I am a sophomore in high school, and I am taking pre-calculus honors at the moment. I was planning on doing the pre-calculus CLEP exam but I decided that since AP Calculus will be pre-calculus and more, I will take the pre-calculus CLEP exam next year. I was just wondering how colleges value this CLEP exam. Firstly, does it matter to colleges whether I take the pre-calculus CLEP exam this year or next year? Secondly, do colleges value CLEP and AP the same? Lastly, what advantages do I get from taking the CLEP exam and scoring well?
AP exams are far more common, therefore it’s more likely that colleges will accept them for credit. Look at schools you might want to apply to and look at their testing policies. I know that AU gives credit for all the AP exams, but only for 11 of the CLEP exams (pre-calculus is not one of them).
CLEP exams are not considered in the admissions process. CLEP serves as a substitute for a college course and will only get you credit at a college that specifically says they will accept a CLEP score and offer course credit. If you are considering taking them, you should only do so for the specific reason that you want to have credit for that class. That means be sure the college you attend accepts CLEP scores for credit.
There’s a story of a student who graduated in 2.5 years by meeting most Gen Ed requirements with CLEP credits. I believe many colleges limit the amount of credits they will give for AP Test scores.
It varies by school.
Many privates limit how much AP credit they give and the top privates generally don’t give credit for CLEP. Publics do give credit for AP’s and CLEP (the very top publics may not give credit for CLEP) and I have yet to hear of a public that limits the number of AP or CLEP credits allowed.
It’s possible at some publics to graduate in 2/2.5 years by bringing in a ton of AP/CLEP credit, depending on major. Also possible at pretty much all publics to save money by going the CC route and bringing in credits that way (especially if you are in-state).