AP, IB and Testing for Credit

We’re all about rewarding hard work. And while most students satisfy general education requirements by taking courses here at CMU, you can also earn credit with a variety of exams. Read on to learn more about earning college credit with AP, IB and CLEP exams.

Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement or AP exams are standardized tests administered by the College Board. While in high school, you’ll take a rigorous course on a specific subject. At the end of the school year, you'll have the option to take the AP exam for college credit. AP exams are scored on a scale from 1-5. 

You can sign up for AP classes through your high school. Check with your school counselor to see what courses are offered. 

Earning CMU credit for AP exams

You can earn college credit in more than 25 subjects at CMU with a qualifying AP exam score, usually a 3 or higher.

Make sure to check which AP courses can earn you credit. Keep in mind that some courses might require higher scores. 


How do I send my AP scores to CMU?

When you take your AP exam, indicate you want your scores sent to CMU using the code 1106. Or, you can request your scores from College Board after you test.


International Baccalaureate

International Baccalaureate is a globally recognized program that assesses students' academic, intercultural and basic skills through various exams. You’ll take college-level courses and then take the IB higher level (HL) exam to earn credit. Students are evaluated with exams rated on a scale of 1 to 7.

Talk with your school’s counselor to see what International Baccalaureate options are available to you.

Earning CMU credit for IB courses

Take the higher level exam in 15+ subjects and you could earn 3 or more credits per exam here at CMU. Just make sure to check which IB classes and exam scores will earn you credit. 


How do I send my IB scores to CMU?

To get credit, your official scores must be sent directly to CMU by an IB office (New York, Geneva or London).


College Level Examinations Program

The College Level Examination Program exams are another way you can test for college credit. CLEP exams don't have any courses or classes associated with them, which is what makes them different than AP or IB exams. Think of it as "testing out" of a class or course you're already proficient in. 

You can test year-round for CLEP exams. However, most students take these types of examinations after they’ve already been admitted to CMU. CLEP exam's are scored 20-80 points. The scores you need to earn credit will vary by course and college or university. 

Earning CMU credit for CLEP exams

The qualifying CLEP score you need to earn credit varies by course. Before signing up for a test, make sure to see what scores you’ll need to qualify for CMU credit.


How do I sign up for a CLEP exam? 

CLEP exams are sponsored by the College Board. Testing is available at CMU through our Certified Testing Center.


The difference between AP, IB and CLEP exams 

 Exam TypeWhere do I take classes?How do I earn credits?Does CMU accept these credits?
Advanced Placement (AP)High schoolAP examYes
International Baccalaureate (IB)High schoolIB examYes
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)No courses required. 

CLEP exam, sponsored by College Board. 

Testing available at CMU or other certified testing site.


Why test for credit?

Taking classes while still in high school can help you graduate from college sooner and save money on tuition. When you start CMU after graduating from high school, you’ll still be considered a freshman throughout the application process – even if you already have enough credits for a higher class standing. This means you’ll still be eligible for freshman scholarships.

If you’re a transfer student, testing for credit options like CLEP may allow you to satisfy additional general education requirements.

Other ways to earn credit in high school

If you're looking for additional ways to earn credit while still in high school, consider options like dual enrollment or Early Middle College. Talk to your counselor to see what options are offered at your school and which might be a good fit for you!