Many college students are weary of the lecture, homework, and study routine by the time summer rolls around. The last thing they want to think about is enrolling in summer school. Instead, many college students prefer to spend the lazy days of summer lounging by the pool or maybe even earn a few bucks with a part-time job.
Of course, this strategy presents a problem. With today’s rigorous degree plans, it is usually necessary to enroll in summer classes in order to graduate on time. Students who forgo summer school usually take more than the typical 4 years of study in order to meet their degree requirements.
But there is a solution that combines the relaxed schedule of summer with the need for earning college credit. This solution is known as the College-Level Examination Program, or CLEP. Using CLEP, college students can spend their summers studying at their own pace in preparation for college-level equivalency exams.
Typically, CLEP exams contain material that a student covers in his first two years of college. So, the summer CLEP strategy is most effective during the summers preceding a student’s freshman and sophomore year of college. But there are plenty of CLEP exams to choose from! In fact, there are 33 exams on a wide variety of subjects. Students can register for exams that cover anything from “Analyzing and Interpreting Literature” to “Western Civizilation II.”
In addition to avoiding the boring routine of traditional classes, CLEP offers other advantages. The financial incentive of choosing a CLEP exam over a traditional class is huge! A CLEP test costs only $77. On the other hand, the tuition and fees for a traditional college course can be exorbitant! And traditional courses require the purchase of many expensive textbooks. So, the CLEP turns out to be a real value.
CLEP also allows students to quickly bypass those courses in which they’re simply not interested. By efficiently CLEPping out of less-interesting courses, students can focus their on-campus time on courses that are more valuable to their major.
In order to get started with CLEP, a student should visit the CollegeBoard’s website at collegeboard.com/clep . There, she will find descriptions of each CLEP test. Also, she should click on the “CLEP college search” link to make sure that her college or university accepts CLEP credit (thousands of colleges accept these credits). After deciding upon which CLEP exams he’d like to take, the student should contact his nearest testing center to register for each CLEP exam.
It’s time to put those summer hours to good use by studying for a CLEP test or two. A student can choose the traditional study route by purchasing a textbook and studying on his own. Increasingly, though, students are turning to CLEP prep programs (some are even offered in an online format) in order to maximize the efficiency of their study time.
Come fall, the student will be proud that she put her summer vacation to good use by earning lots of credit through CLEP!