necessarily honors, but just hey my kid took this test so that's proof I'm not making it up that he studied this stuff.  If it reduces the number of college courses needed that would be a bonus, but it's hard to predict if that will happen or not.

 

I know there is AP, but I suspect it would cost me more because I assume I'd have to buy specific study materials. 

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Yeah I like the idea of using it for some outside validation.  Maybe not necessarily honors, but just hey my kid took this test so that's proof I'm not making it up that he studied this stuff.  If it reduces the number of college courses needed that would be a bonus, but it's hard to predict if that will happen or not.

 

I know there is AP, but I suspect it would cost me more because I assume I'd have to buy specific study materials. 

For this purpose, IMHO colleges would expect AP where possible.

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For this purpose, IMHO colleges would expect AP where possible.

 

I have no clue what AP entails.  I assume I'd need very specific materials?

 

I suppose I should look into it.

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It's probably be a good idea keep in mind any potential future goals. (Yeah, I know. It's hard enough to plan for next semester, let alone a decade down the road...)

 

For example, if any of the classes will be a prerequisite for graduate school, CLEP tests may not be accepted unless the student has gone on to take more advanced classes in that subject. In that case, CLEP tests would allow the student to take higher level courses earlier, but it wouldn't free up the schedule or make college cheaper. 

 

When in doubt, leave it out is our mantra right now. That might change, but given how the CLEPs are regarded by some institutions, it's the best choice for my dd at this point in the game.

 

YMMV. In fact, our mileage may vary at some point in the future. Maybe even next semester. ;)

 

I'm not sure what CLEP tests would equate to a class required for grad school since they are all only the equivalent of 100 level courses with the exception of the foreign language tests which do get to 200 level classes.

 

Some states have had their legislatures call on universities to increase the number of credits granted through CLEP.  FL is one state that I recently read about: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=1000-1099/1007/Sections/1007.27.html 

 

The only schools that really don't care give any CLEP credit at all are the elites, both public and private.  But, the majority of publics do give credit for some CLEPs.  For example, UNC does not give credit, but NCSU does.  https://admissions.ncsu.edu/apply/credit-opportunities/college-level-examination-program-clep/ UVA doesn't give any, but VT does. https://admissions.ncsu.edu/apply/credit-opportunities/college-level-examination-program-clep/

 

Baylor is an example of private that does: http://www.baylor.edu/irt/index.php?id=74593

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I'm not sure what CLEP tests would equate to a class required for grad school since they are all only the equivalent of 100 level courses with the exception of the foreign language tests which do get to 200 level classes.

 

Some states have had their legislatures call on universities to increase the number of credits granted through CLEP.  FL is one state that I recently read about: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=1000-1099/1007/Sections/1007.27.html 

 

The only schools that really don't care give any CLEP credit at all are the elites, both public and private.  But, the majority of publics do give credit for some CLEPs.  For example, UNC does not give credit, but NCSU does.  https://admissions.ncsu.edu/apply/credit-opportunities/college-level-examination-program-clep/ UVA doesn't give any, but VT does. https://admissions.ncsu.edu/apply/credit-opportunities/college-level-examination-program-clep/

 

Baylor is an example of private that does: http://www.baylor.edu/irt/index.php?id=74593

 

Which is why it's important to consider future goals. Also, just because a school accepts CLEP credit, doesn't mean it's the best route. When students are considered for admittance and/or scholarships, it seems that those with APs and DE are stronger applicants than those with CLEP.  Perhaps that will change in the future, but it doesn't seem they have equal status at the moment. 

 

Again, YMMV. It's good there are so many options. 

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My older daughter intends to take the Am. Lit CLEP this summer.  I'm not sure about any others.   If she gets credit, great; if not, at least I've haven't spent a huge amount of money.

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Which is why it's important to consider future goals. Also, just because a school accepts CLEP credit, doesn't mean it's the best route. When students are considered for admittance and/or scholarships, it seems that those with APs and DE are stronger applicants than those with CLEP. Perhaps that will change in the future, but it doesn't seem they have equal status at the moment.

 

Again, YMMV. It's good there are so many options.

Admissions is only going to care at more competitive schools anyway. Most schools that accept CLEP credit are going to focus more on standardized test scores and GPA than anything else. It is the nature of admissions. The schools my kids have attended could care less about how many APs or DE credits they have taken. Since those are the only schools we can afford, knocking out a yr's worth of classes is most definitely worth it.

 

With the exception of perhaps cal, bio, or chem for a future STEM major, none of the CLEP exams really cover content that would really impact a future major in any way. But my dd who took the cal CLEP is rock sold in cal so she knows if she wanted to take cal 2 (which she never will ;) ) that she would be prepared.

 

But, if you are aiming for elite schools, yes, CLEPs will be a waste of time and money bc they won't help in either credit or affirmation.

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Admissions is only going to care at more competitive schools anyway. Most schools that accept CLEP credit are going to focus more on standardized test scores and GPA than anything else. It is the nature of admissions. The schools my kids have attended could care less about how many APs or DE credits they have taken. Since those are the only schools we can afford, knocking out a yr's worth of classes is most definitely worth it.

 

With the exception of perhaps cal, bio, or chem for a future STEM major, none of the CLEP exams really cover content that would really impact a future major in any way. But my dd who took the cal CLEP is rock sold in cal so she knows if she wanted to take cal 2 (which she never will ;) ) that she would be prepared.

 

But, if you are aiming for elite schools, yes, CLEPs will be a waste of time and money bc they won't help in either credit or affirmation.

 

Yeah as lovely as the dream of certain schools is, I don't know how realistic it is.  I'm still paying back my school loans (I'm 41).  I will still be paying when my kids are in college.  So I am absolutely not enthused by the idea of piling on more school loan debt.

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There will be other sources of validation. So no I'm not relying on this alone.

 

I'm just afraid the AP stuff is too expensive.

Sparkly, what sort of colleges are you considering? My 11th grader will have zero APs and maybe 1 DE. She will have a lot of CLEPs. She should be NMF. She will have awards in her area of interest. She is also putting together a Russian and French portfolio. She won't have taken the French AP, bc she is already functioning on a level beyond it and the dept's have told her not to even DE bc she is going to have to be uniquely placed in their dept. one told her that what she is doing is fabulous, so just stay the course. :)

 

It really all comes down to what sort of schools you are applying to. UAH, for example, is not going to be looking for the same thing as MIT. If MIT level schools are a goal, CLEPs are pointless and you are going to have to pursue APs or DE or some higher level of verification.

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I've wondered about this. Can a student take the CLEP for the reason you mentioned, but then take the course in college anyway? How does that work? Is the credit not used, just used as an elective credit, or something else?

 

I can see situations where this might be a good route to take.

In regards to having a Clep exam and retaking the course at University I suspect you would generally lose your Clep credits towards graduation because it would be considered a duplicate credit. You can only do College Algebra once for instance.

 

Something like Humanities (6 credits some places- Lit, Art, and Music History basically) might be weighted as an elective differently if your DC takes Intro to Art History for instance. Because the art component mighty be considered duplicate.

 

The other thing everyone needs to remember is AP simply is not available to all easily or cheaply. For our family a morning AP also costs a hotel room. With back to back days, two kids etc the whole situation just spirals out of control. We are doing the AP exams that are important to each DC. Some subject exams although we do three a day if possible because hotel room costs again. Using Clep for some others. Clep is great, one afternoon.

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Sparkly, what sort of colleges are you considering? My 11th grader will have zero APs and maybe 1 DE. She will have a lot of CLEPs. She should be NMF. She will have awards in her area of interest. She is also putting together a Russian and French portfolio. She won't have taken the French AP, bc she is already functioning on a level beyond it and the dept's have told her not to even DE bc she is going to have to be uniquely placed in their dept. one told her that what she is doing is fabulous, so just stay the course. :)

 

It really all comes down to what sort of schools you are applying to. UAH, for example, is not going to be looking for the same thing as MIT. If MIT level schools are a goal, CLEPs are pointless and you are going to have to pursue APs or DE or some higher level of verification.

 

I don't know because really I don't know what is realistic.  I think the most realistic financially speaking is to transfer from the CC to a place like RPI.  My kid of course dreams of MIT, but his chances of being struck by lightening are probably better and price wise that is so far off from anything I could ever afford I am not sure he should even try. 

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Can you still do CLEP exams on campus? I took all four of my CLEP exams on-campus as a freshman. They accepted a limited amount of CLEP tests, and while they would take an AP score, it didn't count for credit. A good AP score simply let you take a 200 level class instead of a 100 level class, and in the rural area I grew up in, it was a big deal to coordinate and schedule AP tests. You could CLEP on campus at any time they offered the exams, I believe--it didn't have to be during high school. Maybe that has changed.

 

All of my CLEP exams were for general education credit. 

 

My only regret is that I didn't take them for two or three other classes. 

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There will be other sources of validation.  So no I'm not relying on this alone. 

 

I'm just afraid the AP stuff is too expensive. 

 

The AP tests cost under $100 each and some states pick up part of that fee.  For example, in Indiana, the English Composition test is free this year. You do not have to take an AP course in order to take and AP test. My son took one AP course and passed 4 AP tests with a 4 or higher. He started college with 15 gen ed credits for less than $400.

 

At most colleges, a 4 gives the same credits as a 5 and sometimes a 3 gives credit for a lower level course. My daughter is going to take the AP Music Theory test next month. I've heard that it is a difficult test, but the course that she wants to test out of only requires a 3 on the test. If she gets a 4 or more, she'll get credit for a higher level class that she feels she needs to take given she's going to be a music major.  So, if she gets a 4 (or 5), I'm hoping that we can get the university to give her credit for the lower level course instead. Otherwise, I guess that test will be a waste because she'll be taking the course anyway.

 

Bottom line - the AP tests are not that expense and 3s are usually good enough for some gen ed credits.  There's really not much a risk involved.

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Can a student take the CLEP for the reason you mentioned, but then take the course in college anyway? How does that work?

 

My understanding is that you have to request the college you are attending to have the CLEP credit accepted. If you don't do that, then you don't have the credit. I was just planning to list on the transcript what the CLEP score was and not worry about requesting the college accept the credit.

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The AP tests cost under $100 each and some states pick up part of that fee.  For example, in Indiana, the English Composition test is free this year. You do not have to take an AP course in order to take and AP test. My son took one AP course and passed 4 AP tests with a 4 or higher. He started college with 15 gen ed credits for less than $400.

 

At most colleges, a 4 gives the same credits as a 5 and sometimes a 3 gives credit for a lower level course. My daughter is going to take the AP Music Theory test next month. I've heard that it is a difficult test, but the course that she wants to test out of only requires a 3 on the test. If she gets a 4 or more, she'll get credit for a higher level class that she feels she needs to take given she's going to be a music major.  So, if she gets a 4 (or 5), I'm hoping that we can get the university to give her credit for the lower level course instead. Otherwise, I guess that test will be a waste because she'll be taking the course anyway.

 

Bottom line - the AP tests are not that expense and 3s are usually good enough for some gen ed credits.  There's really not much a risk involved.

 

No, but I'm saying I don't know what the materials would cost me.  My state doesn't support homeschoolers in any way so I doubt they'd give us any sort of break on the fees.

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No, but I'm saying I don't know what the materials would cost me.  My state doesn't support homeschoolers in any way so I doubt they'd give us any sort of break on the fees.

 

You'll probably think this is terrible, but usually all we do is purchase the AP study guides off Amazon for under $20 a piece. I read the reviews to figure out which guides to buy.  Obviously, my kids had some background in literature, history, composition, music theory, etc before even considering the tests. But that background wasn't necessarily AP focused.

 

The study guides cover what you need to know for the test so from those you can figure out if your student is completely unfamiliar with the subject or if they are mostly prepared. We often used the study guides available at our local library as a first pass before deciding if we should purchase one that they don't have to return in two weeks.  If they are familiar with most of the material at the first pass, we go for it. Generally my kids start seriously working with the study guides 2 months before the test.

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Some additional info:

 

If your child has done the classical 4 year sequence of history, literature and composition, consider the AP Literature, AP World History, AP European History and AP English Language and Composition tests.  My daughter took the AP Literature exam after studying the modern era and was very prepared. You student is pretty well prepared for the AP composition test if they have studied for the SAT writing and critical reasoning exam sections and are able to write a quick essay.  The history exams will probably require the full cycle of history and also will require some essay writing abilities.

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You'll probably think this is terrible, but usually all we do is purchase the AP study guides off Amazon for under $20 a piece. I read the reviews to figure out which guides to buy.  Obviously, my kids had some background in literature, history, composition, music theory, etc before even considering the tests. But that background wasn't necessarily AP focused.

 

The study guides cover what you need to know for the test so from those you can figure out if your student is completely unfamiliar with the subject or if they are mostly prepared. We often used the study guides available at our local library as a first pass before deciding if we should purchase one that they don't have to return in two weeks.  If they are familiar with most of the material at the first pass, we go for it. Generally my kids start seriously working with the study guides 2 months before the test.

 

No not terrible because frankly a lot of this stuff feels like a money making scam.  And it kinda kills learning in my mind.  But if those are the hoops those are the hoops. 

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No not terrible because frankly a lot of this stuff feels like a money making scam.  And it kinda kills learning in my mind.  

 

I agree. The College Board ranks right down there with the NCAA in terms of my regard for them.  :thumbdown:

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No not terrible because frankly a lot of this stuff feels like a money making scam.  And it kinda kills learning in my mind.  But if those are the hoops those are the hoops. 

 

On a somewhat related note...

 

The bolded is another reason CLEP isn't on our radar at this point. My dd is looking forward to some of the elective and general ed classes in college. Some of the classes sound interesting to her, not because they are needed for graduation or for her career, but just for the sake of learning. Sometimes amidst all the college admission and tuition madness it's easy to lose sight of what college can offer a student beyond a degree. 

 

I can absolutely imagine a different type of student that just wants to get 'r done with credits. Sometimes because of finances and sometimes because of personality. That's not the sum total of the experience for all students, though.

 

So much plays into the AP, DE, CLEP decision. 

 

Back to your point, Sparkly...I agree. So much of it feels like a scam, but if those are the hoops, those are the hoops....

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On a somewhat related note...

 

The bolded is another reason CLEP isn't on our radar at this point. My dd is looking forward to some of the elective and general ed classes in college. Some of the classes sound interesting to her, not because they are needed for graduation or for her career, but just for the sake of learning. Sometimes amidst all the college admission and tuition madness it's easy to lose sight of what college can offer a student beyond a degree.

 

I can absolutely imagine a different type of student that just wants to get 'r done with credits. Sometimes because of finances and sometimes because of personality. That's not the sum total of the experience for all students, though.

 

So much plays into the AP, DE, CLEP decision.

 

Back to your point, Sparkly...I agree. So much of it feels like a scam, but if those are the hoops, those are the hoops....

Or a third option. By meeting core gen eds through CLEP and APs, kids have the opportunity to explore subjects that they want to take vs required to take. It also opens up opportunities to double/triple major. It can give them more time to participate in UG research. It can allow them to advance and take grad level classes as an UG.

 

All of those are my dd's reasons for wanting to CLEP out of 30 hrs. She is already planning a double with French and Russian. It will give her more freedom for multiple study abroad opportunities and the ability to explore fields that relate to her languages that might be something she wants to pursue as a career......business, International relations, Econ, etc. she is also looking into programs that will allow her to earn her masters in French while earning her bachelors.

 

There are lots of reasons. Needing to take fewer hrs to work part-time, participate in sports are just a couple of others I can think of.

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Or a third option. By meeting core gen eds through CLEP and APs, kids have the opportunity to explore subjects that they want to take vs required to take. It also opens up opportunities to double/triple major. It can give them more time to participate in UG research. It can allow them to advance and take grad level classes as an UG.

 

All of those are my dd's reasons for wanting to CLEP out of 30 hrs. She is already planning a double with French and Russian. It will give her more freedom for multiple study abroad opportunities and the ability to explore fields that relate to her languages that might be something she wants to pursue as a career......business, International relations, Econ, etc. she is also looking into programs that will allow her to earn her masters in French while earning her bachelors.

 

There are lots of reasons. Needing to take fewer hrs to work part-time, participate in sports are just a couple of others I can think of.

 

Interesting.  For my dd, anything she would CLEP out of appears to take the place of a more interesting course at the university. As always, so much depends on majors, etc. Even in the case of a double major, CLEP doesn't make sense for her.

 

It's personality too. She enjoys classes, as opposed to the self study/test routine. AP classes and DE are just a better fit. With DE she can take the interesting courses and get the credit. It's a win-win. 

 

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I can absolutely imagine a student who has more of a get it done attitude with credits. (I know some of those students. ;) ) I also mentioned reasons such as finances and personality. Those are just two. I'm sure there are many, many more. It's good to know there are lots of interesting paths to many splendid locations.  :)

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Or a third option. By meeting core gen eds through CLEP and APs, kids have the opportunity to explore subjects that they want to take vs required to take. It also opens up opportunities to double/triple major. It can give them more time to participate in UG research. It can allow them to advance and take grad level classes as an UG.

 

All of those are my dd's reasons for wanting to CLEP out of 30 hrs. She is already planning a double with French and Russian. It will give her more freedom for multiple study abroad opportunities and the ability to explore fields that relate to her languages that might be something she wants to pursue as a career......business, International relations, Econ, etc. she is also looking into programs that will allow her to earn her masters in French while earning her bachelors.

 

There are lots of reasons. Needing to take fewer hrs to work part-time, participate in sports are just a couple of others I can think of.

Oh, yes.

 

Ds started taking graduate courses when he was a junior because of his AP credits.

 

Dd21 is working on a double major and a minor because of her AP credits.

 

Dd16 is planning on skipping straight to upper division courses in some subjects because of her AP and DE coursework. She will have a deeper undergraduate experience for all of her high school work. (Her proposed major, International Studies, is interdisciplinary, covering political science, history, economics, geography, etc.)

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But none of your children had CLEP credits, correct? Just making sure I understand. My point is that choosing an interesting AP or DE class can in some, not all, cases be preferable to CLEP. The credit will still be there.

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