This is a guest post, written by Madison Hughes, homeschool graduate and college senior. This post is part 4 of a 4-part series on CLEP tests for homeschooled students. Find the rest of the series below.
- What is a CLEP Test and Who Should Take It?
- What Do I Need to Know Before Choosing a CLEP Test?
- How Do I Prepare For My CLEP Test?
The popularity of CLEP tests is currently on the rise, and you may have heard about them from friends or acquaintances as a way to earn college credit. Homeschoolers especially can take advantage of this easy method. This 4-part series will guide you through learning about and choosing a CLEP test, studying for and taking a CLEP test, and transferring CLEP credit to a college. In part 1, we explained what exactly a CLEP exam is and how to determine if it is right for you or your student. In part 2, discussed how to consider your options and choose a CLEP exam. In part 3, talked about how to prepare for your test. Now we will finally discuss scheduling and taking your exam.
Ok, at this point you’ve learned about CLEP tests, chosen a subject, studied hard, and now you think you’re finally ready to take your exam! What next?
As we learned before, CLEP tests are given at designated testing centers in many locations across the country. To find a nearby location, use this link and enter your zipcode. Once you have found a conveniently located testing center, you will need to get in contact with them directly either by phone or via email. If you aren’t sure who specifically to contact, the college’s registrar should either be able to help you out or at least point you in the right direction.
When setting up a test date, be sure to understand that most centers are located on college campuses and that the computer lab is probably being used for other functions as well. With this in mind, know that when you book an appointment it may need to be a couple of weeks in advance. For your first CLEP test, I would recommend booking your appointment only when you feel ready to take the test now even if you end up with a wait time. In the future, you may be able to figure out how to time it so that you book your test date when you aren’t yet ready, but are prepared by the time of the exam.
In addition to scheduling a date and time, be sure to ask your testing center about methods of payment. CLEP tests cost $80 each and most testing centers charge a proctoring fee of $20 or less. Some locations may have a pay-in-advance voucher system, while some may require you to pay before the test. Additionally, ask about what all you need to bring with you to your test. Most tests will not need or allow scratch paper, but your center should provide scratch paper for you if needed. You may need a calculator for some exams. For any exam, you will need a photo ID and your social security number.
Be sure to get to the testing center early as, typically, late entry is not allowed. Your exam will probably be given in a computer lab. The center’s staff will help you to get set up and you will answer a short questionnaire about your CLEP experience before viewing a demo on how to use the program. You will also have the opportunity to choose one or more colleges that will receive your CLEP score. If you are currently attending college or know what college you want to attend, use this opportunity to make your selection now in order to save trouble later. If you’re not yet sure where you should send your scores, leave the form blank. CLEP will retain your scores for 20 years and you can have a transcript sent to any school at any time for a marginal fee.
Tests are 90 minutes long and generally contain between 80 and 120 questions. You will be able to see time elapsed and time remaining with the program in use. When you finish and before your score is revealed, you will have the opportunity to void the test if you felt that you did very poorly. If you choose this option, you will not be shown your score but can retest again at any time. If you choose to see your score, it is automatically reported and, if you did not pass, you will not be able to retest for 90 days. If you complete the exam early, you may quietly leave – you don’t have to stay for the rest of the allotted time.
You did it! You took (and hopefully passed) your first CLEP test. If you didn’t report your score to a specific college, you can do this at any time by contacting CLEP customer service at 800-257-9558. You will be charged a fee of $30 per transcript, and each transcript will include all reported CLEP scores for that student. If you did report your scores to one or more colleges, they should receive and add them to your transcript within 6 weeks. You can contact the registrar’s office of the college with questions or concerns.
And that’s a wrap! I hope this series has been helpful. CLEP tests have really helped to give me a leg up in the world of college, so I hope that they can do the same for you! If you still have any questions that were left unanswered, feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you ASAP.