What is Credit by Exam?

Credit by Exam is a way for you to earn real college credits, and potentially save thousands of tuition dollars, by passing tests offered by The College Board, which administers Advanced Placement (AP) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams in math, history, science and many other subjects.

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How does it work?

Modern States offers free, high-quality online courses taught by college professors that prepare you for virtually all of the major AP and CLEP exams, which are well-established and widely-accepted. Solid performance on the exams (each participating college decides what scores you need for credit) can earn you college credits and enable you to save tuition dollars. You can take one course or many; if you do well on eight exams, you can potentially earn Freshman Year for Free™.

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How do I participate in the Modern States CLEP Voucher Program?

Follow these steps to complete the program:

  1. Sign up
  2. Enroll in one or many courses
  3. Complete all of the coursework
  4. Request a CLEP voucher from the Modern States website.
  5. Schedule an exam at a CLEP Test Center and use your voucher code as payment.
  6. Request a Test Center Reimbursement once you have taken the exam.

To be eligible for a Modern States CLEP voucher you must complete at least 75% of the coursework. This includes watching all the videos in each section, correctly answering all the Check for Understanding homework questions, and completing the sample CLEP exam.

If you didn’t achieve the 75% threshold, you could try again with the questions you answered incorrectly.

Please be patient when waiting for a response to your requests. It may take up to 10 business days to receive a reply, excluding weekends and holidays. Keep in mind that voucher requests cannot be expedited and are answered in the order in which they are received.

If you want to be reimbursed for the CLEP test center fee after taking the CLEP exam, you must provide a copy of your receipt, score report, and the CLEP voucher used.

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Can I earn college credit if I take a course but not the related exam?


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Is there a test fee for AP and CLEP exams?

Yes. The College Board charges to take each of the AP exams and each of the CLEP exams. Military personnel do not have to pay for the test thanks to funding through the Defense Department’s DANTES Program.

For more information about Military Benefits, click here.

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I am a high school student/graduate. Which type of exam is right for me?

High school students historically have taken Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams, though a growing number of high school students are starting to take CLEP exams. The AP exams are given annually each May in high schools across the country. Modern States offers nearly all of the major AP courses, which may include classes your high school does not offer. You can take Modern States AP courses online and then register to take the exams at the nearest high school where testing is offered.

For more information about taking AP exams, talk to your school’s AP Coordinator or visit the College Board site.

For general information about AP courses and tests, visit the College Board site.

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I am a high school graduate who knows where I plan to attend college. Which test is right for me?

Once you know where you plan to attend college, CLEP courses and tests can be the way to go, provided the college you’re attending recognizes CLEP for credit. You can take online courses from Modern States to prepare you for CLEPs and then register to take the exams at testing centers located on college campuses, military bases and elsewhere.

For general information about CLEP courses and tests, visit the College Board site.

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I am in the military. Do CLEP exams make sense for me?

The CLEP exams are ideal for military personnel to earn college credit while serving. Modern States online courses give you flexibility if you are reassigned to a different location. In addition, members of the military and their spouses receive federal funding or funding by Modern States that covers the CLEP exam fee. The CLEP exams can be taken on many military bases around the world and at CLEP testing centers.

For more information about federal funding that pays the test fee for military personnel, click here.

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I am a college student and need a few credits to get my degree. Can I earn those credits with CLEP exams?

College students can earn credits needed to graduate by taking CLEP courses from Modern States and then taking CLEP exams. The key is to be sure that your college or university accepts the specific CLEP exam(s) you want to take and that it fulfills whatever requirements you have remaining. For example, some schools don’t allow you to use CLEP courses to earn credits in your major.

Click here for general information about CLEP courses and tests.

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I am a working adult who started but didn’t finish college or who went straight to work after high school. Can Modern States courses and CLEP exams help me?

Yes. Modern States courses and the CLEP exams provide a terrific road back for students who have not been able to meet the traditional path of the US college system. This is a great way for busy working adults to take courses for free online and begin to earn college credits by exam. This offers you the freedom and flexibility you need to learn the material, and take CLEP exams, on a schedule that works for you.

Click here for general information about CLEP courses and tests.

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What impacts the scoring of a Modern States course?

The percentage of questions a learner has answered correctly out of the total questions they have answered.

The percentage of questions answered correctly out of the total course questions must be 75% to receive a CLEP voucher.

The percentage of questions attempted (either correct or incorrectly) out of total course questions must be 100% to receive a CLEP voucher.

The number of videos a learner has watched out of the total number of videos in the course.
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Do all colleges offer credit for successful performance on AP and CLEP exams?

Thousands of colleges offer credit, but not all do. Every college sets its own scoring and credit standards with regard to granting college credit based on AP and CLEP exam results. Some colleges, for example, only allow students to opt out of introductory level courses based on successful test results.

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How can I find out whether colleges I am considering attending recognize APs and CLEPs for credit?

Click here to find out how specific colleges treat the AP exam.

Click here to find out how individual colleges and universities treat CLEP exams.

To ensure accuracy, also visit the websites of the college(s) you are considering attending.

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What are some of the differences between the Advanced Placement (AP) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams?

AP tests are offered once a year in high schools to high school students, while CLEP exams are offered in testing centers virtually every day to learners of all ages.  The CLEP exams, with one exception, are made up entirely of multiple choice questions, while AP tests contain a blend of multiple choice and short and long-form essay questions.

AP tests are better known and viewed as more rigorous than CLEPs. They are based on challenging course material specified by the College Board, while the CLEP measures knowledge acquired in any manner.  For the most up-to-date, accurate information about what AP and CLEP scores you need to get college credit, check the websites of individual colleges, since standards vary widely.

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Who can I contact for further information or to ask questions about the AP and CLEP exams?

For CLEP, call 1-800-257-9558 or email [email protected] (please include your name, address and telephone number).

For AP, call 1-888-225-5427 or email [email protected].

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Which colleges grant credit for most of the CLEP exams?

The list of colleges is very long. Here is a sample:
Arizona State University
Cal State-Fullerton
Colorado State University
Florida State University
Michigan State University
Ohio State University
Penn State University
Purdue University
Spelman College
SUNY-Empire State College
Tennessee State University
Texas State University
University of Alabama
University of Florida
University of Iowa
University of Maryland University College (UMUC)
University of Nebraska
University of Oklahoma
University of South Carolina
University of Texas—Arlington
Virginia Tech University

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How do I receive a Test Center Reimbursement?

After completing all coursework and practice questions, receiving a CLEP voucher from Modern States, and taking an exam, you can request a Test Center Reimbursement.

To receive a reimbursement, you will need to provide the name of the exam taken, the test center fee, a copy of the receipt, your score, and the CLEP voucher code used as payment. The voucher code (three letters followed by a string of numbers) is required to receive a reimbursement.

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