How Do CLEP Courses and Classes Work? 

    If you are considering taking a College Level Examination Program (CLEP) then there are a few things for you to take into consideration. A CLEP course is a great alternative to spending an entire semester in a class that you may already have some knowledge in. CLEP courses are used to prepare for the CLEP exam which is used to obtain college credits.  

A CLEP course can typically be taken online and is usually administered through a series of videos. The courses come with a syllabus and are completely self-paced. Once you have completed the course, and have taken a few practice exams, then you can take the official exam. 

How Do CLEP Courses and Classes Work? 

If you are currently enrolled in a university that accepts CLEP credits, then it is highly suggested that you participate in this course. A course like this is perfect for someone who does not have enough time to sit through a semester of class. This is the perfect opportunity for you to make the best out of your college experience and make tactical decisions when it comes to your studies. 


Understanding CLEP Courses 

The CLEP course is the course you take to prepare for the CLEP exam, you will not receive college credits simply through taking the course, you must pass the exam. It is important that you have a full understanding of how a CLEP course works, this course can bring so many benefits to students, and can even cut your graduation time significantly if done correctly. If you are someone who works a fulltime job and has little time to spend in a classroom then this is perfect for you. Military members are also eligible for getting the exam fees waived if they show proper documentation. CLEP courses are offered in many different subjects and depending on your major you may qualify for several CLEP exams.  

While you are weighing out your options there are a few things you need to make sure of when conducting research. The number one piece of information that you need to confirm is whether or not your university accepts CLEP credits, believe it or not, there are some universities that do not accept these sorts of credits, and the last thing you want to do is spend money on a course that will not benefit you. The next thing you should find out is if any of the CLEP courses can be used toward your major, the last thing you want is to take a course that will not give you applicable credits. 

With that being said CLEP courses will pave the way to a passing score on the CLEP exam which will increase your chances of graduating sooner, and also allow you to save a significant amount of money, which is great since the cost of tuition can be so high, and financial aid does not cover tuition costs for part-time students. If you are someone who works a fulltimjob or have a family to take care of but still want to obtain a degree, then this is the perfect opportunity for you. You will not need to put yourself in a situation where you need to choose between work and school. 

How CLEP Courses Work 

How Do CLEP Courses and Classes Work? 

Now that you have a full understanding of how CLEP courses work, it’s time to actually sign up for one. Luckily the process is quite easy, and it can be completed in a matter of minutes. In some cases, a CLEP course can be administered in person, a great way to find out if that is possible is by reaching out to your college advisor. However, one of the best and most effective ways to take the course is by doing it online, this is perfect for people who have a full-time job.  

There are a variety of sources online where you can take the CLEP course however the best sources are CollegeBoard or, these are the best resources for college students, these sites offer great study guides to prepare for the exam. Another great resource is the official CLEP Study Guide which offers practice exam questions for all CLEP courses. It is highly recommended that you purchase the study guide if you are looking to take multiple CLEP exams. With these resources, you will be on the right path to earning your college credits in a record amount of time. 


Breakdown of CLEP Courses 

Now that you have a full understanding of what a CLEP course has to offer, we can now break down the step by step process of this course. For the purpose of this article, we are going to provide a breakdown of a CLEP course in U.S. History 1, by doing this you will be able to fully grasp the contents of the CLEP course. Please note that although this article is covering the breakdown of a specific course the breakdown will be uniform for all courses, therefore feel free to relate these examples to any course that you are considering participating in. 

Sign Up for The CLEP Course 

Signing up for a CLEP course can be done easily and is typically done online. As stated, before we will be using a sample course for United States History 1, the length of the course may vary depending on the topic but overall it is the same. Here are six things about the course that you should know if you are still on the fence about participating. 

  1. A great resource for the online course is through This website can offer you the entire course in one place. The first thing How Do CLEP Courses and Classes Work? you should do is create an account with if you do not have one yet. Then search for CLEP courses until you have found U.S. History 1. While searching you will also be able to get a glimpse of all the CLEP courses the site has to offer. 
  2. It is also important to note that for United States History 1 you do not need any prerequisites to sign up for the exam or course. However, if you are considering taking a different course you should check the curriculum to see if a prerequisite is required. In this case knowledge of historical events in United States History is all you need. Although your previous knowledge is useful it is not required, the contents of the course a sufficient to help you pass the exam. 
  3. Next, it’s time to review the syllabus, the syllabus will tell you what topic the course will be covering, in this case, it is various aspects of United States History. Please note that the topics covered in this course will be on the exam, so you will not be wasting your time learning topics that are not on the exam.  
  4. The course itself is very self-paced and consists of 136 lessons, the amount of time for each lesson has an average of about eight minutes each. Since this course is completely self-paced you can watch as many videos as you want a day. The videos will go in-depth about each of the U.S. History topics that may be covered on the exam. At this point, your previous knowledge of U.S. History may come in handy. 
  5. This course also comes with practice exams that come at the end of each chapter so you will be able to monitor your progress along the way. By taking the practice exams you will be able to see what the official exam may be like. 
  6. The course also comes with a study guide and lets you know how much time you need to study before taking the exam. In this case, if you study two hours a day for 5 days, then you will be ready for the exam in one week or if you take out an hour and a half for three days a week then you will be ready for the exam in three weeks. 

Learn how long you should study for the FSOT here:

The great thing about this course is that you are in complete control of your own progress, and there are no surprises along the way. What you put into this course will determine what your result will be and just because it is self-paced does not mean that you should lack any dedication.  Now that you have an idea of how the course works you can make the decision of how you want to move forward, and you can weigh out its benefits. 

How Do CLEP Courses and Classes Work? 

What Happens Next? 

You’ve taken the course, and you took your time to study. Now it’s time to actually take the exam. This is another part of the process that can be done on your own terms, the exam does not have a limited date, you can take it wherever you are ready. However, if you are looking to obtain your credit as soon as possible then it is best that you take the exam at your earliest convenience.  

After you have completed the course you will need to sign up for the exam. The registration process for the CLEP exam can also be done online, and it is quite simple. You will need to go to to register for the exam, once you are in you will look for the exam that you wish to take. If you do not have a CollegeBoard account, you will need to create one which can be done in a matter of minutes. Once you have created your account you will be able to register for the exam. 

Once you have been able to register, you will need to contact the nearest testing center and schedule the exam. Since there are many testing centers across the country the schedules may vary for each. After confirming your exam date, it is advised that you continue to study until the day of the exam. 

The exam itself is about two hours long, and the questions are multiple-choice. If you took advantage of the practice exams in the course, then you will be more than ready for the official CLEP exam. As soon as the exam is completed you will receive an unofficial score from the testing center. Your official score will arrive at your university about 10-14 days after the exam has been completed, at this point, if you passed the exam the university will then apply the credits to your transcript. 

The Future Is Yours 

How Do CLEP Courses and Classes Work? 

Imagine not having to take a class that gives you homework and forces you to have to sacrifice your spring break vacation because you have to write a 20-page paper that’s due when you come back from break. The CLEP exam is the perfect opportunity for you to reach your maximum potential in a short amount of time. The course itself will allow you to cut your graduation time in half and give you the opportunity to save a large amount of money. As more people continue to go to school and work full-time jobs while pursuing their studies, the CLEP course gives us an opportunity to not have to sacrifice school or work. 

While taking this course please remember to take your time, there is no need to rush. Although completing the course might result in you obtaining your credits sooner, does not mean that the only way to succeed is through rushing. The amount of work you put into this course will result in which outcome you get. Once you complete this course and take the exam you will want to consider taking additional CLEP courses if your major allows it. Remember to take advantage of this opportunity! 


Related Questions

Can I take more than one CLEP course? 

Yes! If your major allows you to take multiple CLEP courses, then this is the perfect opportunity for you to take advantage. Many students have taken multiple CLEP courses in a semester which resulted in early graduation times and maximized savings. 


What happens if I fail the CLEP exam? 

If you fail the exam, then your failed score will stay on your record until you retake and pass the exam. You may have to wait three months to retake the exam, however, it is advised that you speak to your college advisor before taking the next steps. 

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Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.