College-Level Examination Program tests covering writing have been modified and become more demanding, officials say.

Three tests — English Composition with Essay, English Composition and Freshman College Composition — have been replaced by two, College Composition and College Composition Modular, according to a release issued by the College Board.

David Godfrey, coordinator of academic policy in Europe for University of Maryland University College, said he expects the new versions of those tests will be “probably a little more rigorous” and a better way to measure students’ abilities. Students complete two essays instead of one.

CLEP offers more than 30 tests that students can take to effectively skip certain classes or earn credit in ones they still have to take.

UMUC, which has dozens of branches overseas, allows students to use the CLEP tests toward significant portions of their degrees. Such tests “are very popular,” Godfrey said, estimating about a quarter of students choose to take them.

That number might be increasing as UMUC opens up more national test center sites, according to Patricia James, UMUC-Europe’s director of special programs.

The centers allow students to test electronically and see their results almost immediately, she said – though that’s not true with essays.

UMUC-Europe staffs five centers: Naples and Aviano in Italy, Lakenheath in England, Spangdahlem in Germany and Bahrain. It plans to have 14 centers open by the end of the year and more after that.

James said that students can take CLEP tests or other accredited exams at almost any UMUC location, though results take a few weeks to calculate if they’re done on paper. Tests cost about $70, though many military students have theirs paid by the government, officials said.

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