One question I get asked (surprisingly) often is what CLEP I think someone should take. Moms asking about their kids, students of all ages asking for themselves, they all want to know what CLEP to choose, study for, and take.
I don’t know how to answer them, and if this is also your question, I’m not going to give you a cut-and-dry [ENTER EXAM TITLE] answer.
There is a lot that goes into studying and taking a CLEP exam, and there’s also quite a bit of strategy in choosing your next CLEP exam.
Here is basically what I have looked at in choosing my next CLEP exams for myself.
- Have you ever taken a CLEP exam before?
If you have, you wouldn’t want to retake any exams you’ve already passed, so all of those are off the table. If you have not, your options are open, but you may want to choose an exam on the easier side to get a feel for what the process is like before jumping into the notoriously more difficult ones.
2. What credits do you need?
Again, if you’ve already taken US History 1 & 2 at the community college, you don’t need to take those CLEPs: they won’t count towards anything since you already have those credits. You need to look at what credits you need towards your degree, or if you’re still in high school, what your state requires you take for your transcripts. I only needed 6 credits of science towards my BA degree, so I took the Natural Sciences CLEP, which my school awards 6 credits for and that’s all. Since I didn’t need additional science credits, it would have been silly and a waste of time to take the Biology and Chemistry CLEPs afterwards. Look at what CLEPs you need before choosing.
3. Do you know what CLEPs your college accepts?
If you know where you want to bank your college credits and earn your degree from, check to make sure they honor and accept the credits from a certain CLEP before you decide to take it. Even though my school (Thomas Edison State University) accepts all CLEP exams, most average schools have some kind of cap, or are picky about which ones they award credit for. Choose accordingly.
4. How much time do you have to study?
If you’re really busy or need the credits by the end of next week (either way having little study time), I’d again recommend a CLEP on the easier side. On the other hand, if you’re planning to spend a solid month or two on whatever this next exam is, you can probably choose something more difficult.
5. What are your strengths?
My best subjects are historically history and English/literature. Thus, those types of CLEP exams became my go-tos to fill in a lot of my elective credits in my BA! For example, I only needed two history classes for the entire degree, but I think I took at least six? I rode my strengths as far as I could, and if you get through all of these questions and still don’t know which CLEP exam should be your next, why not one you feel you can do well on? If nothing else, it’s some cheap and fast college credits, and a boost to the confidence for whatever you have to tackle next!
Your turn to share! What was your highest CLEP score and on which exam?
*Image source: Pinterest