Besides a prior learning assessment, many colleges and universities accept certain exams as a pathway toward credit. Generally, the number of credits earned this way are more limited as compared to what can be earned with a prior learning assessment, but exams can still be effective for reducing the cost and time to earn a degree.
Why go through an examination process instead of a prior learning assessment? Well, many students may not have the on-paper prerequisites, such as third-party certifications and licensure, required for a prior learning assessment.
An examination, on the other hand, strictly tests your knowledge on a certain subject. You’ll be assessed on your ability to pass or not pass the exam, opening the opportunity to earn credits without specific qualifications.
If you’re looking to get college credit this way, you will most commonly see exams offered through CLEP, or the College-Level Examination Program®. More than 30 examination options are available to students through CLEP, such as:
- American government
- Human growth and development
- Literary analysis
While the number of credits you can earn this way is generally limited, exams are a great option for anyone with the know-how to pass. When researching your college or university, make sure to explore which exam credits it accepts, and how many credits you can achieve through this method.