Office for Prior Learning Assessment

PLA CLEP Examinations

pla-clep-laptopWHAT IS "CLEP"?

CLEP® examinations are standardized tests created by CollegeBoard™ which cover material taught in courses that most students take as basic foundations for their college degrees. USM faculty have reviewed these exams to ensure they cover subject matter adequate for these courses, and have recommended credit and passing scores for these exams. Follow this link to see the CLEP exams given at USM. Follow this link to read exam descriptions at the CLEP website. 

PLEASE NOTE:  The Educational Testing Service requires all candidates to register for a CLEP exam on the ETS/CLEP website.

The Administrative/Proctoring fee is $50. There is no additional charge to post your CLEP credits to a USM transcript if you take the exam at USM.

College Composition Modular

If you seek to take an equivalency for ENG 100 at USM, PLA offers only the College Composition Modular, which is a 90-minute multiple choice exam. USM does not offer the essay format of this exam and the previous CLEP® English Composition has been discontinued. 

The CLEP® exams given at USM are listed below, along with their equivalent credits, and minimum test scores to achieve these credits only for USM.

Please contact the college or university to which you wish to have your CLEP scores sent to learn their minimum cut-off scores and course equivalents.

Register for a CLEP®

USM is an open testing site, which means registration is not restricted to only USM students. In order to take the CLEP® test at USM, students or the general public should register for any one of the thirty-three CLEP® exams directly with David Vardeman, 240 Luther Bonney Hall on the Portland Campus, His office hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and by appointment.

PLA at USM charges an additional $50 administrative/proctoring fee for each CLEP exam. Download the form for payment of the $50 administrative fee here.

Registration Procedures for the CLEP® Exams at USM

  1. Prior to the actual test day, please open a My Account, register at ETS, and pay your CLEP exam fee of $80 with this link.
  2. PLA at USM charges an additional $50 administrative/proctoring fee for each CLEP exam. Prior to the actual test day, please complete and print the Administrative/Proctoring Fee form.
  3. Submit a printed copy or a PDF e-mailed copy of the ETS registration form, along with Administrative/Proctoring Fee form and a check or credit card payment for $50 payable to USM to: David Vardeman, Testing Associate, Prior Learning Assessment, 240 Luther Bonney Hall, USM, Portland, Maine  04104-9300,
  4. NOTE: PLA does not accept faxed forms, and accepts only one e-mailed form:  a PDF copy of the ETS/CLEP Exam Registration Ticket.
  5. Please be aware: A revised CLEP retest policy took effect October 17, 2014. The new policy allows for CLEP exams to be repeated after a three-month waiting period. Please note that the policy is not retroactive, so candidates who have tested prior to October 17, 2014, must still wait six months before retaking the same exam.
  6. Please read USM CLEP Test Policies for additional information.
  7. Contact David Vardeman at or (207) 780-4578 with your questions and concerns. His office hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and by appointment.

USM CLEP Test Policies

Find Another CLEP® Testing Center in Maine

Active Duty Military

Active duty military are charged only the administrative/proctoring service fee of $50, if you present your active duty military card for verification at the time of registration. Please go to the ETCLEP website for more specific details about who may test as "military," and the types of identification needed.

Helpful Information for Exam Day

Please read "Exam Day Info" on the ETS/CLEP website, and refer to the booklet, Information for Test-Takers, which gives full information about the CLEP tests, including prohibited items.

Be prepared to bring the following to the test center:

  1. A valid registration ticket from the My Account ETS/CLEP registration portal.
  2. Registration forms or printouts that are required by the USM test center. Make sure you have filled out all necessary paperwork and paid your fees in advance of your testing date.
  3. Identification:  Your valid and current driver’s license, passport or other government-issued identification that includes your photograph and signature, as well as a secondary form of ID that includes a photo and/or your signature, such as a student ID. You will be asked to show this identification to be admitted to the testing area. The last name on your primary ID must match the name on your registration ticket.
    • Acceptable identification: Current passport with name, photograph, and signature; valid driver's license with name, photograph, and signature; state or province ID issued by the motor vehicle agency with name, photograph, and signature; national ID with name, photograph, and signature; a tribal ID card; a naturalization card or certificate of citizenship; or see below for home-schoolers.
    • Unacceptable identification:  Credit cards, social security cards (except for military candidates), and school IDs are not acceptable forms of identification.
    • Home-schoolers:  If you do not have the required government-issued ID, please complete a Student ID Form, which is valid for one year. The form must be accompanied by a recognizable photo, with a school or notary seal overlapping the photo. The form must be signed in front of a school official or notary. If you fail to present appropriate ID, you will not be tested.
    • Military test-takers:  Bring your military ID and Social Security card.

Request an Official Score Transcript to Post Your CLEP Credits to Your USM Transcript

For CLEP test scores to be posted on your USM transcript, USM requires an official CLEP score transcript sent directly from the parent testing company (ETS) to USM. If you have taken the CLEP® at another insitutution, either call 800-257-9558, fax (609) 771-7088, or read the CLEP Information for Test Takers Booklet, p. 9, "Score Reporting Policies" at the CLEP website to learn more about requesting an official CLEP® score transcript.

Please request that your score transcript be sent to school code #3691 (USM), in care of:  Dr. Ashley Collins, Director, Office for Prior Learning Assessment, University of Southern Maine, 248 Luther Bonney Hall, 85 Bedford Street, Portland, Maine  04104-9300.

Upon receipt of the CLEP official score report, PLA will evaluate your credits (see above "CLEP Tests and Equivalencies" for score evaluations), and post your credits to your USM transcript. There is no fee for this service.

NOTE: PLA does not accept either faxed or e-mailed forms.

Study for the CLEP®

The CLEP Official website offers study materials beyond the college texts that you might use for exam preparation. If you are taking just one CLEP exam, it may be more advantageous to purchase one of the Individual Subject Guides ($10) in downloadable electronic format instead of the Comprehensive CLEP Official Study Guide ($24.95) both of which are available. In these guides CLEP® offers you an outline of the test, sample questions and answers, and general tips for preparing for the CLEP exams.

PLA also keeps copies of the current CLEP® Official Study Guide for your use on the premises in 240 Luther Bonney Hall, Portland Campus.