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CLEP Principles of Accounting

CLEP Principles of Accounting



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Examination Program
Copyright \u00a9 2001 by College Entrance Examination Board. All rights reserved.
College Board, College-Level Examination Program, CLEP, and the acorn logo are
registered trademarks of the College Entrance Examination Board.
March 2001
page 2
History of CLEP

Since 1967, the College-Level Examination
Program (CLEP) has provided nearly five million
people with the opportunity to reach their educa-
tional goals. CLEP participants have received
college credit for knowledge and expertise they
have gained through prior course work, indepen-
dent study, or work and life experience.

Over the years, the CLEP examinations have
evolved to keep pace with changing curricula and
pedagogy. Currently the examinations represent
courses typical of the first two years of college
study, stressing the areas of liberal arts and busi-
ness. Students may choose from 34 different
subject areas to demonstrate their mastery of
college-level material.

Today, over 2,900 colleges and universities
recognize CLEP.
Philosophy of CLEP

Promoting access to higher education is CLEP\u2019s
foundation. CLEP offers students an opportunity
to demonstrate and receive validation of their
college-level knowledge. Students who receive an
appropriate score on a CLEP exam can enrich their
college experience with higher-level courses in
their major field of study, expand their horizons by
taking a wider array of electives, and avoid repeti-
tion of material that they already know.

CLEP Participants

Since its inception, nearly five million people have
taken CLEP exams. CLEP\u2019s test-taking population
includes people of all ages and walks of life.
Traditional 18- to 22-year-old students, adults just
entering or returning to school, and international
students who need to quantify their knowledge
have all been assisted by CLEP in earning their
college degrees.

Currently, 63 percent of CLEP\u2019s test takers are
women and 47 percent are 30 years of age or
older. The number of 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds is
increasing, however, as the advantages of partici-
pating in CLEP become more widely known.

Computer-Based CLEP Testing

In 2001, CLEP\u2019s transition from paper-based test
administrations to computer-delivered examina-
tions will be complete. As part of the move to
computer-based testing (CBT), CLEP has commit-
ted to a number of changes that will improve the
program for both colleges and students. These new
features are:

\u2022 increased faculty participation through:
\u2022 the appointment of ongoing development
committees for each subject-area examination

\u2022 the periodic appointment of standard-setting
panels made up of faculty who determine the
recommended level of student competency
for credit-granting scores

\u2022 new question formats that will increase the
effectiveness of the assessments

\u2022 real-time score reporting that will allow students
and colleges the ability to make immediate
credit-granting decisions (except for English
Composition with Essay which requires faculty
essay reading each month)

1999-2000 National CLEP Candidates by Age*
Under 19
19-22 years
23-29 years
30 years and older
These data are based on 95% of CLEP test takers who responded to this
survey question on their answer sheets.
1999-2000 National CLEP Candidates by Gender
page 3
\u2022 a uniform credit-granting score of 50 for all exams

\u2022 \u201crights-only\u201d scoring which will award one point
per correct answer; replaces \u201cformula scoring\u201d
which subtracts a fraction of a point for each
incorrect answer

\u2022 pretest questions that are not scored but will
provide current candidate population data and
allow for rapid expansion of question pools

Recommendation of the American
Council on Education (ACE)
The American Council on Education, founded in
1918, is the major voice in American higher educa-

tion and serves as the focus for discussion and
decision-making on higher education issues of
national importance. As such, it strives to ensure
quality education on the nation\u2019s campuses.
Within ACE, the Center for Adult Learning and
Educational Credentials is the pioneer in evaluat-
ing extra-institutional learning, assisting post-
secondary education institutions in establishing
policies and procedures for awarding credit based
on ACE evaluations.

ACE has reviewed the College-Level Examination
Program, as well as the processes and procedures
being utilized in the conversion to computer-based
testing. Effective July 1, 2001, the American Coun-
cil on Education recommends a uniform credit-
granting score of 50 across all subjects, represent-
ing the performance of students who earn a grade
of C in the corresponding college courses.

CLEP Credit Granting

Over the years it has been recommended by
colleges and universities, as well as the American
Council on Education (ACE), that CLEP move to
a single credit-granting score across all examina-
tions. With the introduction of computer-based
testing, CLEP will begin using a common credit-
granting score of 50 for all CLEP exams. This score
represents the performance of students who earn
a grade of C in the corresponding introductory
college courses.

The change to a common credit-granting score
does not mean, however, that the standards for
all CLEP exams are the same. When a new or
revised version of a test is introduced, the program
conducts a web-based standard setting to deter-
mine the recommended credit-granting score

(\u201ccut score\u201d). A standard-setting panel is appointed
to give its expert judgment on the student perfor-
mance that would be necessary to receive college
credit in the course. The panel consists of 15 \u2013 20
faculty members from colleges and universities
across the country that are currently teaching the
course. The panel reviews the test and test specifi-
cations and has an online discussion to define
typical A, B, C, and D student performance on the
exam. Individual student performance is rated on
each question. The combined average of the ratings
is used to determine a recommended number of
examination questions that must be answered
correctly to mirror classroom performance of a
typical C student in the related course. The panel\u2019s
findings are given to members of the test develop-
ment committee (also faculty), who make a final
determination, with the help of ETS content and
psychometric specialists, about what raw score is
equivalent to a \u201c50.\u201d

CLEP Exam Development

Currently, most subjects have a standing develop-
ment committee. As new exams are developed,
additional standing committees will be appointed
for all subjects. The committee is comprised of
faculty from a wide variety of institutions that are
currently teaching the relevant college undergradu-
ate courses. The committee members establish the

test specifications, based on feedback from a national curriculum survey, develop and select test questions, review statistical data, and prepare descriptive

material for use by faculty (Test Information Guides)
and students planning to take the tests (Official
Study Guide for the CLEP examinations).
The Curriculum Survey

The first step in the construction of a CLEP examina-
tion is a curriculum survey. Its main purpose is to
obtain information needed to develop test content
specifications that reflect the current college curricula
and recognize anticipated changes in the field. These
surveys are conducted every three to five years,
depending on the discipline. Specifically, the survey
gathers information on:

\u2022 the major content and skill areas covered in the
course, and the proportion of the course devoted
to each area
\u2022 specific topics taught and the emphasis given
to each topic

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