One popular way for homeschool students to get a few quick college credits is to take CLEP exams. The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) gives a wide range of tests that measure a college level of learning. These exams are graded pass/fail, with a score higher than 50 considered passing. One of the questions I am commonly asked is if CLEP exams factor into the student’s college GPA.College Admission Policies are exceptional in several ways, and each and every college has its own specific policy with regards to CLEP exams. Certain colleges provide a grade that affects GPA and some others give credit but not a grade. Quite a few won’t give credit but do give placement into upper level classes. My homeschoolers applied to four colleges, and three of them granted credit for CLEP exams. Not one of them offered an actual grade for the exam, however, for that reason our student’s GPA was not affected. I have not read about many colleges giving an specific GRADE for a CLEP exam. CLEP exams are usually reported to colleges as a Pass/Fail with any score higher than 50% being a passing score.On the other hand, AP exams normally do have a grade that is applied. Generally for an AP exam, a score of 5 (perfect) is an A, 4 is B, 3 is C, and less than 3 is not given college credit. I know one homeschool student who took an AP exam and scored a respectable 4. She was unsatisfied, however, mainly because that was the only “B” for her whole college career. You may want to check the colleges where your student may apply in order to know their policy.As with many such questions, college policies are as different as the colleges themselves. Check with the specific colleges you happen to be interested in to get their policy on CLEP and AP exams.
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