CLEP Exams

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The College Level Exam Program or CLEP can be a true money and time saver to students. By passing a CLEP exam, a student can earn 3 to 12 college credits.

Benefits of Taking a CLEP Exam

Get Ahead

Complete the course of study faster. This can be a huge benefit to military spouses since the average military family will PCS every three years.

Save Money

For example, if a 3 hour course cost $100 per credit hour then the course would cost $300. Therefore, a student who passes one CLEP exam  has the opportunity to save $300, not including textbooks, materials, commuting cost, or daycare if applicable.  If a school will accept 12 credit hours for CLEP, then a student could save up to $1,200 just for coursework.

Does not Require College Enrollment

The test taker does not have to be enrolled in college to take the exams, allowing them to prepare and take an exam at their own pace.

Subjects Covered by CLEP

There are 33 CLEP exams that cover five subject areas, giving ample possibilities to maximize the number of courses to be obtained.

For a complete list of topic areas visit the CLEP site at

Verify the School Will Accept a CLEP Exam

It is extremely important to verify with the school what CLEP exam they are willing to accept for a course. CLEP has made it simple to research which schools support CLEP.

Enter the school name or country/state to search.  Once the search returns with options, it provides the school contact information and a link to the school’s CLEP policy. Also, the search will show the required score for each CLEP exam that is needed in order for the test to be accepted for a course.

How to Study for a CLEP Exam

Studying for the CLEP Exam can be as easy as taking 30 minutes a day to go through the course  with a CLEP guide. One such guide is , United States History I: Homeschooling for college Credits Learning Guide.  Our family has used this guide for two of our children, and as a result has  succeeded in passing the subsequent exam.

The CLEP site also offers study materials and guides to help prepare.  When looking to register for an exam, there is a chance to purchase a study guide.  The cost of a guide is $10 for a PDF file, or you can purchase a printed guide for $25.  If are interested in obtaining a study guide also check out Amazon, or used book sites like Thriftbooks.

How to Register for a CLEP Exam

Registering for a CLEP Exam is as easy as 1-2-3.

Go to the CLEP site at

Select “Register for a CLEP Exam.”

Select a location and sign up!

How to Pay for a CLEP Exam

When registering for the exam, you can pay for the exam with a credit or debit card. The cost of each exam is $80.

Defense Activity for Nontraditional Education Support (DANTES) fund exams for the following groups:

  • Military personnel (active duty, reserve, National Guard): Army, Navy, Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, Army Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Navy Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, Army, and Air National Guard.
  • Spouses and civilian employees of: Air Force* (civilian employees only), Air Force Reserve, Army Reserve, Coast Guard (active and reserve)

*Information obtained from*

Final Thoughts

While attending college, I was unaware of CLEP Exams. No one at the school I attended even mentioned that I could possibly be exempt from some of the core classes. Trust me, I would have taken advantage of such an opportunity.  Between PCS moves and daycare challenges, I ended up taking  American Literature twice.  I would have much rather taken a CLEP exam, which would have saved me time and money.  I hope this information is helpful to military families looking to expand their education.   


Education Advocate-3


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