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CLEP exams to test out of college classes

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I went to a seminar this past summer that encouraged HS students to take CLEP exams to test out of some of the basic college classes to save money and time in college. Has anyone taken this route with their children? If so, has it been a worthwhile endeavor? TIA


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No kiddos yet, but I CLEP'd out of nearly a year's worth of classes during college. (6 hrs. Science, 6 hrs. humanities (art & music), history, English, U.S. Government, and one literature -- don't remember if it was U.S. or English, though).


Each college is different, though. Some may only allow so many CLEP credits, some may not count them at all towards a degree, but simply allow a student to begin at a higher level -- so how well the CLEP (or AP) will do to help hasten a college degree will depend entirely on the policies of any one particular college.

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ER is a music major (140-144 hours required to complete the degree & it is understood that it will take 5 years -- yes, for a bachelor's!), so he wanted to get as many core courses out of the way as possible so he could get to work on his major sooner.


ETA: He did almost no test prep, but still scored very well on the CLEP exams he took. For high school math, ER had taken BJU Algebra 1, Geometry, & Algebra 2; then he took college algebra his senior year of high school (self-taught using Lial's Algebra for College Students). For high school lit & comp, we used a conglomeration of things (Format Writing, Wordsmith Craftsman, Literary Lessons from the Lord of the Rings, classic literature, etc.).

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I (me, an aged woman) just CLEP'd out of Sociology. I bought a Sociology book and studied over a weekend. Sociology was easy. Know your figures and then choose the most left leaning answers.



I plan on CLEPing some others soon. ( I have untidy transcript I'm trying to fill) I found a blog listing somewhere on the net called "Get an Associates Degree in 6 months" with lots of tips about certain tests.

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Yes, this was helpful to her. The university she is attending accepted these and gave her credits for these exams.


Are CLEP exams helpful? It depends on the university your child will attend. Most accept CLEP. As always, the sooner your child decides where he wants to go school, the better. Oftentimes, the college web-sites will say which CLEP exams they accept. They may even include the score they accept in order to receive college credit.


I believe the CLEP exams cost around $70-$80. In other words, it is cheaper than taking the actual class.


If your child attends a university that doesn't accept CLEP, obviously it is wasted time and money.


I've seen recommendations that suggest a student CLEP as much as they possibly can. I wouldn't necessarily agree with this. If you apply this, you may have an eighteen year old entering a university eligible to start taking junior level courses. This could be a recipe for failure for many, if not most students.


Also, why rush through college?


I do think there is value in taking some of the CLEP exams. My dd took the freshman English CLEP. Given her high school instruction by some great co-op teachers, this college class would've been a waste of time and money. At large universities, these freshman English classes are huge and often not very useful. She also passed a CLEP for two different math classes. Her major only requires two math classes, so she wanted to get them out of the way.


In summary, I think CLEP is helpful if used selectively. (This is assuming they're attending a university that accepts CLEP.) I don't agree with those who get a year of college credit before sitting through a college class. I think they're short-changing themselves. JMO

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DS took 2 CLEPS - College Algebra and English Composition with Essay. The CA CLEP was just for review and practice and didn't count toward his CS degree at VA Tech. The English test got him out of the whole year of Freshman English. That left some room in his schedule to take some courses for a minor. He was happy about that!


DD plans to go to a college that doesn't accept CLEPs, so she hopes to pass a few AP tests to free up time in her schedule.


CLEPs can be very useful, but it helps to have a plan first. Decide where you will go and in what you'd like to major first, then make a plan for which ones you'll take (if any). It varies greatly by college, so check out their websites first. There is a lot of info on the web about how folks got degrees by distance learning using CLEPs and other distance learning tools. Many people get their degrees from Thomas Edison, Charter Oak, and Excelsior.


And one more thing - if you are studying for a CLEP, you might want to check out instantcert.com. It's pretty good drill software available online for many CLEPs. DS used it to drill for the MC q's for his English CLEP and his Microeconomics AP exams. If you use it, remember to cancel as they keep billing you until you stop them.




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I Has anyone taken this route with their children? If so, has it been a worthwhile endeavor? TIA



No, we just use the CC if we want college credit.

CLEPs are not accepted by all Universities . . . .something to keep in mind.

There could be other reasons to CLEP though (list on application, transcript, etc.)




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