Difference Between AP and CLEP

Cost, accessibility, progression. All are great reasons to consider making higher education credit in your high school years. Advanced Placement and the CLEP are both subject-specific credit-by-exam programs provided by The College Board. DSST is provided by Parametric, another separate test-provider. College Board’s AP program was created in the 1950′s to provide a way for high-achieving kids to get a jump start on college work. In recent years, it has transformed into a huge program that gets to more than a thousand students each year. AP gets more advertising and is more well-known than CLEP because it is provided and promoted through public educational institutions. AP is recommended to high-achieving students as a way for them to show their educational ability and helps high schools increase their reputation. Examination content for both AP and CLEP is designed by a board of college teachers, many who sit on both test development committees.


CLEP and DSST examinations are considered as a method to show expertise of content often trained in starting college-level programs. Since they are not associated with a high school course or program, these examinations are not promoted or well-known in those groups. As separate students, grownups and home schooled students are taking these examinations at an ever improving rate. As they keep growing in reputation, the test suppliers have observed and are actively reaching out to the home school market.

There are as many resemblances as there are variations between the examinations, but the most noticeable distinction is their availability: AP is provided in May, CLEP and DSST are provided year-round. While some institutions will specifically take AP examinations, it has become typical for institutions to reward credit for CLEP and DSST as well. Planning for AP, CLEP and DSST allows learners to develop the study abilities and critical thinking that prepares them for the conversion to college. They provide learners the assurance that they can efficiently manage college-level work, and provide them a jump-start towards achievement.