Azusa Pacific University offers students a chance to bypass a class through the Credit for College Level Examination Program. Undergraduates can take a 90-minute CLEP test and have the opportunity to skip a 15-week course.
According to the official website, CLEP “helps you receive college credit for what you already know, for a fraction of the cost.”
Each test is multiple-choice and the results are shown immediately after the online exam is completed. The program offers 33 tests; however, APU does not accept them all. The list of ones accepted by Azusa Pacific can be found on the Learning Enrichment Center’s website and under the “Credit by Examination” section of the course catalog, according to LEC Office Manager Anna Smith.
Those who pass the test get the full number of units that the class is worth. Senior business administration major and ethnic studies minor Tessa Caudie, who CLEPed out of Analyzing and Interpreting Literature, weighs in on this.
“[Taking the test] was good because I was just taking a class for units. I didn’t really need one, and so it was good, and it freed up my schedule more,” Caudie said.
Before taking the test, there are study materials that each person can use. At the LEC, students are able to look at the CLEP Official Study Guide to get a glimpse of what the exam would be like. The study guide consists of examples of all 33 tests and tells the reader different items one needs to review to prepare.
“Students can come in here and look at this any time and get an idea,” Smith said. “Sometimes just looking at this will give you an idea of ‘yeah, no, my skills are not that strong.’”
Inside the LEC, there is a binder that has additional information for test-takers to utilize. It contains a description of each exam and is similar to the study guides on the College Board Website, which cost about $10 each. The binder lets prospective CLEP-takers know how the tests are broken down, what is covered, a complete description and how many questions there are as well as see a sample question and recommendations of what to review.
There are also study guides that are specific to each subject sold online and in most bookstores.
“I studied and passed, it was great,” said senior social work major Jordyn Pfeifer, who tested out of Introduction to Literature. “I did think it was kind of pricey, but at the same time I was thankful for it because I would have had to stay for a summer term, so it would have cost more money. In the end, I thought it was worth it. Signing up was really easy. … I studied for three weeks. I wished I would have CLEPed more.”
The office is open all year and holds exams Monday through Friday at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. On Fridays, the last test is administered at 1 p.m. Students can take any test on any day, but must make an appointment beforehand.
“I would suggest it to people,” Caudle said. “It’s cheaper. The time you spend studying you would be spending in class anyways. And if you think you can do it and you’re self-motivated, go for it. Beware that the LEC does get booked, and make an appointment earlier than later.”
CLEP participants also have the opportunity to take their exams at other locations where the test is provided.
“We encourage students to take them over the summer at home. They can take them over Christmas break, spring break,” Smith said. “So everything is on this CLEP website that’s there. You will put in the city and state where you live. It will pull up testing centers, and you can take it at another center.” Once finished, the answers go straight to the office.
To register for CLEP, visit clep.collegeboard.org, and fill in the required information. Then call and make an appointment with the LEC office. The test costs $100.
“It’s a great way to save time and money, because most of the general education requirements you can CLEP out of,” Smith said.
For more information, contact the Learning Enrichment Center at (626) 815- 3859 or stop by the office located near Adams Hall.