Updated: Sep 9, 2020
Do you have children that are good independent learners and test takers? Advanced middle school students, high school students, and college students can earn college credits by taking CLEP and Advanced Placement exams for a fraction of the cost of taking the college coursework. Earning credit by exam is also a great way to capture your child’s math knowledge right after taking a math class when it is fresh in their minds.
First, consider what classes your children are already taking or will be taking for school. Find an exam that matches that content. For example, after my son took United States History online for school, he decided to take the U.S. History I CLEP exam. Purchase a study book that has practice exams to make sure they are ready for the test. We used REA because it comes with a practice CD. Then it is time to sign up for the test at a testing center close to your home (see links below). Earning credit by exam is a good dual enrollment option. I used to use the CLEP and AP exams as final exams for my son’s high school classes.
Typically it costs $125-$150 to take the exam. You pay a fee for the exam plus a fee to the testing center. Exams are administered year-round.
Currently Modern States offers CLEP exams for free if you use their study videos.
Generally, AP exams are harder but are accepted more widely at colleges. To find out what exams are accepted by which colleges, search “credit by exam” on the college website. If your child has not decided where to go to college, choose several top school potential choices and search their websites. AP exams are given in late spring.
In this day and age when states are tightening their belts for dual enrollment availability, or if you need an alternative to online learning, credit by exam is a great option for getting a leg up on college classes at a great price.
Modern States https://modernstates.org/
Advanced Placement https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/