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Will My College Accept This?
Testing out of courses, via the College Level Examination Program, administered by the College Board, or other credit-by-exam options, can help students save time and money on their way to their degree but students should consider it carefully. Students should do their research before investing time in a test out program. Most but not all colleges accept test out exams for course credit.  However, those that do vary in how they apply the credits. Here are a few important questions you need to ask and consider before deciding on this approach. ..Questions

How are the credits applied?
The very first question students should ask is whether the college they are attending or plan to attend awards credit for CLEP or similar exams. Remember that even though you can learn the material and test you competency in the subject getting college credit is done through a normal college or university. So once you have identified the college you want to attend check their acceptance on testing out.

What limits on credits applied?
For some institutions it is consider transfer credit and it will go against the maximum number of courses a student may transfer into a school. If you already have many credits in transfer, you may not be able to test out of anymore, also you may not be given a choice as to which credits will be accepted. Some colleges only count CLEP and DSST exam credit as electives, so students cannot test out of courses required for their major. Another possibility is the school might only allow students to test out of a prerequisite so testing out is treated as an exemption and not a course credit. So carefully review the school’s policy and if possible talk to an admissions officer before choosing this approach.

How many credits can you earn?
Most colleges cap the number of credits a student can transfer in, but some also cap how many students can earn via exam. This amount can vary widely and some schools include AP credits in this limit. Students who have earned college credit while in high school through dual enrollment or AP tests should find out if those will count against the number of courses that can be test out of.

What are your long-term goals?
Teaching, nursing, accounting and other career paths require professional licensure for students entering the field after graduation. In some cases students need to accumulate a set number of credit hours before they can take their licensing exam. Credits earned via CLEP or other test out programs may not count toward these requirements. In New York, for example, only certain CLEP credits are recognized by the State Education Department.

How do you learn best?
Self-motivated, independent learners are typically well suited for test out programs. Students who are individual learners usually find the test out approach a fun way to earn college credit. Students with test anxiety or a general dislike for standardized tests or who are not well motivated should think twice before proceeding this way.