CLEP Scoring System: Passing Scores & Raw vs. Scaled Score

How Is the CLEP Scored?

If you're in the process of studying for a CLEP exam, you're probably eager to learn all about CLEP scoring. Scores for specific exams are determined by computing the raw score and scaled score. The raw score is calculated by adding up the number of questions answered correctly on an exam (each correct answer is worth one point). After the raw score has been computed, it is converted through a statistical process called equating (equating adjusts scores for slight differences in the difficulty of test forms and ensures standards for test scores are consistent over time).

What Does Scaled Score Mean?

If you are trying to navigate the CLEP scoring system, you might ask yourself 'what is a scaled score'? The scaled score is the result of the raw score conversion process. The CLEP score range is from 20 to 80, and the test scores are presented on the test taker's score report.

How Are CLEP Exam Scores for Essays Calculated?

While CLEP exams featuring multiple-choice questions are typically calculated via computer, some exams that include essays use a different process for computing scores. Essays written for the CLEP College Composition exam are reviewed through the English Testing Service's Online Scoring Network (ONS) by college English professors. The score for each essay is scaled from 0 to 6 by two different reviewers, then combined and weighted. This makes up half of the test takers' score. The essay score is then combined with the multiple-choice score to create a final scaled score.

The CLEP American Literature, English Literature, Analyzing and Interpreting Literature, and College Composition Modular exams may include two essays alongside multiple-choice questions if institutions choose this option. These essays are typically scored by individual institutions.

What Is a CLEP Passing Score?

The final score CLEP uses to determine whether a test taker has passed an exam and will earn college credits is called a cut score. This score, determined by CLEP's test development committee and standard-setting panel, equals the number of correctly answered questions common for a C student. Based on these criteria, the cut score equals a scaled score of 50. This score is the lowest CLEP recommends as a passing score when granting course credit to test takers. However, it's good to note that individual institutions are afforded the option to set their own passing scores.

How do I Receive My CLEP Exam Scores?

After taking the CLEP exam, your score for a multiple-choice exam is provided onscreen immediately following completion (a printed copy of the score report is given to test takers before leaving the test center). Scores for essays are mailed to test takers up to three weeks following the test date.

How do I Send Score Reports to Institutions?

Test takers interested in sending passing CLEP scores to a certifying agency, employer or college can select the institution to which they want those scores sent during registration or on the day of the test. They can also go online and pay a small fee to have more institutions receive your CLEP scores.

What does my CLEP Score Mean?

By earning a passing score on one of the 34 exams offered by CLEP, you will receive college-level credit that is accepted at 2,900 colleges and universities. Visit the CLEP website to find schools that grant college credits for passing CLEP exams. CLEP exams typically correlate with one-semester courses, but there are some that correspond with one- and two-year courses. Earning college credits through CLEP can speed up your process of earning a degree or achieving other career-related goals.

How do I Earn a Passing CLEP Score? offers 31 study courses that you can utilize to study for various CLEP exams. Some of the CLEP exam courses offered include American Literature, College Composition, College Mathematics, Introductory Business Law, Introductory Sociology, Principles of Management, Principles of Microeconomics and much more! Check out our CLEP Offerings to find one that meets your needs. These courses offer exclusive access to expert instructors, entertaining lessons, multiple-choice quizzes and practice exams that can help you pass your chosen examination.

Continue reading: How to Transfer CLEP Credits

By taking College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, you can earn college credit for a fraction of what it costs to take courses. Read on to learn about CLEP test-taking strategies and test-prep resources so you are prepared to ace your tests and save money on your way to a college degree.

Take the CLEP Exam with confidence
Try our test prep resources risk-free today and achieve the test score you want

CLEP Scholarship

Need help paying for the CLEP Exam?

Our CLEP scholarship could be yours!

Learn more