5 Steps to Earning College Credit with CLEP

While in high school, and even a bit of middle school, my three kiddos applied a CLEP or DSST exam to most subjects they were already studying. It became their final exam for the course. They loved this option of earning college credit while studying at their own pace, using the quality resources I selected for them based on their learning style or our worldview. They were able to apply over two years of credits earned through credit-by-exam to their degrees.

5 Steps to Earning College Credit in High School

1. Review the exam titles and descriptions. Select an exam based on your interests or the subjects you are already studying.

♦ CLEP Clep.CollegeBoard.org
♦ DSST GetCollegeCredit.com

2. Complete your studies with gusto! Include exam-specific resources. You will get better results if you are able to include these into your studies as you go along, rather than cram at the end.

3. Take a practice exam. This will help identify areas of mastery, and those you may need to study more in-depth. Build knowledge in your weak areas by studying your wrong answers. Don’t just memorize the questions and answers, but understand why the answers are correct. Just a few excellent resources for building knowledge: InstantCert Online Flashcards – Enter Code 85513 for $5 discount | REA Study Guides | Quizlet.com flashcards

4. After building knowledge in your weak areas, take at least one more practice exam. If necessary, keep building your knowledge with more review. Try to achieve 60+% correct on at least two practice exams before you sit for the official exam. If you are using a REA book, look for the chart in the front of the book. Shoot for a scaled score of 60 or higher.

5. Schedule and take the test! Your scores are “banked” for 20 years. When you enroll in a college, just request your transcript be sent to them. CLEP Transcript Request.  DSST Transcript Request.  If you are already enrolled in a college, input that college’s code when registering to have the transcript automatically sent after your exam at no additional charge.

Congratulations on your efforts!

Reminder: If you know the college you will earn your degree from, it is best to check out the acceptance policy at the college you are considering.

MY BOOK: I have written an in-depth guide that coaches your family through the process of creating a comprehensive plan that includes CLEP and DSST credits, helps you understand college degree planning and includes a chapter focused on helping your student find a career.

Join the Conversation!

There are several online groups that share information, resources, and answer questions. Find one that fits your style:

InstantCert.com: Besides offering a monthly subscription model for an extremely valuable study tool (curated flash cards), being a monthly subscriber also means you gain free access to the online forum. For years, this has been a great resource for adults (parents) to understand the resources and specific areas of knowledge that will help your student prepare for the exam.

ClepForHomeschool Yahoo Group: This group is for home-educators who are interested in learning how their high school students can accumulate college credits the EASY way! This loop is an off-shoot of the ClepPrep.tripod.com website. Moderated by a wonderfully helpful homeschool parent.

College Credit by Exam Homeschool Facebook Group: This group sprung out of a small group of homeschool moms in Minnesota, and has grown nationally. Check out their “Files” section for a great list of resources.

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