Posted in CLEP, High School, Science

Curriculum for Biology –> CLEP

In this post, we’re going look at some ideas for biology curriculum that gets a solid foundation for teens that want to take the Biology CLEP.

Official College Board Biology CLEP Page: here

The Biology examination covers material that is usually taught in a one-year college general biology course (2 semesters) covers 3 areas of general biology:

  1. molecular and cellular biology (33% / about 38 questions)
  2. organismal biology (33% / about 38 questions)
  3. population biology (33% / about 38 questions)

Skipping “curriculum” and just starting with “test prep” is a mistake. This is a very large exam covering an enormous scope of content. The trick to success is allowing sufficient learning time using high school (or college) curriculum as your foundation and following up with test prep. You should choose the foundation (curriculum) that aligns well with your student’s ability. Students working well above grade level may enjoy the challenge of using college level content, but students working on grade level can still be successful with the CLEP exam by learning with high school curriculum! Learning for this exam could easily take 2 high school semesters.

If you’d rather have your teen take biology directly for college credit, you can can explore the many options here: 30 Ways to Earn College Credit in High School. Using CLEP means you’ll award high school credit for the curriculum work your teen does at home, and they’ll earn potential college credit by taking the CLEP exam later. Acceptance of CLEP varies by college.

Should you add a lab? High School Biology often includes a lab, though it isn’t required as preparation for this exam. It may, however, be required by your state’s graduation requirements or your target college’s admissions requirements, so I like the idea of adding a lab unless you’re sure you don’t need one.

Build Your Curriculum

(choose 1)

Khan Academy High School Biology (secular / free)

Apologia High School Biology (Christian/ cost)

Easy Peasy High School Biology (Christian / free)

Khan Academy AP/College Biology (secular / free)

MITx Introduction to Biology (secular / free)

add a lab (optional)

High School Biology Lab Kits (physically do at home)

College Biology Lab Simulation (do on the computer)

add a text book (optional)

College Biology Textbook (online / free)

Test Prep Voucher (Take a CLEP for free)

Modern States is a free online CLEP prep class that upon completion will pay for your teen’s CLEP exam. Get your voucher first! Besides giving your student some extra test prep, the voucher pays for your exam!

Test Prep

REA CLEP Biology Book with Practice Tests (try your local library!)

Hippocampus (for any topic still giving you trouble)

Are you preparing for the CLEP Biology exam or already taken it? If so, what resources are your favorite? Share below!

Posted in celebrate, CLEP

Homeschooling with CLEP: Game-changer for Sean’s Future

I am thrilled to share with you this homeschooling success story of how Sara used CLEP in her homeschool with her son Sean during 11th (and now 12th) grade. She posted her celebration inside our Illinois HS4CC Facebook group and gave me permission to share it with you here. I know you’ll find it as inspirational as I did!

Continue reading “Homeschooling with CLEP: Game-changer for Sean’s Future”
Posted in CLEP, Scholarships

Using CLEP at “Expensive Universities”

I subscribe to the Modern States email list and read a wonderful update from a student planning to attend Boston University in the future- and how she used CLEP toward her journey. CLEP often gets bundled in with people choosing community colleges or online universities, so my first question – “what’s their CLEP policy?”

Continue reading “Using CLEP at “Expensive Universities””
Posted in CLEP

My Top 10 CLEP Prep Tips for PARENTS

Before I ever started homeschooling my own teens for college credit, I wanted to know more about CLEP, and how it worked. The super-short version is that I took one exam “just to see” what it would be like….but I ended up testing out of an Associate’s Degree (60 credits) in 6 months! I didn’t need that degree; I worked as a chef and had my culinary credentials in place, but it was loads of fun and a little addictive once I got rolling. Continue reading “My Top 10 CLEP Prep Tips for PARENTS”

Posted in CLEP, Credit by Exam, Resources

Free Virtual Conference this Sunday

Jennifer Cook-DeRosa, author of Homeschooling for College Credit, is a featured speaker this Sunday, December 6th at the virtual homeschooling conference “Homeschool to Unschool: How to let your child’s unique genius shine.” Her session presentation is titled “How Self-Directed Learners Earn College Credit at Home” and will focus on how independent learners or unschooling families can find a pathway that works for them.

Continue reading “Free Virtual Conference this Sunday”
Posted in ACE, CLEP

CLEP Expiration / Revision Dates

ACE is the third-party review organization that colleges use to decide if a class or exam is “worth” college credit or not. In other words, CLEP exams are worth college credit because they have undergone review by ACE.

When ACE reviews an exam, they always assign a date range for that review. At the ending date, the exam must be reviewed again or removed. The exam can be renewed and extended when there isn’t a significant change in content. As an example, we’ve watched the Biology exam renew unchanged since 2001. As such, we can feel confident that the exam has not changed that much since 2001 because the date simply keeps getting extended for another 3-year cycle (indicating no change).

If an exam is revised, it must be assigned a new date range. For instance, United States History 1 has remained unchanged since 2001, but just received a new date range renewal  “12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023” which tells us that the exam was revised this time (indicating significant content change).

It’s an imperfect system, but one that we can use to watch what the College Board is doing behind the scenes. They don’t usually announce exam revisions, but we can figure it out if we watch the dates in the ACE database.

Some exam revisions are significant (when Social Science and History completely changed their content in 2016) or slight. We don’t know what is coming, but we can report what we learn as a group. This kind of feedback loop helps all parents help each other.

All date ranges and the history of date ranges are available by searching the ACE Database.

Currently, 34 CLEP exams are evaluated for college credit.  

American Government 7/1/01- 11/30/18 –> REVISED EXAM  12/01/2018 -11/30/23

American Literature 3/1/15 – 12/31/22

Analyzing and Interpreting Literature  3/1/15-12/31/22

Biology 7/1/01- 12/31/22

Calculus 10/1/12 – 11/30/18  –> REVISED EXAM 12/01/2018 -11/30/23

Chemistry 7/1/01- 11/30/18  –> REVISED EXAM 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

College Algebra 1/1/07 – 12/31/22

College Composition (essay) 7/1/10 – 11/30/18 –> REVISED EXAM 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

College Modular (no essay) 3/1/15 – 11/30/ 18 –>REVISED EXAM 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

College Math 3/1/15 – 12/31/22

English Literature 3/1/15 – 11/30/18  –> REVISED EXAM 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

Financial Accounting 1/1/07 – 12/31/22

French Language 3/1/15 – 11/30/18–> REVISED EXAM 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

German Language 3/1/15 – 12/31/22

History of the United States I 7/1/01- 11/30/18 –> REVISED EXAM 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

History of the United States II 7/1/01- 11/30/18 –> REVISED 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

Human Growth and Development 11/1/06 – 11/30/18  –>  REVISED 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

Humanities 3/1/15 – 11/30/18 –> REVISED 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

Information Systems 10/1/12 – 12/31/22

Intro. Educational Psychology 10/1/12 – 11/30/18 –> REVISED 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

Intro. Business Law 5/1/02 – 11/30/18 –> REVISED 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

Intro. Psychology 10/1/12 – 11/30/18 –> REVISED 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

Intro. Sociology 10/1/12 – 11/30/18 –> REVISED 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

Natural Sciences 7/1/01- 11/30/18 –> REVISED 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

Precalculus 10/1/12 – 12/31/22

Princ. of Macroeconomics 10/1/12 – 12/31/22

Princ. of Microeconomics 10/1/12 – 13/31/22

Princ. of Management 3/1/15 – 12/31/22

Princ. of Marketing 10/1/12 – 12/31/22

Social Science and History 3/1/16 – 12/31/23

Spanish Language 3/1/15 – 12/31/22

Spanish with Writing 6/1/19 – 5/31/24

Western Civ. I 7/1/01- 12/31/22

Western Civ. II 7/1/01- 12/31/22

Posted in CLEP

My Top 10 CLEP Prep Tips for PARENTS

Before I ever started homeschooling my own teens for college credit,  I wanted to know more about CLEP, and how it worked.  The super-short version is that I took one exam “just to see” what it would be like….but I ended up testing out of an Associate’s Degree (60 credits) in 6 months!  I didn’t need that degree; I worked as a chef and had my culinary credentials in place, but it was loads of fun and a little addictive once I got rolling. Continue reading “My Top 10 CLEP Prep Tips for PARENTS”

Posted in CLEP

Modern States- Yes, CLEP is free $0

When Modern States first announced their CLEP voucher program, I was a little bit (lotta bit) skeptical about sharing information about the program. I’ve seen a lot of fly-by-night CLEP prep programs come and go – so I am very guarded about “new” CLEP prep programs. But here we are years later, and they are still giving full waivers for free CLEP exams to our audience.

Brief Summary: Modern States is a free online CLEP “prep” program cram class.

How to use it: This is an amazing opportunity when used correctly. There are really 2 ways to use this- as an adult cramming to get quick and cheap college credit, or as a high school student after a full semester of curriculum.

Since the Homeschooling for College Credit audience are parents resourcefully planning high school courses for their teens, I’ll explain how to use it for parents who are using CLEP as part of their homeschool plan. My advice always centers around my opinion that time in high school should not be shortened, rather the college degree goalpost can simply be brought closer.

  1. Choose a high school subject your teen will study. There are 34 CLEP exams, so it is highly likely that your high school subject will have a matching CLEP exam. I’ve included a list of exam subjects at the bottom of this post.
  2. Use your favorite homeschool high school curriculum and learn properly. You’ll want to award high school credit separate and apart from whether or not your student passes their CLEP exam, and this step is critical in assuring you can do that. There is no such thing as “CLEP curriculum” so don’t chase promises of such. Whether you are using religious, secular, online or textbook – stick with a solid brand you trust to learn and earn high school credit.
  3. Since your teen has learned the subject properly, CLEP prep will be quick. Zip over to Modern States and have your student complete their prep course. Since this is not curriculum, it shouldn’t take more than a week or two to finish the prep class. Think of it a bit like studying for the SAT or ACT – prep classes are helping you brush up and target your studying. Your teen should memorize the important dates, names, places, formulas, etc. from the Modern States class.
  4. Pass Modern States- get your voucher- schedule your exam for next week. The voucher works like a coupon code you enter at checkout. It brings the cost down to $0.
  5. Take a practice test or two. Cram a little more.
  6. Arrive at the testing center to take your exam. If your student’s CLEP testing center charges a fee, you can submit that receipt for reimbursement.
  7. Upon passing the CLEP, your teen will have potential college credit. It is stored on an official transcript with The College Board, and later when they apply to college, you’ll send that official transcript to your teen’s target college. It will have all the successfully passed CLEP exams. (failed exams are not recorded)

(copied directly from an email sent to Jennifer Cook-DeRosa from Modern States)
Take control of your education through free online courses
As students across the county adjust to a new school year that looks different from years past, many are seizing the opportunity to take control of their education. With free online courses from Modern States, students have the chance to advance their college career without leaving home.
Modern States instructor Rebecca Lubot Rebecca Lubot (pictured), a former Rutgers University professor and instructor of our American Government course, recently wrote that she believes solutions like Modern States are more important now than before the pandemic.
While Modern States — and this former professor — believe that no substitute exists for in-person instruction, solutions such as [Freshman Year for Free] do exist and they are garnering national attention. – Rebecca Lubot
Register and enroll in one or many of our 30+ self-paced, tuition-free courses to begin earning free college credit transferable to more than 2,900 U.S. colleges and universities. Each course is taught by a college professor, and textbooks and materials are included at no cost.

What makes it free? Modern States, a philanthropy, pays for students to take the $89 College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams offered by the College Board, in addition to reimbursing test center fees. This makes any credit earned from passing a CLEP exam completely free.

Eight passed CLEP exams can equal an entire year of college, which saves students and their families more than $10,000 in tuition and may earn learners their Freshman Year for Free.
“I plan on graduating in the spring of 2022, two full years ahead of schedule. Without the help of Modern States, I would not be where I am today.” – Rachel M., Modern States student

American Literature, 3 credits
Analyzing and Interpreting Literature, 3 credits
College Composition, 6 credits
College Composition Modular, 3 credits
English Literature, 3 credits
Humanities, 3 credits
French Language, 6–9 credits
German Language, 6–9 credits
Spanish Language, 6–9 credits

Spanish Writing, 6-12 credits
American Government, 3 credits
History of the United States I, 3 credits
History of the United States II, 3 credits
Human Growth and Development, 3 credits
Introduction to Educational Psychology, 3 credits
Principles of Macroeconomics, 3 credits
Principles of Microeconomics, 3 credits
Introductory Psychology, 3 credits
Introductory Sociology, 3 credits
Social Sciences and History, 6 credits
Western Civilization I, 3 credits
Western Civilization II, 3 credits
Biology, 6 credits
Calculus, 4 credits
Chemistry, 6 credits
College Algebra, 3 credits
College Mathematics, 6 credits
Natural Sciences, 6 credits
PreCalculus, 3 credits
Financial Accounting, 3 credits
Information Systems, 3 credits
Introductory Business Law, 3 credits
Principles of Management, 3 credits
Principles of Marketing, 3 credits

Read more posts about CLEP

Posted in CLEP, HS4CC

Last Summer Workshop TODAY!

Our Homeschooling for College Credit summer workshops have been amazing- I can’t believe we are at the end!! We’ve had over 1,000 parents attend the free educational workshops and gain confidence toward their high school and college plans.

It’s not too late to get in on our last workshop. As always, these are free educational events for our families. They are open to anyone but registration is required. When you register, you’ll get a password that you’ll need to login to the event.


TIME: 12:00 pm EST (New York time zone)

WHERE: live on Zoom

I want your teen’s first CLEP to be a raging success! It’s easy enough to accumulate college credit by exam once you get the hang of it. If you’re unsure about jumping in, or you have the first exam scheduled and you’d like to ask some questions, we’re going to explore all the important things they need to know before their BIG DAY!

This event will NOT be recorded, so join us LIVE today!

Posted in CLEP, HS4CC

2 CLEPs to take in 10th grade

10th grade is a great time to plan a first CLEP if you have a teen who studies well and retains information. While I consider 11th and 12th grades to be the “sweet spot” to homeschool for the most college credit, CLEP exams can be taken in any grade and at any age – and these two exams fit perfectly in almost every homeschool in 10th grade.

Continue reading “2 CLEPs to take in 10th grade”

Posted in ACE, ALEKS, AP Advanced Placement, CLEP, Credit by Exam, Distance Learning, DSST, Dual Enrollment, edX, Foreign Language, HS4CC, MOOCs, Sophia, Straighterline,

College Credit & Social Distancing

We’re in full social distancing mode, but even with so many businesses closed, earning college credit is still possible for most of our audience!  The following list shows you which college credit resources are still alive and well! Continue reading “College Credit & Social Distancing”

Posted in CLEP, HS4CC

Wrap up: CLEP Zoom Session 4/24/20

Did you enjoy the CLEP Zoom session yesterday? I sure did! It was great getting to meet so many of you and talk with you about your homeschool. We covered a lot of ground yesterday, so as promised, here are all the links, documents, and resource packets we talked about and a few extra goodies I forgot to mention!!

Continue reading “Wrap up: CLEP Zoom Session 4/24/20”