The college journey can be a time-consuming, grueling, and difficult process. Also, it’s very expensive. College courses require some time and discipline and, at times, your wallet will take a blow. Sometimes, you might find yourself taking a course that’s absolutely required, only to discover that the course is extremely familiar to you and some classes may feel like a waste as you basically review information that wasn’t forgotten.
Many of us have been there. It sucks because the time used for that class could have easily been used to study, take a different class, or (dare I say) relax.
But what if I told you that there’s a potential way out? Under some circumstances, it is possible to virtually opt out of class while still receiving credit. How? Well, you can utilize CLEP.
CLEP stands for College-level Examination Program. Essentially, CLEP is a very detailed test that a student can take in order to demonstrate their proficiency in a given subject. Rather than waste an entire semester taking a class that didn’t teach you anything new, you could basically test out while still receiving the credit.
While not limited to these types of questions, CLEP examinations are mainly composed of multiple choice. It should be noted that the type of questions will also be based on the subject matter. For example, if you are taking a language examination in a subject like German, you may be required to write essays of fill in answers.
The question remains: why should I bother with CLEP? How can it benefit me? There are two advantages that I believe may interest some of you: less time to graduate and less money spent. While typically earning a bachelor’s degree can take the average student about 6 years, it is estimated that students who took advantage of CLEP saved around 3-10 months. Also, consider that while a college credit can cost you around $250.00 (depending on the school and type of course), a CLEP examination only costs you about $80.00.
Additionally, it’s possible that your grade may take less of a blow too (if maintaining a target GPA is a high-priority concern for you). According to the study: Fueling the race to PostSecondary Success, students that completed CLEP ended up having better academic outcomes than students without it. Essentially, these students spent less time obtaining their degree and had higher graduation rates.
Now, while all of these statistics may sound great, it’s worth noting that there are some questions and considerations to assess before attempting to participate in CLEP. The first thing to consider is whether your college accepts CLEP and how they will apply the credits from the program. Not all colleges and universities accept the exams. Also, be considerate of your future plans.
If your goal is to be in a career like accounting or education—careers that require specific credit hours before you can take an exam—CLEP may not prove to be a great option. Furthermore, it’s extremely important to consider your learning style and how it will affect your CLEP examination. Ask yourself: am I someone that can effectively self-teach? Are standardized tests an area of strength or weakness for me? Do I have other obligations that may hinder my self-teaching?
These questions can help determine if the standard college class is more suitable.
In any case, these are all just options to be used at your discretion. Be sure to review your school’s policies if CLEP interests you! Have you ever heard of CLEP or is this new to you? Let me know in the comments section below! And, as usual, thanks for reading!