CLEPs are great if you can pass 'em. They save you time and money. Of course, it's wasted money if you don't pass.
My CLEPs were 21 years old when I went back for my RN. They are only good for 20 years (I can't begin to tell you how frustrating that was!).
I tried retaking one but failed so decided to just take the freakin' classes. Some of them I did by correspondence (I put one of those classes off for so long that I had to take all five exams in one day. I thought the instructor was going to come unglued. I did pass, though -- with an A yet -- which tells you something about how easy some classes are).
I did manage to weasel out of English though.
I think there are some prep books now that you can get at bookstores to help you study for CLEPs.
I'd recommend taking CLEPs that are skill based (English, Algebra) over those that are fact-based (History; Psychology and Sociology also ask a lot of "who" questions) unless you are just a whiz at the particular subject.
The questions are multiple choice (unless you go for more than 3 hours of English, in which case you will probably write an essay. As long as you are grammatically correct, use good spelling
, form, and have a cohesive argument, you'll pass that too -- they don't expect deathless prose from you).
You can take more than one CLEP in a day if you want. Call the school, ask when they give 'em. It's easy to sign up. I think you just have to have a 60% to get the credit for most subjects (it varies by test; some are as low as 55%, some are higher).