How and Where do I Take CLEP* Exams?
UPDATE: CLEP exams can now be taken online. To learn more: How to Take Your CLEP Exam Online.
Once you have figured out which exams you are interested in and have confirmed with your school that they will award credit for those exams, there are a couple of things you will need to do before you can actually take the exams.
Step 1: Find a test center nearby
There are over 2,000 test centers for CLEP. If you live near a major city in the United States, you should have no trouble finding one close to you. However, if you live in the countryside or in a foreign country, the chances of finding a test center that is conveniently located (or any test center at all) go down dramatically. Before making big plans for using CLEP to finish your degree, check the CollegeBoard Test Center Search tool to see what your options are.
Not all test centers are open to everyone. Some only accept students from the college where the test center is located; others are on military bases and are only for military personnel. Be sure to check with the test center you are interested in to make sure you are eligible to take exams there.
Step 2: Register and pay for your exams
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.
When you are registering for your exam, you can choose a college you want the score report sent to at no additional cost. Or if you prefer, you can skip this step and at any time in the future, the CollegeBoard will send a CLEP transcript to your college for $20.
Step 3: Schedule your exam date
Check your test center's website for their scheduling policy. Most test centers nowadays will allow you to schedule online while others still require you to call or send an email. Do not wait until the last minute to schedule your exam as many test centers have limited testing slots and only administer exams on specific days and times. You will also need to ask what the test administration fee is (separate from the CLEP registration fee you paid). This fee varies between test centers and you may have to pay with cash or a check.
I often recommend to students that they schedule their CLEP exam before they even start studying. Having a concrete deadline can act as a great motivator to "get it done," and if you need more time, you can always reschedule your exam.
The day of the exam
Be sure to take your registration ticket, the test administration fee, and your ID. Try to arrive early so that you can start your exam as relaxed as possible. If you have done the proper preparation, there is nothing to stress about -- trust in your abilities. When you finish your exam, the software will tell you your score (unless your exam included essays). Good luck!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
* CLEP is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.