Preparing to Take CLEP Exams

My 10th grade daughter is concentrating on The Three C’s: Calculus, Chemistry and CLEP tests.

One huge advantage of homeschooling is the ability to challenge students at their level. Because my 15 year old daughter has progressed at her own speed since 1st grade, she is far ahead of public school students of the same age. 

Throughout her elementary school years we studied various topics in history and science and made sure to read, write and do math every day. Fortunately, new math concepts were relatively easy for her to master. This gift enabled her to move through math at a rapid pace. Like wise, reading was a hobby for her. She voraciously read every child’s chapter book within her grasp. Coupled with our history and science unit studies, this approach gave her a vast knowledge of many topics.

Therefore, when lesson planning this year we began talking about her future goals. At this stage she thinks she wants to be an orthodontist. Perhaps this goal will change in the future, but it is a great place to start our future planning. With the goal of dentistry and college in mind we began researching what to study this year and in the near future.

After learning about some near term options the plan for how to proceed this year became glaringly obviously. As an 11th and/or 12th grader she could gain experience, knowledge and college credit taking technical courses, which include dentistry through the local district. In the half-day, one year long program, kids get hands-on experience in a dentist office, and study anatomy and other topics relative to dentistry. This however, isn’t the only option. By taking 1 course at the high school she is eligible to take courses at a local community college. So we looked at the course list.

Based on the descriptions of many of the first and second year community college courses much of the material seems to have already been covered. The only way at this stage to begin taking credit for current knowledge is to take exams. CLEP is the best option.

Most colleges and universities award some amount of credit from CLEP exams, but very few award credit for all exams taken. Because we aren’t sure which institution(s) will be in her future path, we are  planning to take exams for which she has learned the majority of the material.

That being said, my 15 year old’s curriculum plan for the year is to complete chapters 21-24 of Life of Fred Calculus, complete her chemistry labs and book and take approximately 1 CLEP exam every six weeks. In addition, she will take ceramics and drawing at the local high school.

As a 13 year old she passed the German CLEP test with flying colors. The results of her testing this year will shape the path for next year and future lesson plans. Although her CLEP list has not been fully determined, she will likely take Western Civilization I and II, History of the United States Early Colonization to 1877, History of the United States 1865 to Present, Humanities, Calculus, Chemistry, and Natural Sciences.


  1. Great idea! I know someone who tested out of 3 1/2 years of college, and was eligible for grad school after taking VERY few post high-school classes. There ARE colleges who will award credit for testing. Check out Thomas Edison University, New Jersey or : )

  2. Your daughter sounds smart and very busy. Thank you for sharing you great post and ideas with us at Together on Tuesdays :)

  3. Hi! Since some years I read your Blog and it is realy interesting how this works when children being homeschooled.
    (Sorry for my bad english!)
    Greetings from Germany


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