Best CLEP Exam Ladder

If you decide to take an exam without taking the earlier exams first, you may find it more difficult than it would be otherwise. So recommend taking exams within the same subject in a row so you can take advantage the overlap of information.  With that being said, here is the list of CLEP exams by order of difficulty with from the easiest in level 1 to the most difficult exams listed in level 5.  Please keep in mind this list is based on my personal experience so it will may vary for you.


Level 1 – easy to pass with 4 hours study time

Introduction to Sociology – 3 Credits

Information Systems and Computer Applications – 3 Credits

Analyzing and Interpreting Literature – 6 Credits

Human Growth and Development – 3 Credits


Level 2 – easy

Principles of Management – 3 Credits

Principles of Marketing – 3 Credits

Introduction to Psychology – 3 Credits

Introduction to Educational Psychology – 3 Credits

English Composition w/Essay – 6 Credits

English Composition w/o Essay – 6 Credits

Freshman College Composition – 6 Credits

History of the United States I: Early Colonization to 1877 – 3 Credits


Level 3 – moderate difficulty

College Mathematics – 6 Credits

College Algebra – 3 Credits

History of the United States II: 1865 to the Present – 3 Credits

Social Sciences and History – 6 Credits

Humanities – 6 Credits

Natural Sciences – 6 Credits

American Literature – 6 Credits

English Literature – 6 Credits

Biology – 6 Credits


Level 4 – Difficult

Precalculus – 3 Credits

Principles of Microeconomics – 3 Credits

Principles of Macroeconomics – 3 Credits

Introductory Business Law – 3 Credits

American Government – 3 Credits

Financial Accounting – 3 Credits


Level 5 – very difficult

Chemistry – 6 Credits

Calculus – 3 Credits

Western Civilization I: Ancient Near East to 1648 – 3 Credits

Western Civilization II: 1648 to the Present – 3 Credits

What is a CLEP?

CLEP stands for College-Level Examination Program developed by the College Board. It is a program designed to measure what you have learned through informal study, reading, travel, and work, and then equate this knowledge with what students usually learn during the first year of college study for a fraction of the cost of a college course.  This helps you complete your college education more quickly at a lower overall cost.

CLEP passing scores are widely accepted at more than 2,900 colleges and universities. The College Board have a list of 33 exams they offer. Passing these exams is the first step to achieving your college and career goals.

When you earn credits through CLEP exams, you can move directly to more advanced classes. This is a great option for home-schooled students, high school graduates and college students who want to accelerate their college graduation date.


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