The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a way for individuals to earn college credit, for knowledge they have acquired on their own, instead of spending hours in college classrooms. Taking a CLEP test offers a great way for military personnel to earn undergraduate college credit while enlisted. The CLEP exams are multiple choice or fill in answers. The CLEP test is also broken down into two categories: Subject and General. Subject exams cover very specific topics, whereas general exams cover a more broad evaluation. The credits awarded range from three to six based on the exam Security+ exam. Currently, there are thirty-four tests available for CLEP credit. There are also many resources online to aid in studying for each exam, as well as textbooks, study guides and practice tests.
For many of the enlisted military, taking formal college courses may not be a possibility, due to deployments, changing work schedules, and training periods. CLEP has made earning college credits for these individuals, not only a possibility, but a true resolution. Enlisted military personnel can now study on their own time and at their own pace for each CLEP exams. Using the CLEP study resources available, enlisted military personnel can study material after work, between assignments, while on deployments, and during the down time of training periods. Earning college credit, while enlisted, can prepare these individuals for better and more fulfilling careers once they leave the military. Instead of enrolling in traditional colleges or online colleges, and spending the time, money and effort of reporting to class for years afterward, CLEP offers a way for these individuals to go straight into a promising career of their choice after military life has ended. Some military bases now offer testing centers on site. If a base does not have a CLEP testing center on site, the exam can be taken at many college campuses nationwide.
A great benefit to earning college credit from CLEP, for military personnel, is many currently enlisted can take the CLEP exams for free. Much of the personnel is eligible for military-funding for CLEP, as well as civilian employees of the Department of Defense, and even the spouses and children of members of the reserves. This is a great advantage compared to the rising rates of traditional college courses. Tuition, books, and fees can cost thousands of dollars a semester, simply to learn the same material at a guided pace, instead of own your own as with CLEP. Of the thirty-four offered exams, the military education fund called Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) covers all of them.