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Passing the CLEP College Algebra Exam
Congratulations! You're joining the millions of people who have discovered the value and educational advantage offered by the College Board's College-Level Examination Program, or CLEP. This test prep covers everything you need to know about the CLEP College Algebra exam, and will help you earn the college credit you deserve while reducing your tuition costs.
There are many different ways to prepare for a CLEP exam. What's best for you depends on how much time you have to study and how comfortable you are with the subject matter. To score your highest, you need a system that can be customized to fit you: your schedule, your learning style, and your current level of knowledge.
This book, and the online tools that come with it, allow you to create a personalized study plan through three simple steps: assessment of your knowledge, targeted review of exam content, and reinforcement in the areas where you need the most help.
Let’s get started and see how this system works.
Test Yourself & Get Feedback: Score reports from your online diagnostic and practice tests give you a fast way to pinpoint what you already know and where you need to spend more time studying.
Review with the Book: Study the topics tested on the CLEP exam. Targeted review chapters cover everything you need to know.
Improve Your Score: Armed with your score reports, you can personalize your study plan. Review the parts of the book where you’re weakest and study the answer explanations for the test questions you answered incorrectly.
THE REA STUDY CENTER
The best way to personalize your study plan and focus on your weaknesses is to get feedback on what you know and what you don’t know. At the online REA Study Center, you can access two types of assessment: a diagnostic exam and full-length practice exams. Each of these tools provides true-to-format questions and delivers a detailed score report that follows the topics set by the College Board.
Before you begin your review with the book, take the online diagnostic exam. Use your score report to help evaluate your overall understanding of the subject, so you can focus your study on the topics where you need the most review.
Full-Length Practice Exams
These practice tests give you the most complete picture of your strengths and weaknesses. After you’ve finished reviewing with the book, test what you’ve learned by taking the first of the two online practice exams. Review your score report, then go back and study any topics you missed. Take the second practice test to ensure you have mastered the material and are ready for test day.
If you’re studying and don’t have Internet access, you can take the printed tests in the book. These are the same practice tests offered at the REA Study Center, but without the added benefits of timed testing conditions and diagnostic score reports. Because the actual exam is computer-based, we recommend you take at least one practice test online to simulate test-day conditions.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE EXAM
The CLEP College Algebra exam consists of approximately 60 multiple-choice and fill-in-the-box questions to be answered in 90 minutes. The exam covers material that is typically part of a one-semester college course. Test takers can expect to encounter roughly a 50/50 split between routine and non-routine problems—the former requiring basic algebraic skills, the latter requiring you to show your command of algebraic concepts. While you'll be able to avail yourself of an online scientific calculator (non-graphing, non-programmable) during the exam, none of the questions you will be asked will require its use.
The approximate breakdown of topics on the CLEP College Algebra exam is as follows:
25% Algebraic Operations
Factoring and expanding polynomials
Operations with algebraic expressions
Operations with exponents
Properties of logarithms
25% Equations and Inequalities
Linear equations and inequalities
Quadratic equations and inequalities
Absolute value equations and inequalities
Systems of equations and inequalities
Exponential and logarithmic equations
30% Functions and Their Properties*
Definition and interpretation
Representation/modeling (graphical, numerical, symbolic, and verbal representations of functions)
Domain and range
Algebra of functions
Graphs and their properties (including intercepts, symmetry, and transformations)
* Each test may contain a variety of functions, including linear, polynomial (degree 5), rational, absolute value, power, exponential, logarithmic, and piecewise-defined.
20% Number Systems and Operations
Sequences and series
Factorials and Binomial Theorem
Determinants of 2-by-2 matrices
ALL ABOUT THE CLEP PROGRAM
What is the CLEP?
CLEP is the most widely accepted credit-by-examination program in North America. CLEP exams are available in 33 subjects and test the material commonly required in an introductory-level college course. Examinees can earn from three to twelve credits at more than 2,900 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada. For a complete list of the CLEP subject examinations offered, visit the College Board website: www.collegeboard.org/clep.
Who takes CLEP exams?
CLEP exams are typically taken by people who have acquired knowledge outside the classroom and who wish to bypass certain college courses and earn college credit. The CLEP program is designed to reward examinees for learning—no matter where or how that knowledge was acquired.
Although most CLEP examinees are adults returning to college, many graduating high school seniors, enrolled college students, military personnel, veterans, and international students take CLEP 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.
Who administers the exam?
CLEP exams are developed by the College Board, administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), and involve the assistance of educators from 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 year-round at more than 1,200 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, contact the CLEP Program:
P.O. Box 6600
Princeton, NJ 08541-6600
Phone: (800) 257-9558 (8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET)
Fax: (609) 771-7088
OPTIONS FOR MILITAR Y 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. Contact your Educational Services Officer or Navy College Education Specialist for more information. Visit the DANTES or College Board websites 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 can be used in conjunction with the 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, earning college credits with CLEP exams expedites academic progress and degree completion within the funded timeframe.
SSD ACCOMMODATIONS FOR CANDIDATES WITH DISABILITIES
Many test candidates qualify for extra time to take the CLEP exams, 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