Save time and money, graduate quicker with CLEP tests

Regina Garcia Cano

Money and time are concerns for most college students; however, Kent State offers an option to save both.

Instead of wasting a whole semester in a class students know they’ll pass with flying colors, the university allows the opportunity to test out of a class.

Kent State awards academic credit for examinations offered by the College Level Examination Program. The program is run by The College Board, the same organization responsible for organizing the Scholastic Aptitude Test and the Advanced Placement program.

The CLEP test is a computer based exam that allows students to demonstrate their knowledge in a particular subject, said Deborah Cartell, academic testing coordinator.

The scores for the 90 minutes test range from 20 to 80, Cartel said. Kent State goes by the American Council of Education recommended cut-off score of 50, which is equivalent to a C. With a score of 50 or above, the student will receive academic credit, she said. Students receive their scores right after

completing the test.


90 minutes, the length of a CLEP test

50 score needed to receive credit

20 different CLEP subjects available

$15 registration fee for a CLEP test

$65 fee due on CLEP test day

400 students a year take CLEP tests

“It (the test) just gives you hours of credit, but nothing is computed in your GPA. Nothing is put on your record if you fail the test,” Cartell said. “You can retry, but the CLEP policy is that you have to wait six months before you would retest.”

CLEP offers examinations in more than 20 subjects. Cartell said the university grants credit for all but four: English composition, educational psychology, financial accounting, and information systems and computer applications.

Students cannot test out of a course when they have already achieved a grade at a higher level, even if the grade is a W, Cartell said.

The Career Services Center offers the examinations throughout the academic year and the summer, Cartell said. It is suggested to register four weeks in advance. Students need to complete a registration form and pay a $15 registration fee to Kent State. On the test day students pay a $65 fee to CLEP.

“It saves the students a lot of time and money. We have adult students who take it, not necessarily the freshmen that are referred by PASS,” Cartell said. “We have a study guide in our office that tells the students what percentage of the test is based on what specific category.”

Copies of the study guide are available for free to students.

Ayesh Butt, sophomore biology major, took the Spanish examination and received eight credit hours for her score.

“It’s a pretty decent test and is not that tricky – it’s pretty fair,” she said. “I would definitely recommend it because it’s saving me thousands of dollars and is giving a lot of credit hours which is saving me time. I think it’s a really good deal.”

Cartell said an average of 400 students a year take the CLEP test at the university.

She said according to CLEP, the test center located in the Michael Schwartz Center is in the top 100 CLEP test centers in the United States.

Contact features correspondent Regina Garcia Cano at [email protected].