What Is the College Level Examination Program?

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a program that enables students to earn college credit for introductory-level courses by achieving satisfactory scores on subject-specific tests. CLEP offers 33 examinations in subjects including English literature, Spanish language, American government, macroeconomics, biology, calculus, financial accounting, and more.

Understanding the College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Nearly 3,000 colleges accept the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), and universities and exams are given in more than 1,800 test centers.

A qualifying test score can earn a student three to 12 college credits, depending on the college's policy, allowing students to save money on tuition, skip unnecessary courses and speed up graduation. Students do not need previous academic experience in a subject area to sit for an exam and earn credit, so students who have acquired knowledge through independent study, on-the-job training, and other methods can take advantage of CLEP. Most exams are 90-minutes long and consist of multiple-choice questions.

Students should check with their university's policy on granting credit for specific CLEP exams before registering for, studying for, or taking any exams. In some cases, universities may exempt students from general education requirements if they pass CLEP exams in those subjects but will not actually award credit hours for satisfactory exam scores.