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For most high school seniors, there’s a sense of relief when all standardized tests are finally done and college is on the horizon. Those that decide to transfer to another college will likely have their test scores play a role in their transfer process. With enough preparation, it doesn’t have to be as stressful the second time around.

Here are three types of standardized tests to consider as you prepare to transfer colleges:

ACT and SAT Test Scores

Your ACT or SAT score may or may not play a role your acceptance to a new college. After you obtain a certain amount of credit, the college you hope to transfer to might only focus on your college performance instead of taking your high school performance into consideration. The amount of credit is usually equivalent to a year’s worth of college credit for the school you’re applying to. This would mean your test score wouldn’t help determine their decision. Your recent grades for college courses would show them what you are currently capable of instead of how you did on a test in high school.

On the other hand, if you’ve completed less than a year’s worth of credit the college will want to view your high school and college performance. Doing well in the college classes you have taken before transferring can show your abilities better than a low test score from high school. If you have never applied to the college before, be prepared to pay for your SAT or ACT scores to be sent. If the college is one you applied to during your senior year but ended up not attending, ask if they still have your test scores. It will save you time and money.

AP and IB Exam Credit

Transferring colleges could cause you lose some of your credits, but it could also cause you to gain some. Just because your current institution gave you credit for an AP or IB exam score, it doesn’t mean the college you are transferring to will give you credit. When looking up which courses your prior college credit will transfer in as, remember to look up the AP and IB exam credit guidelines for the new college. This is instead of expecting the course you received for your exam score at your original college to transfer. If your current college didn’t offer you credit for AP or IB exams, don’t assume another college will treat your scores the same. Common places to find information about the scores required for AP or IB credit are the college’s course catalog and the admissions section of their website. If you still aren’t able to find credit information, contact an admissions counselor.

CLEP Credit

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is another test that could help you when transferring to a new college. Using your prior knowledge and help from study guides, you can gain college credit by taking one of the 33 exams available for $80. The 90 to 120 minutes you spend taking the exam can help you earn credit for courses that didn’t transfer to your new college. For example, you took an Intro to Microeconomics course, but your new college won’t use it to fulfil degree requirements. Visit the College Board’s CLEP website and contact your school to see if the CLEP Principles of Microeconomics exam would help you get the desired credit for the subject area. Similar to AP and IB credit awarding, CLEP exam scores required and credit amount awarded depend on the guidelines of each college. If you received college credit for CLEP exams at your original school, you should ask if the credit will transfer to your new school.

The earlier you find out your new school’s required exam scores for college credit, the more informed your transfer decision will be. Take the time to read the fine print so you are not surprised when some of your classes you received credit for don’t transfer.

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the author

Cara Claflin is a senior who attends a public school in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Even though she plans to stay in Minnesota, attending college in a state that doesn’t have snowstorms in May is starting to sound appealing. She hopes to double major in journalism and marketing. Cara loves helping high school students make the most of all the resources available to them. At school, she is an editor for her school’s newspaper and takes part in a leadership group. When she has some free time, she enjoys dancing, listening to music, reading, and watching music and dance competition reality shows.

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