Posted in CLEP, Credit by Exam, Transcripts

“B” and “C” Score Chart for CLEP

If you want to know what letter grade The College Board would assign based on your teen’s CLEP score, you can use the chart below.  These recommendations are NOT endorsed by ACE, and are considered unofficial.  

The American Council on Education (ACE) recommends a credit-granting score of 50 for each CLEP exam.


PARENTS:  a CLEP score should never represent your teen’s entire high school course grade/GPA on their high school transcript.  For starters, it is impossible for a student to earn an “A” using this chart.  The chart below doesn’t go higher than “B” grade, and the difference between a “B” grade and “A” grade can be as little as 1 point or as many as 10- you have no way of knowing since the scaling system is not released by CLEP.

Second, an entire semester or year of work is what constitutes high school credit, not one exam.  High schools award credit based on hours, not competency.  As such, estimate 60 hours = 1/2 high school credit, 120 hours = 1 high school credit.

Ultimately, it’s your decision how CLEP exam results are handled as part of their high school grade, but my suggestion is to mirror the common practices used by high schools and colleges.  As such, a CLEP score should represent 0% of the student’s high school grade.  There is solid precedent to support my suggestion:

  1. Advanced Placement (AP) courses do not use AP exams as part of the student’s course grade.
  2. International Baccalaureate (IB) courses do not use IB exams as part of the student’s course grade.
  3. Colleges do not award letter grades for CLEP exams.
  4. CLEP exams scores never count toward a college student’s GPA or course grade.
  5. Only colleges award credit for CLEP scores, not high schools.
  6. High schools are not authorized to award college credit, only high school credit.

Remember that when a student passes a CLEP exam, their scores will appear on their official CLEP transcript held by The College Board.


The American Council on Education (ACE) recommends a credit-granting score of 50 for each CLEP exam. This is a scaled score, equivalent to earning a C in the relevant course; the corresponding raw score is determined after the panel of college faculty who teach the equivalent course perform a detailed and rigorous review of exam content. The review needs to be approved by the test development committee that oversees each CLEP exam.

In addition to determining the recommended credit-granting score of 50, college faculty members also recommend a scaled score that is equivalent to a grade of B. While ACE has not endorsed this B score, it is useful to those schools that print grade equivalents for CLEP exams on student transcripts, or those specialized programs that require a minimum grade of B on all transferred credit.

Business ACE Recommendations
Exam Title Credit-Granting
Score (C-Level)
Semester
Hours
B-Level
Financial Accounting 50 3 65
Information Systems 50 3 66
Introductory Business Law 50 3 60
Principles of Management 50 3 63
Principles of Marketing 50 3 65
Composition & Literature ACE Recommendations
Exam Title Credit-Granting
Score (C-Level)
Semester
Hours
B-Level
American Literature 50 3 53
Analyzing and Interpreting Literature 50 3 59
College Composition 50 6 59
College Composition Modular 50 3 60
English Literature 50 3 62
Humanities 50 3 55
History & Social Sciences ACE Recommendations
Exam Title Credit-Granting
Score (C-Level)
Semester
Hours
B-Level
American Government 50 3 63
History of the United States I 50 3 56
History of the United States II 50 3 57
Human Growth and Development 50 3 58
Introduction to Educational Psychology 50 3 62
Introductory Psychology 50 3 59
Introductory Sociology 50 3 56
Principles of Macroeconomics 50 3 62
Principles of Microeconomics 50 3 64
Social Sciences and History 50 6 62
Western Civilization I 50 3 55
Western Civilization II 50 3 54
Science & Mathematics ACE Recommendations
Exam Title Credit-Granting
Score (C-Level)
Semester
Hours
B-Level
Biology 50 6 (non-lab) 56
Calculus 50 4 64
Chemistry 50 6 (non-lab) 65
College Algebra 50 3 63
College Mathematics 50 6 57
Natural Sciences 50 6 (non-lab) 62
Precalculus 50 3 61
World Languages*ACE Recommendations
Exam Title Credit-Granting
Score (C-Level)
Semester
Hours
B-Level
French Language
Level 1 Proficiency
50 6 64
French Language
Level 2 Proficiency
59 9 69
German Language
Level 1 Proficiency
50 6 59
German Language
Level 2 Proficiency
60 9 67
Spanish Language
Level 1 Proficiency
50 6 56
Spanish Language
Level 2 Proficiency
63 9 68

* For each of the world languages, there is only one exam covering both Level 1 and 2 content. ACE recommends 6 semester hours of credit for mastery of Level 1 content (a score of 50) and 9 semester hours of credit for mastery of both Levels 1 and 2 (a score of 59 on French Language, 60 on German Language, and 63 on Spanish Language).