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ABOUT THIS BOOK AND TESTWARE®
This book provides you with complete preparation for the CLEP American Literature exam. Inside you will find a targeted review of the subject matter, as well as tips and strategies for test taking. We also give you two practice tests, featuring content and formatting based on the official CLEP American Literature exam. Our practice tests contain every type of question that you can expect to encounter on the actual exam. Following each practice test you will find an answer key with detailed explanations designed to help you more completely understand the test material.
The practice exams in this book and software package are included in two formats: in printed format in this book, and in TestWare® format on the enclosed CD. We strongly recommend that you begin your preparation with the TestWare® practice exams. The software provides the added benefits of instant scoring and enforced time conditions.
All CLEP exams are computer-based. As you can see, the practice tests in our book are presented as paper-and-pencil exams. The content and format of the actual CLEP subject exams are faithfully mirrored. Later in this chapter you’ll find a detailed outline of the format and content of the CLEP American Literature exam.
ABOUT THE EXAM
Who takes CLEP exams and what are they used for?
CLEP examinations are typically taken by people who have acquired knowledge outside the classroom and wish to bypass certain college courses and earn college credit. The CLEP is designed to reward students for learningno matter where or how that knowledge was acquired. The CLEP is the most widely accepted credit-by-examination program in the country, with more than 2,900 colleges and universities granting credit for satisfactory scores on CLEP exams.
Although most CLEP examinees are adults returning to college, many graduating high school seniors, enrolled college students, military personnel, and international students also take the exams to earn college credit or to demonstrate their ability to perform at the college level. There are no prerequisites, such as age or educational status, for taking CLEP examinations. However, because policies on granting credits vary among colleges, you should contact the particular institution from which you wish to receive CLEP credit.
There are two categories of CLEP examinations:
1. CLEP General Examinations, which are five separate tests that cover material usually taken as requirements during the first two years of college. CLEP General Examinations are available for English Composition (with or without essay), Humanities, College Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences and History.
2. CLEP Subject Examinations include material usually covered in an undergraduate course with a similar title. For a complete list of the subject examinations offered, visit the College Board website.
Who administers the exam?
The CLEP exams are developed by the College Board, administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), and involve the assistance of educators throughout the United States. The test development process is designed and implemented to ensure that the content and difficulty level of the test are appropriate.
When and where is the exam given?
CLEP exams are administered each month throughout the year at more than 1,300 test centers in the United States and can be arranged for candidates abroad on request. To find the test center nearest you and to register for the exam, you should obtain a copy of the free booklets CLEP Colleges and CLEP Information for Candidates and Registration Form. They are available at most colleges where CLEP credit is granted, or by contacting:
P.O. Box 6600
Princeton, NJ 08541-6600
Phone: (800) 257-9558 (8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET)
Fax: (609) 771-7088
CLEP Options for Military Personnel and Veterans
CLEP exams are available free of charge to eligible military personnel and eligible civilian employees. All the CLEP exams are available at test centers on college campuses and military bases. In addition, the College Board has developed a paper-based version of 14 high-volume/high-pass-rate CLEP tests for DANTES Test Centers. Contact the Educational Services Officer or Navy College Education Specialist for more information. Visit the College Board website for details about CLEP opportunities for military personnel.
Eligible U.S. veterans can claim reimbursement for CLEP exams and administration fees pursuant to provisions of the Veterans Benefits Improvement Act of 2004. For details on eligibility and submitting a claim for reimbursement, visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website at www.gibill.va.gov/pamphlets/testing.htm.
CLEP marks a special sweet spot with reference to the new Post-9/11 GI Bill, which applies to veterans returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of operation. Because the GI Bill provides tuition for up to 36 months, racking up college credits by testing out of general introductory courses with CLEP exams expedites academic progress and degree completion within the funded timeframe.
SSD Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
Many students qualify for extra time to take the CLEP American Literature exam, but you must make these arrangements in advance. For information, contact:
College Board Services for Students with Disabilities
P.O. Box 6226
Princeton, NJ 08541-6226
Phone: (609) 771-7137 (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET)
TTY: (609) 882-4118
Fax: (609) 771-7944
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK AND TESTWARE®
What do I study first?
To begin your studies, read over the introduction and the suggestions for test taking. Take Practice Exam 1 on CD-ROM to determine your strengths and weaknesses, and then study the course review material, focusing on your specific problem areas. The course review includes the information you need to know when taking the exam. Make sure to follow up your diagnostic work by taking the remaining practice exam on CD-ROM to become familiar with the format and feel of the CLEP American Literature exam.
To best utilize your study time, follow our Independent Study Schedule, which you’ll find in the front of this book. The schedule is based on a four-week program, but can be condensed to two weeks if necessary by collapsing each two-week period into one.
When should I start studying?
It is never too early to start studying for the CLEP American Literature exam. The earlier you begin, the more time you will have to sharpen your skills. Do not procrastinate! Cramming is not an effective way to study, since it does not allow you the time needed to learn the test material. The sooner you learn the format of the exam, the more time you will have to familiarize yourself with it.
FORMAT AND CONTENT OF THE EXAM
The CLEP American Literature exam covers the material one would find in a college-level American Literature survey course. The exam emphasizes the prose and poetry written in the United States from colonial times to the present and tests your knowledge of the content, background and author of major literary works. Knowledge of the terminology used by literary critics and historians is also tested.
The exam consists of 100 questions to be answered in 90 minutes.
The approximate breakdown of topics is as follows:
The Colonial and Early National Period 15%
The Romantic Period 25%
The Period of Realism and Naturalism 20%
The Modernist Period 25%
The Contemporary Period 15%
An optional essay section can be taken in addition to the basic CLEP American Literature exam. Check with the institution to which you are applying to determine whether this optional essay section is required. For more information, visit the College Board website at www.collegeboard.com.