I was homeschooled from K - 12. Many homeschoolers want to take AP exams in high school. We already know this stuff. We learned it while we were reclining on our beds in our PJs past noon. Why not get credit for it?
AP exams are the most well known credit by exam option. But there are other options for homeschoolers (and all you other people too). Besides AP (Advanced Placement) There are is also CLEP (College Level Examination Program) and DSST. All three of these can get you college credit for stuff you already know or choose to learn on your own. They can help you stand out in college admissions, help you earn college credit at a fraction of the cost, and you can skip introductory ...view middle of the document...
So what's the difference between AP, CLEP and DSST? Here is a break down.
AP. You don't have to take an AP course to take an AP test. There are 34 different AP exams on a wide range of subjects covering everything from Biology, US History, Japanese Language & Culture, Music Theory, Calculus, English Comp, and Electricity and Magnetism. Homeschoolers can take AP tests at local high-schools.
CLEP. There are 33 exams with some overlap with AP. You can find Biology and US History in AP and CLEP. However, CLEP also has Sociology, Analyzing and Interpreting Literature, College Algebra, and business titles like Principles of Marketing which are not available in AP. CLEP does not have as much diversity of subjects as AP. For example CLEP only has French, German, and Spanish while AP has those three plus Japanese, Italian, Chinese and Latin. Anyone can take a CLEP at college near you.
The difference between AP and CLEP exams is how they are designed and administered. AP is designed for High-schoolers while CLEP is designed for a more general audience like college freshman, working adults, military personal, and returning students. AP exams you can only take in May and it takes months to learn your score. CLEP tests are administered year round in and you get an “unofficial score” immediately. Some people say CLEP's are easier than AP exams, but people who have taken both say the real difference is the wording of the questions, AP test questions are more tricky while CLEP questions are more straight forward. So while AP tests are great for the wide range of subjects they offer, CLEPs are more convenient because they're offered year-round and the questions are more straight forward.
A third option is DSST. While AP and CLEP are offered by the College Board (the makers of the SAT), DSST tests were designed by the makers of the ACT. DSST tests are different from both AP and CLEP tests because some of their tests can get you upper level college credit. In other words, some of their tests cover the same material you would otherwise be learning in your Junior and Senior years of college. The subject matter covered in...