Posted in HS4CC

CLEP Score: What’s an A? B? C?

Though CLEP exams don’t generate a letter grade at your college, it feels good to know what grade it might have been if it were assigned a letter grade. This table tells you.

College Board B-Level Recommendations

“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.”

Sometimes this guideline causes panic instead of reassurance. Parents want to know if scoring a 50 means their teen should get a “C” grade on their homeschool course. NO!! That is not what it means! Credit for CLEP is not scaled that way. The exam score is not equivalent to a letter grade, colleges only award credit, and it doesn’t reflect the learning that went into a student’s high school grade. In other words, don’t read into the number too much. Since the question pool is ENORMOUS, meaning that the questions are not all the same for everyone, there is a good change that if you took the same exam every day this week, that you’d get 7 entirely different scores! So again, don’t read too much into the number. This is more for “fun” than anything else.

The number you see was selected by faculty who teach a course that matches the same name as the exam. The Psychology exam was reviewed by Psychology faculty, the Biology exam was reviewed by Biology faculty, etc. The faculty came up with the score that they though represented the level of knowledge of a student earning a “B” in their respective classes. Again, don’t read too much into this. It’s literally just an opinion and guess.

What you can use this score for, however, is to get a feeling of how likely your teen might be at hitting a certain benchmark. For instance, if you look at American Literature, you’ll see that scoring 53 is actually quite good, and if your student scores 54, that would be considered an A (at least in this instance). As such, expecting your teen to earn a 64 on that exam is setting the bar way too high. They may, however, be able to earn a 64 on an exam like Principles of Marketing.

One final thought about this chart. If your target college wants scores higher than 50, you can get a sense of “how much higher” they need to be by looking at this chart. If your target college is asking for 70’s across the board, that’s not going to happen. They are essentially setting the bar so high that no one can reasonably do it. In other words, they don’t “really” accept CLEP- they just want to say they do. In cases like that, you might find they are more “test-friendly” on other brands of exams like DSST or AP. Scoring a “3” on an AP exam would be much easier than scoring a 70 on a CLEP.

This chart is from the College Board’s website “For Colleges” section

Exam TitleB-Level ScoreC-Level Score
Financial Accounting6550
Information Systems6650
Introductory Business Law5750
Principles of Management6350
Principles of Marketing6550
Exam TitleB-Level ScoreC-Level Score
American Literature5350
Analyzing and Interpreting Literature5950
College Composition5950
College Composition Modular6050
English Literature6350
Exam TitleB-Level ScoreC-Level Score
American Government6450
History of the United States I6150
History of the United States II6050
Human Growth and Development5850
Introduction to Educational Psychology6350
Introductory Psychology5550
Introductory Sociology5650
Principles of Macroeconomics6250
Principles of Microeconomics6450
Social Sciences and History6350
Western Civilization I55
Western Civilization II54
Exam TitleB-Level ScoreC-Level Score
College Algebra6350
College Mathematics6350
Natural Sciences6650
Exam TitleB-Level ScoreC-Level Score
French Language Level 1 Proficiency6450
French Language Level 2 Proficiency6959
German Language Level 1 Proficiency5950
German Language Level 2 Proficiency6760
Spanish Language Level 1 Proficiency5650
Spanish Language Level 2 Proficiency6863
Spanish with Writing Level 1 Proficiency5850
Spanish with Writing Level 2 Proficiency7165


Executive Director of Homeschooling for College Credit