What if my teen gets a bad CLEP test score?


CLEP. Seems like just about everyone is taking advantage of this credit-by-examination tool. But

Got a great question from a parent:

If a student takes a CLEP exam and does not make a high enough score, will it negatively impact their college transcript? Do you still need to turn that test score in to the college? 

It's important that you have all the details when it comes to utilizing any college prep tool, and the last thing we want is to do is negatively impact their chances of getting into their desired school/program.

Here are a few things to know:

  • You can send scores for free to 2 schools every time you take the test.
  • After the two free schools, you can send transcripts of your scores for $20/transcript.
  • For each transcript you can specify which test(s) you want to include.
  • If you re-take a test and get a higher score, the new score replaces the old score on your records.
  • You do have the option to cancel a test score at the end of a test (before you see your score), but this should be rarely used.
  • The vast majority of colleges will automatically update their records with a higher score if a second score is submitted.

So what does all this mean? If you aren't sure about how you are going to do on a CLEP test then you can hold off on sending the score and pay the $20 to send the score once you know it is one you want to school to see (OR you are applying to less-selective colleges then go ahead and send the scores on!). 

CLEP tests can't negatively impact a college transcript, you just might not end up earning credit for that course. 

So if you are applying to a less-selective school, send your scores on! If you are applying to schools with a more rigorous application process and you aren't sure if you'll make a passing score then hold off on sending the test till after you've seen the score!


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