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CLEP Revisions: Now What?

So, you’ve possibly heard the news:  CLEP revised 1/2 of their catalog on December 1st – leaving many of us a little shocked and asking the question, “now what?” 

Don’t worry, this is not bad news, it’s just news.  More importantly, every revision appears in this post, so going forward, you’ll have all the tools you need to have your teen ready for their next CLEP exam (revised or not!)  Resourceful high school planning means that flexibility is our friend, and we’ll adapt without missing a beat!  So, we’ll dry our tears and march forward!!

What didn’t change

What changed?

Distribution Comparison

To compare the “old” exam distribution of topics against the “new” distribution, I’ve turned to my 2016 Official CLEP Study Guide and am comparing it against the CLEP Official Website’s overview page which shows current distributions.

I’ve done a careful comparison of all exams from 2016, and found that 3 exams have had distribution changes.  To save space, I’ve not copied the entire exam distribution, just the changes.  Refer to CLEP’s official website for full exam distributions and read how to use CLEP in your homeschool here.

Intro. Business Law 

Category:  Contracts OLD 25%-35% –> NEW 30%–40%
Category:  Legal Environment OLD 25% -30% –> NEW 20%–25%

History of the United States I 

Category: Political institutions, political dev, and public policy OLD 35% –>NEW 30%
Category: Social developments OLD 25% –> NEW 30%
Category: Cultural and intellectual developments OLD 15% –> NEW 20%
Category: Diplomacy and international relations OLD 15% –> NEW 10%

Human Growth and Development 
NEW TOPIC –> Biological (in Theoretical Perspectives)
NEW TOPIC–>Ecological (in Theoretical Perspectives)

Category: Research Strategies and Methodology OLD 5% –> NEW 6%

Category: Biological Development the Life Span OLD 10% –> NEW 12%

NEW TOPIC –> Genetic disorders (in Biological Development, moved from atypical dev.)

Category: Perceptual Development Throughout the Life Span OLD 7% –> NEW 6%
NEW TOPIC –> Habituation (in Perceptual Development)

Intelligence Throughout the Life Span OLD 4% –> NEW 6%
NEW TOPIC –>Giftedness (in Intelligence, moved from atypical Dev.)
NEW TOPIC –>Intelligence tests (in Intelligence)
NEW TOPIC –> Reaction range (in Intelligence)

Social Development Throughout the Life Span OLD 10% –> NEW 12%
NEW TOPIC –> Social learning and modeling (in Social Development)

Schooling, Work, and Interventions OLD 5% –> NEW 6%
NEW TOPIC –> Operant conditioning (in Schooling, Work…)

Category Renamed –>  Developmental Psychopathology OLD 5% –> NEW 6%
NEW TOPIC –> Anxiety and mood disorders (in Psychopathology)


We observed no change to the distribution for:

French Language

English Literature

College Composition (essay)

College Modular (no essay)

American Government

History of the United States II

Intro. Educational Psychology

Intro. Psychology

Intro. Sociology



Natural Sciences


Other important information about CLEP exams

7 Ways to Fail Your CLEP Exam

College Level Exam Program (CLEP)

CLEP for 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Grades

Member Question: CLEP Registration before 10th grade?

CLEP Expiration / Revision Dates (see when the next changes are expected)

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