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CLEP vs AP
#1
Is there an advantage of taking an AP over taking a CLEP? CLEPs are cheaper (free) and available all year while AP's are not. Also, AP's are said to be harder. So, is there an advantage to the AP that counteracts all these factors?
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#2
Yes. AP tests are almost universally accepted by colleges, while CLEPs most decidedly are not. Also, the class itself often counts for an extra grade point (A=5 instead of 4) on a high school transcript helping the student's GPA (assuming they don't get a lower grade because of the AP material).
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#3
AP is generally more rigorous in terms of expectations for credit, if you really want to get some concepts down solid. Many colleges won't even consider CLEP for credit equivalency, but for most people in this forum, CLEP is going to be the way to go.

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#4
Yes, most schools give lab credit for AP sciences and I've never heard of a school giving lab credit for CLEP.

Also one can become an AP Scholar with enough good scores.
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#5
All of the above. If you are a high school student able to take AP courses/exams, then you should. My son is taking 3 AP courses this year, and will be testing for all of them. Then, since AP Physics 1 and AP European History don't have matching CLEP exams, he's out of luck if he doesn't pass. But he'll still get the benefits of the higher GPA. For AP Psych, if he doesn't pass, he'll take the CLEP in the summer because I think he'd easily pass after the AP course (and will take Modern States just in case, and then it will be free).

But, AP is a harder test because it's not all multiple choice - lots of essays to write even in the math and science exams. CLEP is all multiple choice.

Also, AP is on school campuses during the day, which means that not just anyone can go take them - you have to get permission from the school in order to do so, and many (MOST?) will not allow it. So it's not even an option for most people.

And, AP offers exams that don't exist in the CLEP world - Spanish Lit, Latin, Italian, European History, Art History, Music Theory, etc.

Some schools pay for your AP exams - my son's school will not only pay 50% for some of them, but they get $100 for every one that they pass (it's a non-profit foundation that pays, not the school itself). There are a lot of low-income students, so it's a way (I think) for them to encourage kids to take the exams that might not otherwise.

So really, it's not a flat "should I take an AP or CLEP exam" since it won't apply to everyone or every subject evenly. Lots of pros with AP.
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#6
(08-29-2019, 07:11 AM)Ideas Wrote: Yes, most schools give lab credit for AP sciences and I've never heard of a school giving lab credit for CLEP.


Both Houston Community College and the University of Houston give 8 hours of credit for passing CLEP biology. They consider it 6 hours of lecture and 2 hours of lab - the entire first year intro to biology course. HCC also award 8 hours of credit for passing CLEP chemistry. I've see other school do the same.

Although those schools award the hours, medical and dental schools generally don't recognize CLEP science credits.
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#7
Ok. I have also seen schools give only 4-6 credits for AP sciences.
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#8
AP is worth "something" at 3200 colleges vs CLEP worth credit at 2900. The distinction is only important if you're using it for a filter - meaning to absolutely keep your options WIDE OPEN and not exclude yourself from anything. In other words, if a college doesn't accept CLEP but accepts AP, then AP by default becomes the brand you need - nevermind which one you'd rather take.

Of your 3200, there isn't going to be a "yes credit / no credit" policy. AP costs just under $100, and those scores don't come easy - many colleges want 4s or 5s now, not just 3s, so getting that benchmark score matters not only for the 3200 schools, but you'll have to look deeper and see if your teen can even hit the score they are asking for - are they good test takers and smart enough? That's not a critique, I'm being serious. All AP exams are written, whereas CLEP is mouse point and click, yet for a student attending a school that accepts both - the credit will be identical. A flagship university and a private university will usually want the highest scores, but you can look this up in advance. So, shelling out $100 bills for 3's won't work at every school. And if you can get the SAME credit using CLEP for free, that's much smarter (and faster).

Of the 3200 they also don't all award "credit" since many will only award "advanced standing" or accept it for placement. The issue here is that you've not shaved any cost or time off the degree- you still need 120 credits to graduate. You've paid $ and done the work but not rewarded by saving tuition.

Fail an AP and it's on your teen's record - CLEP failures are confidential.

AP exams are not only offered 1/ year, but the time slots will conflict - so in addition to making sure you can sit the scheduled time, you REALLY want to make sure you're not taking classes / prep for exams offered at the same time on the same day. There is no way to avoid it- you have to pick.

Beyond that- AP is considered more foo-foo because elite schools that don't accept CLEP will often accept AP. There are essentially 300 colleges in this country that accept AP (for credit or advanced placement) that don't accept CLEP. If you're aiming for those, then it's no question. If 2900 colleges are enough of a pool for you to choose from, you can rack up substantial amounts of credit for $0 and without repercussions for failed attempts. In my opinion, it's an easy decision. Pick a college and then go full speed ahead in whichever exam helps you get your kid OUT of college.
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#9
(09-02-2019, 11:48 AM)cookderosa Wrote: AP exams are not only offered 1/ year, but the time slots will conflict - so in addition to making sure you can sit the scheduled time, you REALLY want to make sure you're not taking classes / prep for exams offered at the same time on the same day. There is no way to avoid it- you have to pick.

Just a minor correction, but you can usually get an alternative date/time to take conflicting exams.  Many schools offer exams after the normal exams are given for just this reason.

Also, my son's school is showing that they are giving exams at different times than the AP board says they're given (not sure if it just hasn't been corrected on their website or not), but since they aren't offering all of the courses/exams on the list, I think they're free to change it (like they don't offer AP Chem this year, so they've moved AP Physics 1 into that time slot from the afternoon; they don't offer Computer Science or French at all, so they've moved AP Stats into that time slot from the afternoon, etc.).
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#10
(09-03-2019, 01:09 PM)dfrecore Wrote:
(09-02-2019, 11:48 AM)cookderosa Wrote: AP exams are not only offered 1/ year, but the time slots will conflict - so in addition to making sure you can sit the scheduled time, you REALLY want to make sure you're not taking classes / prep for exams offered at the same time on the same day. There is no way to avoid it- you have to pick.

Just a minor correction, but you can usually get an alternative date/time to take conflicting exams.  Many schools offer exams after the normal exams are given for just this reason.

Also, my son's school is showing that they are giving exams at different times than the AP board says they're given (not sure if it just hasn't been corrected on their website or not), but since they aren't offering all of the courses/exams on the list, I think they're free to change it (like they don't offer AP Chem this year, so they've moved AP Physics 1 into that time slot from the afternoon; they don't offer Computer Science or French at all, so they've moved AP Stats into that time slot from the afternoon, etc.).

Sorry, you are correct, you can ask for a late date if you have an AP exam conflict.

I'm curious about them mixing up the exam schedule.....hummm. THAT is something I thought they couldn't do?
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