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Frequently Asked Questions about CLEP*

There is a lot of mystery surrounding CLEP*, which is really surprising since it has been around since 1967 and has been used by millions of students! Most people have never heard of CLEP*, much less know how it can be used to "test out" of significant portions of your degree. Let's look at some of the most common questions:

What is CLEP?

CLEP stands for College Level Examination Program and consists of 34 different subject exams that are worth college credit. Basically, you take a subject exam, such as Introductory Psychology, and earn college credit for that class. You can read a much more comprehensive overview of CLEP in our article, "What is CLEP?"

What are the 34 subjects offered by CLEP?

There are five main categories of CLEP exams: Composition and Literature, World Languages (i.e. French, Spanish, and German), History and Social Sciences, Science and Mathematics, and Business. You can see the full list of CLEP exams on the official Collegeboard website.

What is on the CLEP exam?

Each CLEP exam is designed to cover what you would learn in a standard one-semester (or in some cases, two-semester) college class on the subject. For a topic outline for a specific CLEP exam, choose from our list of CLEP Exam Study Guides.

How much does a CLEP exam cost?

The CLEP exam currently costs $89. This is separate from the fee charged by most test centers to administer the test (usually around $25).

Where do you take the CLEP exam?

CLEP exams are administered at official test centers. You can usually find a test center in one of the colleges near you. Use the CollegeBoard Test Center Search tool to see what your options are.

Can you take the CLEP exam online?

CLEP exams are administered in-person at an official college test center. There is no way to take the exam online. To find a test center near you, check the CollegeBoard Test Center Search tool.

How do you register to take a CLEP exam?

Go to the Official CollegeBoard Website and choose "Register for a CLEP Exam" to choose your exams and pay for them. Currently, the price of a CLEP exam is $89. You will then have to create an account so that you can log in and print out your registration ticket to take with you the day of the exam.

How many questions are on the CLEP test?

The number of questions varies based on the subject, but generally, you can expect around 90-100 questions on the exam, usually with a 90-minute time limit.

How is the CLEP exam scored?

Your score will range from 20 to 80, with the ACE-recommended passing score being 50. This is a scaled score, not a percentage score, meaning the Collegeboard has an internal scale for each exam determining how many questions you can get wrong and achieve a passing score.

How many questions can you get wrong on the CLEP exam?

There is no way to know how many questions you can miss and still achieve a passing score. All CLEP exams have a passing score of 50 (out of 80), but this is a scaled score, which means that the Collegeboard establishes a grading scale based on how other test-takers have performed.

Can you get a letter grade for CLEP?

No, the exam will show up on your college transcript as Pass or Fail. That means whether you get a minimum passing score or the maximum score, the grade that shows up on your transcript will be the same.

What happens if you fail a CLEP exam?

The Collegeboard mandates a 3-month waiting period for retaking an exam. Generally, the failed exam does not show up on your school transcript.

How do you study for a CLEP test

There are many options when it comes to CLEP prep. Check out our article at "How do I Study for CLEP?"

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Steven Gloer
InstantCert Co-Founder

Steven is one of the co-founders of InstantCert and is constantly looking for new ways to leverage technology to make learning more efficient and productive. Reach out to him with your ideas, stories, and questions by sending an email to webmaster@instantcert.com.

* CLEP is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.

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