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Are the CLEP and CollegeBoard Legit?

Caitlin Anderson
Caitlin Anderson

March 18, 2013

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kid with raised eyebrow

Is CLEP credit legit? And who is The CollegeBoard? How can you get real college credit through a test?

We hear those comments quite a bit at Unbound. Which makes sense because your education is a big deal.

When I first started looking at CLEP tests six years ago, I wanted to know if they were legitimate credits. I had already had the ACT, SAT, and a year of community college credit under my belt. Before I signed up for anything, I wanted to make sure that things were going to work out.

Paying to waste time just wasn’t my thing. If it wasn’t legit, it was a headache waiting to happen.


To put it in the simplest of terms, CLEP is credit-by-examination. Think of it as taking the final for a class. Instead of sitting in the classroom, you get to study independently, maximizing the way you learn best.

For me, that meant reading textbooks, watching relevant documentaries/movies, creating flashcards, and asking the experts I knew for advice when I didn’t understand something.

The CollegeBoard

The CollegeBoard is the brain behind CLEP. They are the same people who brought you the SAT, the ACT, and AP classes. Education has been their business since 1900. The organization was developed to help colleges identify qualified students through tests (aka “College Boards”).

Last year, they helped over 7 million students with tests related to high education. The CollegeBoard developed the CLEP over 40 years ago and they’ve worked hard to get the credits accepted in over 2,900 colleges and universities.

In addition, over 600 college faculty members across the country are constantly developing and refining the CLEP examinations. National surveys show that CLEP exams are aligned very closely with the classes they are meant to replace.

Discovering CLEP tests was one of the best things that I did during my academic career.

As a very motivated, self-directed learner, I was able to tackle topics, study them in-depth, and then earn credit without having to spend a semester sitting in a classroom. It’s something I recommend to my friends as well.

You can find out more about the history of the CollegeBoard and CLEP exams on the CollegeBoard website.

Know someone who wants to know about the CollegeBoard and CLEP? Share this with them on Facebook!

Caitlin Anderson
Caitlin Anderson

Caitlin Anderson believes in finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. A former Unbound employee, she now works as Lois Lane for a major tech company. She lives in Portland with her husband and their puppy.

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