What is the CLEP exam? Which Colleges Accept CLEP Credits?

CLEP exams is one of the most trusted, standardized, and authorized examination programs. Read this article to know more about this exam and the colleges that accept this credits.

TCM Staff

27th August 2020

Are you planning to take up the CLEP exam? If yes, then we are sure you might be having questions regarding the subjects involved, benefits, and the colleges accepting CLEP credits.

CLEP is one of the most trusted, standardized, and authorized examination programs that go right by credit, and also it permits students to exhibit the knowledge they have acquired of college-level coursework to earn credit at various schools around the U.S. 

Continue to read this article to know every detail regarding the CLEP exam and analyze if this exam is suitable for you in all possible ways.

What is the CLEP Exam?

It is an exam that allows students who are seeking a degree with prior knowledge of fundamental college subjects the chance to take an exam exhibiting their knowledge rather than taking the class. It's a great way to jump-start your college education.

Here are a few important points to know about the CLEP exam.

  • The abbreviation of CLEP is the College Level Examination Program. 

  • These exams are designed and administered by The College Board.

  • The main purpose of CLEP exams is to recognize and reward the existing knowledge and to make it easier for students to earn college credit.

  • The College Board first evaluates a student’s new score, which refers to the number of questions they answered correctly. The difficulty level of the questions appearing next will depend on the correctness of the questions answered previously by the student. 

  • It is worth noting that colleges that accept CLEP exams are free to set their own minimum score requirements for granting students credit. 

  • Before registering for a CLEP exam, be sure to do your research regarding what schools accept the exams and which subjects are permitted.

  • Students can take up this exam throughout the year at more than 2,000 test center locations across the nation. The examination fee is $89 and it is waived off for military service members.

  • You will have 6 months validity to take your exam once you register for a test conducted online. Note that students can select an institution to receive their CLEP scores for free at the time of registration. 

  • It includes both multiple-choice and essay questions. The duration of time required to complete the test is between 90 and 120 minutes. The ranging of the score is said to be between 20 and 80. 50 is the minimum requirement for a passing grade. 

  • Multiple-choice questions are evaluated by the computer itself and the essays are evaluated by college English professors who have been specially selected by the College Board.    

What are the topics covered by the CLEP exam?

CLEP Exams cover the subject matter areas of composition and literature, world languages, history, and social sciences, science and mathematics, and business. This is a list of CLEP exams sorted by subject area, followed by the credits offered for each exam. 

Currently, 35 CLEP exams offered by the College Board are divided into five categories which are as mentioned below.

  • Composition and literature

  • World languages

  • History and social sciences

  • Science and mathematics

  • Business

The subjects involved are mentioned in the table below.

Subjects covered by the CLEP exam

Analyzing and Interpreting Literature


Western Civilization I




Western Civilization II

College Algebra

Principles of Management

College Composition

Natural Sciences

Introductory Business Law

College Mathematics

History of the United States I

History of the United States II


Spanish with Writing

College Composition Modular

Human Growth and Development

Spanish Language

American Government

German Language

Introduction to Psychology

Financial Accounting

Principles of Marketing

Principles of Macroeconomics

Introductory Sociology

Principles of Microeconomics

American Literature

French Language

Introductory Psychology


Social Sciences and History

English Literature

What are the benefits of taking a CLEP exam?

CLEP exams are beneficial to students in various ways and for those with diverse backgrounds, interests, and motives. It is for homeschoolers who are interested in maximizing their high school years by earning college credit using exams.

Now let us discuss how exactly taking a CLEP exam is beneficial to you. 

Spend less on your college education

The examination fee for this exam is $85 and it can be taken throughout the year.

If a student passes five CLEP exams that allow the student to avoid 15 credit hours, that will be equivalent to $425 for the exams rather than $8,910 for the credit hours.

Graduate early

According to data recorded by the College Board, students who have completed before course evaluation such as CLEP have graduated in very less time when compared to their classmates or friends of the same age who did not take up the test. 

Concentrate on the subjects that matter

Many times the courses don’t certainly relate to their chosen major.

Students who victoriously clear the CLEP exam can get subjects that don’t relate to their major out of the way and instead concentrate on the subjects in which they are interested and willing to pursue a career.

Special benefits for those who are in Military 

In cooperation with the Defense Activity for active service members, spouses and civilian employees of many branches of the military can take CLEP exams and have the $85 fee waived.

These students are eligible to take the exam at off-base and on-base centers.

Which Colleges Accept CLEP Credits?

Currently, CLEP offers 34 different exams with the credits accepted at more than 2,900 colleges and universities. Here is a list of a few academic institutions that offer CLEP credits.


It provides students the opportunity to achieve college credit, save money, move into upper-level coursework quickly and also to graduate faster. For each of the exams taken and passed, students can earn 3 to 12 college credits.

By receiving credits from this exam you will be able to attain a self-awarded scholarship to college.

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