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Three Ways to Test out of Your First Year of College

It is no secret that the cost of college tuition has been rising faster than housing prices

One of the ways to combat this ridiculous rise in the cost of going to college is to use existing systems that are in place to receive college credit before even entering. Here are a few methods that students can try before even entering college.

1) Advanced Placement® (AP®) Courses

AP courses are generally taken in high school. However, students can take AP exams without even taking the course! Most colleges accept AP scores for credit, though many colleges have a restriction on the score that the student must receive, and this restriction has been increasing. Whereas a 3 is passing for an AP exam, many colleges require a 4 or higher to get credit. Some colleges even limit the number of credits you can get. For example, although I had come into college having taken around 60 credits worth of coursework, I could only start out with 45 credits.

2) International Baccalaureate (IB®) Program

Unlike the AP exams, which can be taken by high school students at all levels, the IB program is a program that a high school either participates in or doesn’t. Just like AP, there are exams at the end of the year that test the student’s knowledge. These exams vary widely in format because many of the language classes have verbal portions. Other classes where one would not expect to have a written portion, such as Math, have a written portion. The greatest distinction comes from the fact that IB is an entire curriculum, a different way of graduating high school, and students even get an IB diploma instead of the standard high school diploma.

3) College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Unlike AP, which must generally be taken by students before they enter college, CLEP can be taken by individuals of all ages. These exams are similar to AP in that they give college credit for material you already know. Similar to AP, most colleges accept CLEP credit, although the absolute number of them is fewer. It is best to check a prospective college’s AP and CLEP credit policy before deciding on which one to attend.

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