What is the CLEP exam?
I will be entering my junior year of high school this fall, and for a while I thought about getting involved in a dual credit program at a local community college so that I could get ahead on college credit, however I have recently found that there might be a more efficient way to do this, and that is through the CLEP exam. I was just wondering if there is anything else I should know about the CLEP exam before I consider taking it.
Another question that I have is, do I already need to know what college I am going to before I start taking CLEP tests? From what I have read it sounds like I need to know what college I want to go to so that I can decide whether or not it would be worth taking certain CLEP exams since some colleges don't accept credit that has been earned through the CLEP program. At the moment I have no idea what college I would like to go, and I don't know what I want to major in either. Would taking the CLEP exam be worth my time?
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There actually is a website in which they advertise "Freshman Year for Free" essentially meaning if you take enough of these courses then you can transfer these courses to colleges that accept CLEP and skip your freshman year. It's modernstates.org. I actually have taken a test through them and it actually does not cost you anything. The only catch is that you have to take the course offered through their website to receive their test voucher. Once you receive this voucher, you present it at your test site and the test site prompts you to pay a $15 or $20 fee (I don't remember how much I had to pay), but this money is paid back to you as long as you pass and send them your receipt. Your reimbursement check comes in the mail within two to three weeks. I feel that it's not that bad as they are paying the cost of $100 for you to take this test. It was beneficial to me because I was able to pass the test by just passing my Honors Bio class in Freshman year and the course is pretty easy to complete. Just keep in mind that not every college accepts CLEP, so when looking at prospective colleges check if they accept CLEP, and if so, which exams because you don't want to have "taken the exams for nothing".
CLEP is like AP exams. Except you will not be in a class and have to shell out about a hundred dollars per exam (there is no fee waiver). They will give you college credit but the fact that classes are not offered may make this harder. The CLEP exams do cover more but you will probably get the same courses covered by AP or Dual Credit. In my opinion, this feels like the College Board is just laundering money with this. You will not get experience dealing with being in a college classroom and although passing a few of those required classes sounds fun... I see no reason to do so through CLEP as all it offers is the chance (yes, THE CHANCE) to skip that college class.
If you are low-income, just don't do it. That hundred dollar bill is better spent anywhere else. If you are low-income, just do AP. There is zero debate around that. Just none. Do the AP/ DC stuff in high school (to satisfy pre-major stuff) and that's it. CLEP can leave your mind and you'd be alright.
If money is no object, sign up for them. Do the ones AP/ DC will cover (again, try to cover as many pre-requisites your major will require). CLEP can fill in what is left.
Again, the exams will not offer an experience of working in a classroom and since you will be shelling out $80 or so dollars for every test, don't take tests because you feel like it.