CLEP and Challenge Tests

Credit by Testing

You may be able to receive college credit for demonstrating knowledge in certain subject areas through CLEP and Challenge tests. 

Challenge Tests

Students may test out of a basic biology course by taking a challenge test. The first attempt is free; second attempts cost $20. Below are the classes students may currently attempt to test out of along with a description of the test. Please contact the testing center to schedule a Challenge test.

Cell Biology for Health Careers     BIOL 098

  • An introduction to the fundamental biological concepts of cell structural organization and functions, including energy metabolism, protein synthesis and genetics.
  • 60 minutes, 50 multiple-choice questions, 37+ correct to pass
  • Must wait 24 hours before retesting

CHEM 100 Challenge Test

  • 60 minutes, 50 multiple-choice questions
  • Formula sheet, periodic table, and calculator provided

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Students may receive college credit for certain subject areas by demonstrating their knowledge on a CLEP exam. For example, if you already know a lot about American Literature, you can take the CLEP test on American literature. If your score is high enough, you will gain college credit and not have to take a course on American literature. 

Southwestern Michigan College is a testing site for CLEP. You do not have to be a student at SMC to take a CLEP test. If you are planning to send your scores to another institution, it is important that you contact the school and ask if they accept credit for the tests, what course it is for and what score they consider as passing. If you are planning on attending SMC, we accept CLEP credit for 27 different CLEP tests. See the CLEP tests we accept and required scores here.

College Board charges an $89 CLEP test fee per test, plus there is a $20 SMC proctoring fee for each test taken. For more information, visit the CLEP website at

To Take a CLEP Exam…

  1. Find the test you want to take on the CLEP website. Register and pay CLEP’s test fee through the CLEP site.
  2. Contact the Testing Center to set up an appointment. You will pay the $20 SMC proctoring fee when you arrive.