How to CLEP a Class: A Comprehensive Guide

If you have recently been interested in earning a college degree, but lack the availability to go to school full time, you may have come across CLEP throughout your research. For those of you who wish to know exactly how to CLEP a class, this comprehensive guide is perfect for you!

To help you achieve your goal of earning a degree, we have created this comprehensive guide on how to CLEP a class, which includes detailed information to common questions, such as:

  1. What does it mean to CLEP a class?

  2. Who can take a CLEP exam?

  3. Who is considered a DANTES-funded individual?

  4. Is taking a CLEP exam right for you?

  5. How do you take a CLEP exam?

  6. What are the requirements to take a remote proctored CLEP exam?

  7. Is there any reason why you can’t take a CLEP exam?

  8. How many classes can you CLEP out of?

Each of these questions is not only valid, but they each provoke quite a bit of thought! While it is true that there may be a lot of ground to cover, during your time reading this article, we will answer each of these questions in as much detail as possible to provide you with the most comprehensive guide available on the internet!

What Does it Mean To CLEP a Class?

The College-Level Examination Program, or more commonly referred to as CLEP, was designed to help those who had previous experience or knowledge in college-level subject matter earn a degree in a timelier, and more cost-efficient, the manner by testing out of certain courses.

This knowledge can come from a variety of sources, such as; advanced placement high school classes, previous job experience, independent study, non-credit courses that you have taken, or even any online research you have done as long as it pertains to the CLEP exam you wish to take!

Each of the CLEP exams, which are currently accepted as credit hours at over 2,900 accredited college institutions around the United States, covers course material from an introductory-level college class. These CLEP exams can earn you a minimum of 3 credit hours per course, or up to 12 credit hours per course depending on the school you are attending, which can help you both earn your degree faster and help you avoid paying for classes you may not need to take!

How to CLEP a Class: A Comprehensive Guide

It is highly recommended to check with your school’s CLEP credit policy to find out which courses you can CLEP out of and the minimum score required to earn credit for those courses. The American Council on Education, or more commonly known as the ACE, has recommended that a score of 50 or higher constitutes a passing grade on the exam; although, each school is permitted to implement a unique CLEP credit policy and therefore have different scoring standards.

Once you have checked your school’s CLEP policy, you are then able to select the exams you wish to take and register for each of them individually. After registration is completed, you can then schedule a date and time to take the test in person at a registered CLEP testing facility! It is possible to take a remote proctored CLEP exam, however, there will be more on that later!

Now that you know exactly what it means to CLEP a class, we can move on to the next question in our list: exactly who can take a CLEP exam?

Who Can Take a CLEP Exam?

With what it means to CLEP a class out of the way, you may now be wondering who exactly is eligible to take a CLEP exam, and more than likely, are you able to take one?

Debuting in 1967, CLEP was intended for use by active-duty service members of the military and armed forces, as well as any adult students who wished to pursue a college education without taking away from any career obligations or family responsibilities.

How to CLEP a Class: A Comprehensive Guide

Today, however, anyone and everyone who wishes to pursue a college education while saving time and money is more than welcome to register for, and take, an exam at any official testing facility! While there are no real restrictions for an in-person test, there are only 2 if you would like to take a remote version of the exam.

Those 2 requirements are:

  • You must be at least 13-years old living within the United States or a territory of the US, or
  • You must be DANTES-funded if you do not meet the location requirement (read on for more information)

For those who wish to take a remote-proctored CLEP exam, you must first ensure that you can meet all the remote proctoring eligibility requirements (more on those in a bit!). But before we get to that, let’s discuss who can be considered DANTES-funded!

Who is Considered a DANTES-Funded Individual?

Since you now know who can take a CLEP exam to earn credit for a class, after learning of the optional DANTES-funded individual requirement, you may be wondering exactly who those people are.

DANTES is an agency of the Department of Defense that can provide financial assistance to active-duty military personnel, and in some circumstances their families, to be able to pursue a college education during any stage of their service.

To help clarify, a complete list of those who are eligible to be funded, as well as a complete list of those who are not eligible to be funded by DANTES are both listed below!

Individuals Eligible for DANTES-Funding

Any active-duty personnel, as well as the National Guard and any Reserve components, serving in any branch of the military, are eligible to receive DANTES-funding on any on or off-base fully funded CLEP testing facilities. However, these individuals are only able to receive funding for the exam fee if the testing facility is not a fully funded CLEP testing facility.

If your husband or wife happens to be in the US Coast Guard, then you are eligible to receive DANTES funding as well, with the same limitations as active-duty military members! For those of you who are DOD-employed civilians for the Air Force, both CONUS and OCONUS exams are funded by DANTES and can be taken at either an on or off-base fully funded testing facility.

Each eligible individual will be funded for only one attempt on each of the exams, and if not passed, will be required to personally pay any costs or fees associated with the re-examination.

Individuals Ineligible for DANTES-Funding

Unfortunately, any dependents of active-duty military personnel are not eligible to receive DANTES-funding, as well as any veterans, or inactive members of the National Guard or Reserve military components.

Spouses of any active-duty branches, other than the Coast Guard, and spouses of any reserve member are also not eligible to be funded by DANTES. Other than Air Force civilian DOD employees, no other branch’s civilian civil service employees are eligible to receive funding for CONUS or OCONUS exams.

Now that you are aware of who DANTES will find to take CLEP examinations, we can focus on another important question: is taking a CLEP exam right for you?

Is Taking a CLEP Exam Right for You?

After all of that information, you may have already decided that taking a CLEP exam could be beneficial for you; however, you may still be wondering if it’s the right thing for you.

While there may be no restrictions to taking a CLEP exam at a testing facility, you may still be wondering if taking one of these exams is the most beneficial to you or not. Below is a list of commonly asked questions to help you determine whether or not you should be inclined to take one of the CLEP exams!

  1. Does the school you attend or are planning to attend, accept credits earned through CLEP in the exam you may be interested in?
  2. Will taking one of these CLEP exams fulfill any prerequisites for the degree you are interested in earning?
  3. Have you gained any knowledge, or have any previous experience in any of the CLEP exam subject areas, whether it be formal or informal knowledge or training?
  4. Are you wanting to earn a degree and would like to find ways to lower your projected tuition fees?
  5. Is there any reason you may need, or want, to shorten the amount of time it will take to earn a degree in your field?
  6. Do you have any obligations or responsibilities, such as taking care of your family and/or a full-time career, that requires you to be more flexible in attending college classes?
  7. Are you able to qualify for DANTES-funding to help you with your education?

After carefully considering each of the questions above, if you have answered yes to at least one, if not more, then a CLEP exam may be exactly what you need to get a jump start on earning credits towards your college degree! However, you may now be wondering how exactly you will take a CLEP exam.

How to CLEP a Class: A Comprehensive Guide

How Do You Take a CLEP Exam?

Now that you have determined you should take a CLEP exam to earn a few extra credits towards your degree and save some time while doing so, we can talk about how you take a CLEP exam.

All individuals, whether remotely proctored exams or in person at official CLEP testing facilities will take their exams on a computer, and each exam contains approximately 120 multiple-choice questions. It is very common for most individuals to spend anywhere from 90–120 minutes to complete an exam, depending on the subject.

To better help fit your schedule, CLEP exams are available to be taken year-round at more than 2,000 official testing facilities worldwide! After you have taken your exam, you will receive your exam scores immediately upon completion of the exam. The only exception to this is if you are taking an exam for College Composition or Spanish with writing involved.

Remember to check with your academic advisor or counselor to find out more on how a CLEP exam can better fit into your degree plan, as well as which method would be best for you.

For those of you who are interested in taking a remote-proctored CLEP exam, in the following section, we will discuss all of the eligibility requirements of taking a remotely-proctored exam!

More tips about CLEP HERE.

What Are the Requirements To Take a Remote Proctored CLEP Exam?

Before we get too far into detail, we just want to express that the remotely proctored version of the CLEP exam is the same as the standard version taken at an official testing facility in every way. The only difference is that CLEP works with a secure online service, called Proctortrack, that provides identity verification of the individual taking the remotely proctored exam.

That being said, there are a few general limitations on who is eligible to take the remotely proctored version as well as quite a few specific requirements that go along with those. As stated previously, the only basic eligibility requirements are:

  • You must be at least 13 years of age or older and live within the United States or a territory of the United States; and/or
  • You are a DANTES-funded individual

With the more basic requirements out of the way, we can move on to the more specific ones, such as equipment and environmental requirements!

Equipment Requirements for Remote Proctoring

  • Your PC desktop or laptop that you intend to use to take your exam must run Windows 10 operating system; Mac, Chromebook, tablets, and/or smart devices are not allowed
  • You must be able to use administrative privileges
  • The internet browser on your PC must be Chrome that is running version 80.0 or newer
  • You are not permitted to use dual screen computers or multiple monitors
  • An internal or external speaker is required to take your exam, headphones or headsets of any kind are not allowed
  • You are required to use either an internal or external microphone; remember, headsets won’t be able to be used
  • A webcam or internally built camera that can move in a 360-degree field of view as well as show the desktop you are using before your exam
  • Install the official ETS Online Test program application to your PC
  • Must also fulfill the Proctortrack requirements (details below!)

Environmental Requirements for Remote Proctoring

  • The room you are using must be private, and you must be alone throughout the entirety of your exam
  • Your space should be free of any material that could help you during your exam
  • You are not permitted to take your exam in a public place, such as an internet cafe or library
  • The PC and keyboard you intend to use must sit on a desk or similar tabletop surface
  • Your desk and the surrounding area should be clear of all prohibited items
  • No food or drink is allowed during the exam
  • You must use a standard desk or table chair; you are not permitted to use a recliner, lie on a bed, or sit on a couch
  • Any note-taking must be done on either a whiteboard or transparent piece of a page protector with a dry erase marker and must be erased before the completion of your exam

Proctortrack System Requirements

  • PC must run Windows 10 or newer operating system
  • You should have at least 8 GB of RAM or more
  • A dual-core processor with 2.4 GHz of CPU or more is required
  • Use Google Chrome as your default web browser, running at least version 80.0 or newer
  • Must have the Javascript plugin and Third-Party cookies enabled
  • A camera with at least 800×600, if not higher, pixel resolution
  • You must have either an internal or external microphone
  • An internet connection with at least 1.5 MBPS download speed; a DSL, cable modem, or better is recommended

Please take notice that if you do not have either of the approved surfaces for note-taking, you will either not be allowed to take notes during your test or you may be required to reschedule the exam.

After this much information, you may have realized that taking a CLEO exam is a good option, whether in person or remotely proctored, but you may wonder if there are any reasons why an individual can’t take a CLEP exam.

Is There Any Reason Why You Can’t Take a CLEP Exam?

If you meet all the eligibility requirements, there is no reason why you should not be able to take a CLEP exam, whether it is an in-person or remotely proctored version. However, depending on the circumstances, you may not be able to receive credit for one or more CLEP exams.

For instance, some colleges will not grant any credit for a CLEP exam if you have already taken a creditable college-level course closely related to that specific test subject. In other instances, most colleges will not grant credit for a CLEP exam if you have previously failed a class that directly relates to the test subject.

As another example, if you have completed a course at another college or university, whether or not you have earned the credits for that course, you will not earn any credit for CLEP exams at a different institution.

While in most circumstances you can apply your CLEP exam credits towards some of your school’s core curriculum requirements, it is highly recommended to speak with your academic advisor or guidance counselor before taking your exam. This will ensure you are aware of exactly what credits you will earn towards your degree, or if you will be exempt from taking a class without receiving any credits for them.

How Many Classes Can You CLEP Out Of?

There are a total of 34 CLEP exams that are currently available to eligible students which are categorized into five different areas of study, which include: literature and composition, business, social sciences and history, science and math, and world languages.

These exams can earn you anywhere from 3 to 12 credit hours per exam, which can then be transferred for use at an accredited college or university to earn your degree. In most instances, a minimum of 120 credit hours is required to earn an undergraduate degree in any area of study.

While most college institutions will grant credit for all CLEP exams, it is highly recommended to speak with your academic advisor to ensure you are aware of their specific CLEP credit policy for a maximum limit on passable exams. Some college CLEP policies may only allow one CLEP credit per area of study.

There are, however, some institutions that do not have any residency requirements and, due to this, all 120 credit hours can effectively come from CLEP examinations! However, it is still highly recommended to do further research to verify the school’s CLEP exam credit policy to ensure how many credit hours it takes to earn a degree, as well as the limit to CLEP earned credit hours.

An example of one of these institutions is Excelsior College, where the only prerequisite is you pay approximately $1,500 to become enrolled as a student. Once this has been completed, you can transfer all of the CLEP credits you have received and after a short review period, graduate with an undergraduate degree of your choosing.

With all of the detailed information that we have provided in this comprehensive guide, you now have all of the knowledge needed on how to CLEP a class and all of the benefits of doing so!

Related Questions

1. How much does it cost to take a CLEP exam?

All CLEP examinations cost a total of $89, however, some test centers may require an additional fee for administrative purposes.

2. Are there any funding options available for a CLEP exam?

All CLEP exams must be paid for out of pocket by the test taker unless you are an eligible DANTES-funded individual.

3. Is there a limit to how many times you can retake a CLEP exam?

There is no limit to how many times you can retake a CLEP examination, however, some institutions may only accept the score from your first test to earn credit.

4. Does the CLEP exam registration expire?

A CLEP exam registration card will expire 6 months after the date you purchased the exam, which means you must complete testing before that date.

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