Let’s talk about AP and CLEP tests – Oklahoma City University

Let’s talk about AP and CLEP tests

Are you a high school student or a parent of one? Are you a little nervous about enrolling in the right classes next year or which AP test(s) to take? This one’s for you!

AP (Advanced Placement) classes and tests are offered by high schools to help students gain early college credits without paying for the college course. They’re typically more strenuous than on-level classes and involve a lot of critical thinking and a demonstrated level of subject understanding. The idea is to model the class after the corresponding college course so you can learn what you need to be successful after high school.

So how do I choose which classes/tests to take?

Most schools start offering AP classes at the sophomore level with a range of science, math, language, history, and other subjects as you progress through school. Depending on your school’s size and logistics, there might be an overwhelming number of classes to choose from. Consider all your options along with:

What you think you’re ready for. Set a reasonable goal for how many AP classes you plan to take.

How many AP tests you plan to take. There is value in taking AP classes without taking the year-end exams, but considering how many you’ll be able to take is a good indicator of how many classes you might want to enroll in. Tests are typically $95*, so this is something to discuss with your parent(s) or legal guardian(s). There are also some exams that aren’t necessary in combination with others; for example, some universities will accept a 5 on the AP language test for both levels of composition, which means students who receive this top score don’t have to take AP literature unless they want the more challenging class.

Which credits universities typically accept. Most universities accept at least some AP credit, but each institution has its own set of courses they can apply to. Some classes, such as AP psychology, are widely accepted at most universities, while more specialized subjects, such as AP environmental science, might not count for credits everywhere. This can be for a number of reasons, including a lack of corresponding courses at the university or a need for students to receive the instruction included in the institution’s curriculum. (Tip: If you know which universities are highest on your list, check to see which credits they accept before you enroll!)

What’s applicable to your future career. Don’t panic if you don’t know what you want to do for the rest of your life just yet. That decision takes time, as it should. (We’ve got a guide to choosing your major here if you’re interested.) However, if you do know, it’s really helpful if you can think through how this impacts your enrollment. It might not be a great idea to take AP Spanish, German, French, and Latin if you plan to pursue a bachelor of science that requires one foreign language credit. (It’s also probably impossible to take AP Spanish, German, French, and Latin, but you get the point.) Maybe more surprisingly, most universities also advise against taking an AP course of your chosen degree. It’s best to use this opportunity for general education courses you’d have to take later, not for those in your area, because you’ll need to learn from university experts who can prepare you for upper-level classes with established fundamentals you might miss out on when learning from your high school teacher.

When in doubt, ask your guidance counselor. It’s their job to know this stuff, so take advantage while you can. If you’ve already chosen a university, make sure you’ve walked through all your options with an admissions counselor.

By the end of the year, you’ll have to decide which AP tests to attempt for college credit. These exams are not something you can blow off studying for until the last minute. Most classes spend the whole year preparing for these tests and building up the skills necessary to pass. If you don’t think you spent enough time studying or maybe just really didn’t get the subject material, you don’t have to sit through the exam. Minus the cost of the test, though, there’s no harm in trying!

So what’s a CLEP test?

CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) exams are also provided by College Board but are more closely associated with universities than high schools. Students typically take these exams in the spring or just before coming to school. They’re about $6 cheaper than AP tests, and they don’t require students to be enrolled in a specific preparatory class. This basically means it’s up to you to get ready for the exam.

These exams aren’t built into your high school schedule, so you’ll have to find time outside of class to prepare and to take them. The same factors apply to deciding which ones to https://www.ics.uci.edu/ take, so ask yourself:

Am I ready to take this exam and do I have a firm grasp on the materials covered in the exam?

Which credits do my top universities accept?

How many can I afford to take, both financially and mentally?

Which exams will be applicable to my chosen degree?

If you’re interested in taking a CLEP exam at OCU, make a reservation with Denise Binkley at dbinkley@okcu.edu for the date you would like to test. Upcoming dates: March 23 at 12:30 p.m.; April 16 at 2 p.m.; and April 27 at 12:30 p.m.

Which credits does OCU accept?

We’re so glad you asked. We’re happy to accept credits for these AP tests that will benefit your college career:

SUBJECT AREA

OCU Course Number

Minimum Score

Credit Hours

ART: HISTORY

ART 1003 or 1103

4

3

ART: STUDIO ART – DRAWING

(elective only)

4

1

ART: STUDIO ART – 2-D DESIGN

(elective only)

4

1

ART: STUDIO ART – 3-D DESIGN

(elective only)

4

1

BIOLOGY

BIOL 1214

4

4

CHEMISTRY

CHEM 1014 & 1204

4

8

CHINESE LANGUAGE & CULTURE

CHIN 1113 & 1213

4

6

COMPUTER SCIENCE A

(elective only)

4

3

ECONOMICS

MACROECONOMICS

ECON 2013

4

3

MICROECONOMICS

ECON 2113

4

3

ENGLISH LANGUAGE/COMPOSITION

ENGL 1113

4

3

ENGLISH LITERATURE/COMPOSITION

ENGL 1213

4

3

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

BIOL 1314

4

4

FRENCH LANGUAGE

FREN 1113 & 1213

4

6

FRENCH LITERATURE

FREN 2113

4

3

GERMAN LANGUAGE

GERM 1113 & 1213

4

6

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS: U.S.

POLS 1113

4

3

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS: COMPARATIVE

(elective only)

4

3

U.S. HISTORY

HIST 1003 &/or 1103

4/5

3/6

EUROPEAN HISTORY/WORLD HISTORY

HIST 1203 or 1303

4

3

HUMAN Essaywriter GEOGRAPHY

(elective only)

4

3

ITALIAN LANGUAGE & CULTURE

ITAL 1113 & 1213

4

6

JAPANESE LANGUAGE & CULTURE

TRFL 1103 & 1203

4

6

LATIN

VERGIL

TRFL 1103, 1203, 2103, & 2203

4

12

MATHEMATICS

CALCULUS AB

MATH 2004

4

4

CALCULUS BC

MATH 2004 & 2104

4

8

MUSIC THEORY

MUS 1112 & 1122

4

4

PHYSICS

PHYSICS 1

PHYS 1503 & 1541

3

4

PHYSICS 2

PHYS 1603 & 1641

3

4

PSYCHOLOGY

PSYC 1113

4

3

SPANISH LANGUAGE

SPAN 1113 & 1213

4

6

SPANISH LITERATURE

SPAN 3313

4

3

STATISTICS

PSYC 2301 & 2303

4

4

We also accept CLEP credit for:

SUBJECT AREA

OCU Course Number

Minimum Score

Credit Hours

FRESHMAN COLLEGE COMPOSITION (essay required)

ENGL 1113

50

3

FRENCH LEVEL 1

FREN 1113 & 1213

50

6

FRENCH LEVEL 2

FREN 2113 & 2213

59

12

GERMAN LEVEL 1

GERM 1113 & 1213

50

6

GERMAN LEVEL 2

GERM 2113 & 2213

60

12

SPANISH LEVEL 1

SPAN 1113 & 1213

50

6

SPANISH LEVEL 2

SPAN 2113 & 2213

63

12

AMERICAN GOVERNMENT

POLS 1113

50

3

HISTORY OF THE U.S. I

HIST 1003503HISTORY OF THE U.S. II

HIST 1103

50

3

WESTERN CIVILIZATION I

HIST 1203

50

3

WESTERN CIVILIZATION II

HIST 1303

50

3

INTRO PSYCHOLOGY

PSYC 1113

50

3

INTRO SOCIOLOGY

SOC 2013

50

3

CALCULUS WITH ELEMENTARY FUNCTIONS

MATH 2004

50

4

COLLEGE ALGEBRA

MATH 1503

50

3

BIOLOGY

BIOL 1014

50

4

CHEMISTRY (for non-majors only)

CHEM 1014

50

4

MACROECONOMICS

ECON 2013

50

3

MICROECONOMICS

ECON 2113

50

3

INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND COMPUTER APPLICATIONS

IT 1003

50

3

INTRO BUSINESS LAW

MGMT 2213

50

3

FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING

ACCT 2113

50

3

PRINCIPLES OF MARKETING

MKTG 3013

50

3

*From the College Board website: “If you have significant financial need, you may be eligible for a $33 College Board fee reduction per AP Exam Depending on your state, there might also be additional funding available to supplement the College Board fee reduction and reduce your cost even further.”