General Biology CLEP--yes or no?

Hi everyone. A similar question may have been asked before but, in doing a quick search of the site, I can’t seem to find an answer.

I am starting my Biomedical Sciences degree this Fall after being out of school for about 4 years. Unfortunately during my previous attempt I didn’t obtain a degree. Long story short, all of my science credits have lapsed so I get to start from the basics. I never had to take General Bio. since my high school Bio. courses counted towards it in college but, at this point (now that I am old ;)), my Biomed. degree will require it. I know that everywhere on this site people say not to take the easy way out and I understand that–I know I’m pre-med now, there is now “easy way out”. But I would like to move on to A&P (since I am, at the moment, only able to take 10 credits a semester) and I am about 90% sure that I could CLEP out of General Bio. as the practice tests I have been taking have shown that I am, yes, rusty but I’m scoring at about an 80% without previous study. I KNOW I need the refresher in General Chemistry but I think with Biology I can go through the study guide and do just fine. I don’t think I need to take (and PAY FOR) an entire year of General Bio. to do well in subsequent years of A&P, Biochem., Embryology and so forth. What do you think? Should I just slog through it and chalk it up to a boost to the GPA I ruined in my previous college years? Does a medical school want to see this class on my transcript for a non-trad. like me? Or should I take this one and only CLEP exam and get on with it?

I think you’re way overanalyzing your predicament. From looking at the biomedical science program at Central Michigan University, I’m pretty sure you’ll be taking plenty of biology courses and biomedical courses that’ll supersede first-year General Biology. So in my opinion, yes, go ahead and CLEP out of General Biology. You have a lot more important courses in the future to worry about.

Yeah, I do overanalyse things sometimes; it’s a bad habit. I’m not going to CMU though, I’m not sure what gave that impression. I’m going to Grand Valley.

Thanks for the feedback.

I agree with ihopetobeado2.

You’re going to take lots of bio classes as a degree requirement, that are much more demanding than intro bio, and you are going to do awesome in there! I don’t see why ‘CLEPing’ out of intro bio would be a problem.


While there will be many opportunities to take upper level bio classes, general bio has changed drastically in the past several years, particularly molecular and genetics which are a large piece of the introductory course. Since the goal is to do well, it may be useful to start with the intro course again. Don’t have to fall into the “I need to rush and make up lost time” syndrome.

Thank you all for taking the time to respond to my question.

Yeah, I’m going to CLEP out of this class… it just makes sense both financially and because when I took the pre-test I scored high enough for the score to be reported as an “A” to my school… I really don’t think I need to spend a year in the class and all that money if this is the case.