As many high school students consider their options after graduation, more and more are choosing to pursue distance learning. One of the most versatile of the distance learning methods is the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), which allows students to achieve college credit by demonstrating their knowledge through testing. However, this program is not restricted to graduates; many students pursue CLEP credit while still in high school, and go on to enter college with multiple credits already earned.
Although CLEP credit is accepted by a majority of universities, it’s important to check the policies of the school your student is interested in attending, so that you comply with their requirements. Testing centers are located at many major universities and in many cities, and you can find the one closest to you by visiting the CLEP website.
There are several ways to find out whether your student knows enough to take a CLEP test. One way is to follow behind your child and track what they have learned naturally from their studies. Many prolific readers acquire knowledge this way. Our youngest son, who read economics books all the time, learned this way, so we gave him a sample economics CLEP test, and he passed it. Then we knew that he could pass the actual CLEP test and get credit for what he knew.
Another way to know whether your child has the required knowledge to earn credit is to plan ahead. With this method, you decide in advance that you want your child to learn a specific class, like Psychology. Purchase books, resources and study materials, and let child study for the subject test. Once you are sure that they can pass it, register for them to take that CLEP test at your local testing center.
There are two different study guides that will be helpful to you, both in learning about CLEP and determining whether your child is ready to test. The first one is the “CLEP Official Study Guide” which gives you a very general assessment. It has one sample test in each of the different subject areas available. This book will give you a quick assessment of whether your child can pass a particular CLEP test.
After you determine that your student will pass a subject test, in depth preparation is the next step for test success. The second book, the CLEP study guide for the particular test subject, is the next resource you will want. There are different brands available, but the one that I preferred was the “REA Study Guide.” These seemed to be the easiest to use, and they received the highest rankings for being the most accurate.
Make sure that your student is ready to take the test before they try, because once they take it, they must wait 6 months before taking it again if they don’t pass the first time. For complete information on CLEP, check out their website at http://www.collegeboard.com.
Lastly, don’t forget to give your student high school credit when they pass a CLEP test! If they have demonstrated a college amount of knowledge, they should definitely get credit for it on their high school transcript.