Office for Prior Learning Assessment

CLEP Exams


***IMPORTANT UPDATE ON USM'S TESTING CENTER.  Due to public health concerns, the USM PLA office is unable to hold regular on-campus exam sessions at this time.  If you need to take an exam, please fill out the testing registration form and PLA staff will contact you for more information.*** 


All students who are coming to campus to take a PLA exam during the Spring 2021 semester must take a COVID-19 test the week of their exam.  This includes students for whom the PLA exam will be their only visit to campus during the Spring 2021 semester. 

If you are already participating in COVID testing because you are taking courses or working on campus, you do not need to schedule an additional COVID-19 test in order to take the PLA exam for which you are scheduled. 

Details on how to download the SaferCommunity app and schedule a COVID-19 test--as well as a detailed FAQ asymptomatic testing at USM--can be found here

Please note that COVID-19 tests can only be scheduled in the app seven days in advance. 

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the PLA Director at


CLEP EXAMINATIONS are standardized tests

These tests cover material taught in courses that most students take as basic foundations for their college degrees. USM faculty have reviewed and recommended credit and passing scores for these exams.

USM is a testing site open to the general public. Be sure to check with your home institution to learn their minimum cut-off scores and course equivalents. The list below is specific to USM. 

USM Equivalencies for CLEP Passing Scores

Here is a list of CLEP exams given at USM, along with their equivalent credits.

Registering for a CLEP exam

1. Choose an exam from the CollegeBoard CLEP website and follow the directions to purchase an exam and/or set up an account. The cost for the exam itself is $89.00.

2. Once the CLEP exam has been purchased complete the USM online registration form to schedule a testing time. Once complete, this form will alert USM’s testing coordinator to set up a date and time for the exam. The testing office is located on the Portland Campus in Room 240 Luther Bonney Hall. 

3. Bring a copy of the registration ticket for the exam and a government issued photo ID to the testing center on exam day. CLEP allows 90 minutes to complete an exam. CLEP exam registration tickets expire 6 months from the date of purchase.

4. Pay the USM test administration fee of $30 on the day of the exam. The fee can be paid by check or money order made out to USM, exact cash or credit card. The testing coordinator handles these payments at check-in for the exam.

Posting CLEP Credit

CLEP exams must be passed with a score of 50 or higher to earn credit at USM. There is a 90 day waiting period to retake a failed CLEP exam. Payment of the CLEP exam and USM testing administration fees are required on any subsequent exam attempts.

Once CLEP scores are received in the Office for Prior Learning Assessment, credit for passing scores will be posted to the student's academic transcript. The PLA office will send email confirmation of any posted CLEP credits to the student’s University email account.

Important Information Conerning CLEP Language Exams:  USM students can earn a maximum of 8 credits per level (100, 200, 300) by exam for each language.

CLEP Credit from Previous Testing Attempts

If you took your CLEP exam at another location, please contact CLEP at 800-257-9558 to have an Official Score Transcript sent. There is a $20.00 fee for each transcript ordered.  USM's school code is #3691.  Transcripts should be sent to:

Office for Prior Learning Assessment
University of Southern Maine
253 Luther Bonney Hall
85 Bedford St.
Portland, ME 04104-9300

If you are a military student who has CLEP scores listed on the Joint Services Transcript (JST), it is not necessary to send an official CLEP transcript in addition to your JST. Your military transcript acts as official record of your CLEP exam score(s).

Additional Information for Military, Veterans, and Their Families 

  • Active Duty Military - You test for free! Your CLEP registration is free as long as you meet these criteria.  Remember to bring your military ID with you to your exam.

  • Student veterans who are receiving funding through the Post-9/11 GI Bill may be able to have their initial testing fees (including the test administration fee charged by USM) reimbursed by the VA.  Students interested in pursuing this opportunity should contact Lorrie Spaulding, Director of USM's Veteran Services, at or 207-780-5232.

Accommodations and PLA Exams

The USM PLA Office is committed to helping students with documented disabilities gain equitable access to PLA exams. Students seeking accommodations on PLA exams should first contact Rusty Dolleman, Director of Prior Learning Assessment, at 207-780-5909 or  Students will be asked to provide documentation of any disability for assessment by USM Disability Services Center staff and, in many cases, the relevant testing company before any accommodations can be granted.  

Accommodations requests should be submitted as early as possible. As testing companies vary in their approach to granting accommodations, the USM PLA Office cannot guarantee that any particular accommodations request will be approved. 



USM CLEP Exam Equivalencies 4-1-20
Find Another CLEP® Testing Center
The CLEP Official website
Individual Subject Guides
Comprehensive CLEP Official Study Guide