Formulating a plan for high school can be a real challenge. Should your focus be on achieving a high school diploma?  What about facing the college recruiters? Parents can often feel overwhelmed.

These concerns drive some parents to plan hours of unnecessary coursework that will hopefully lead to a diploma, but is repeated during the first year of college.  Others choose educational paths that attempt to satisfy nagging doubts about future college entrance but may not make the best use of time, energy and money.  By utilizing CLEP exams and other ACE approved course providers, we solved all these concerns for our family.  We were able to chart an independent plan that ultimately demonstrated to the college admissions office that our student was ready for the next step.

What is CLEP?

CLEP is the "College-Level Examination Program" and is also known by terms such as "testing out" or "credit by examination."  Simply put, you use independent study to prepare for a specific college course and then go to a local college to take the computerized multiple choice exam.  If you pass, you are issued the credits, as if you had taken the class at the college.  Some CLEP exams are even available for online proctoring, bypassing the need to go to the college for the final test!  Additionally, there other exam based programs you can explore.  

ACE Approved Online Courses

There are many online ACE course providers that our ClepPrep members utilitze to earn college credit for their student.  ClepPrep has partnerships with some providers, offering discounts to our members. A few of our favorite providers are Straighterline.com, Sophia.org, InstantCert and Study.com but there are other programs you can explore.  Using these online platforms, your student pays a fee to take a course that includes instruction and comprehension quizzes.  They must pass a final exam, which is taken from the comfort of your home.  After you pass your exam you are awarded the college credit through ACE (the American Council on Education), which guarantees credit for programs such as CLEP, AP and many other college credit earning programs.  

 CLEP Exams and ACE Courses can be used to:

  • Accumulate dual credit, showing credits that will count toward high school requirements and, at the same time, count towards a college degree 
  • Shorten the years of study required to attain a college degree, since you are starting in the teen years
  • Save you money when earning a college degree, since ACE credits are less expensive than registering for a college class on campus
  • Show any "brick and mortar" college that your child is capable of performing at a college level, and you will have the credits to prove it!
  • Avoid "basic skills" classes and entrance exams when entering college, simply by completing college math and freshman english
  • Give your child the chance to really delve into the subject being studied, while also moving at a comfortable pace for optimum learning
  • Sharpen your child's independent study skills, which are a must in the college environment
  • Continue to share your "world view" with your child while studying controversial topics contained in many social science classes
  • Tackle tough subjects once and get the credit the first time around.  Why complete high school biology and then retake it again for college credit?

Sounds Good, but Where do I Start?

If you are interested in CLEP exams, we have the tools you need.  A normal college course includes classroom instruction, followed by testing and then the granting of credits earned. Through our ClepPrep lesson plans you will be able to use your child's independent study skills, replacing the instructional phase of the college class process with the appropriate books and videos we have selected as study tools.  Your child will prepare for the exam and the college board will issue them credits for passing the test.  These credits can be "banked" with the college board and then transferred to the college of your choice at any point in the future.  

If you are interested in taking online ACE courses, join our online forum where we share coupons for discounts, tips for the various providers, and important knowledge about the strengths and level of difficulty for each course available.  

Do All Colleges Accept CLEP and ACE Credits?

CLEP and ACE credits are accepted by more than 2,900 colleges and universities.  CLEP exams are 90 minute, multiple choice format.  There are other widely accepted credit-by-examination programs as well, such as DANTES (DSST).  It's important to check with the colleges on your "wish list" to see how many ACE credits they allow to be "transferred in" from each individual testing source.  The colleges we have listed are very "credit by examination" friendly, some even allowing you to "test out" of almost your entire four year degree!  But almost all colleges have specific ACE credit policies that can be discovered through website searching.  Remember, colleges that have enrollment requirements, such as SAT scores and basic skills tests, often waive them when college credits have already been accumulated by the student.