What is the CLEP?

The College Level Examination Program, also known as CLEP, is a very valuable asset to the areas of education and employability in countless lives. This integral offering of the College Board allows for educational recognition where rightfully due but not otherwise recognized by collegiate bodies. How does it all work? Let’s take a closer look at CLEP.

CLEP: The Basics

The College Level Examination Program is essentially a testing system for aptitude and knowledge across a number of important subjects. Its purpose is to test for college-level aptitude in the test-taker. When the test-taker passes a subject area of the CLEP test, they are then considered to be knowledgeable in that subject at a college level. This means that they can then be accredited in that subject as though it were taken and passed in a traditional college setting.

Related: 50 Great Schools Where High School Students Can Get College Credit

Importance and Value

The CLEP gives educational credit and merit where it is due. Perhaps someone has gained college-level knowledge and skills through personal study and work experience. In the past, this knowledge base would not be acknowledged as college-level wisdom. Even if someone had more than enough knowledge on a subject, if it was not obtained via college routes, it was worthless in the world of academia and educational requirements in employment.

Now, anyone can demonstrate their knowledge through the CLEP. No matter the source of their knowledge, if they possess it at a level comparable to college, they will pass the test and thus be accredited. The value to this proposition is priceless. Deserving people with incredible knowledge gained in the military, their personal, lives, and elsewhere can now integrate those skills back into society. Society gains greatly while simultaneously, the individual gains in circumventing repetitious and costly college courses that cover their own, pre-obtained knowledge. The advantages and value of the CLEP are thus inarguable.

Oversight and Administration

The College Board is the ultimate provider and overseer of the CLEP. Since its beginnings in 1899, the College Board has served as an official regulator and advocate of the American education system. The CLEP’s introduction and continued use today are the direct result of this organization’s efforts and ambitions in collegiate education.

Despite College Board control, administration of the actual CLEP test is always conducted on the grounds and in the care of a pre-approved college or university. The only exception to this rule is the administration of the CLEP by and for the military. The officiality of the CLEP inherently calls for the most refined parameters when it comes to the test-taking facility and administrators.

Format and Preparation

CLEP testing takes the form of individualized, 90-minute exams. Each of these exams will correspond to one academic subject. Each of the 33 available tests are composed of a thorough battery of mostly multiple choice questions and answers.

Those wishing to become prepared for CLEP testing should first consult the College Board itself on the specifics of the particular test being sought. From here, the College Board itself can offer some good study materials and resources appropriate to the path being taken. Outside of the board, there are also many publications in print that provide adequate prep information and practices. In the end however, thorough knowledge gleaned by non-college experience is the most important prep here.

The CLEP is an important part of today’s educational and employment functions. Under the care of a college or university near you, the test and its rewards are available right now. For more information on the College Level Examination Program or related matters of interest, we recommend visiting the College Board website at https://clep.collegeboard.org/.