ACE: American Council on Education, CREDIT: College Credit Recommendation Service

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College Board's College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the world's leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools.

The 1960s brought a heightened interest in educational opportunities for people who had not attended college or finished their formal schooling. In response, the Carnegie Corporation, in partnership with the Educational Testing Service (ETS), established a committee charged with the responsibility of implementing a standardized national credit-by-examination testing program. In 1965 the College Board assumed responsibility and oversight for what would become known as College-Level Examination Program (CLEP®), and soon thereafter sought and received the endorsement of the American Council on Education (ACE). 1967 marked the establishment of 50 test centers throughout the United States and the first national administration of CLEP exams.

CLEP has also served active duty service members through a Department of Defense contract since 1974. Recently, Montgomery GI Bill funding was extended to cover the cost of CLEP exams for military veterans, which allow veterans to focus on needed degree coursework as they transition from military to civilian life.

CLEP allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired college-level mastery of course content. The 33 CLEP examinations include subjects that are generally taught in the first two years of an undergraduate degree program. Topical areas include: Composition & Literature, Science, Mathematics, Foreign Languages, History, Social Sciences, and Business.

Students who successfully complete a CLEP® exam can enrich their degree programs with higher-level courses in the same discipline, expand their horizons by taking a wider array of electives, and avoid the need to repeat material that they already know. Research indicates that individuals earning credit through CLEP® are more likely than their peers to perform well in subsequent coursework and to persist in their degree progress.

CLEP credit is accepted by 2,900 colleges and universities and examinations are administered via computer at more than 1,700 test centers throughout the United States and overseas. A complete list of CLEP test centers is available on the Web at Examinations are also administered at military test centers through an agreement with the Department of Defense.

The College Board, CLEP Program, 250 Vesey Street, New York, NY 10281. (212) 713-7754. Email:

Source of Official Student Records:   Exams administered through the CLEP software have score data transmitted via a secure, encrypted protocol. Proctoring guidelines are established by the program and are instituted at college test centers. CLEP National (civilian) candidate records are maintained for twenty years. Funded military scores are maintained indefinitely and are part of a consolidated transcript system which provides a transcript report that consolidates CLEP®, DSST and Excelsior testing history on one report.
How Results are Reported:   At the time of testing candidates can select one institution free of charge to receive their official score report. Candidates (military and civilian) who choose to not have a score report sent automatically at the time of testing can order a transcript at a later time. Candidates are able to print a score report at a test center after completing an exam. CLEP-funded military scores are also reported weekly to AARTS, SMARTS, and the Community College of the Air Force. Effective July 1, 2001, The American Council on Education recommended a uniform credit-granting score of 50 across all subjects (with the exception of Level 2 French, German, and Spanish), representing the performance of students who earn a grade of C in the corresponding college course. In order to reach the total score, two calculations are performed. First, the "raw" score, or number of questions answered correctly, is recorded. The "raw" score is converted into a "scaled" score by the statistical equating process. Equating maintains the consistency of standards over time by adjusting for slight differences in difficulty between test forms. A scaled score, which ranges from 20, the lowest, to 80, the highest, is the score that appears on the score report. There are no sub-scores.
Retake Policy:   There is a 90-day retest policy in effect.


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