Read an Excerpt
INTRODUCTION - PASSING THE CLEP CORE EXAMS
ABOUT THIS BOOK AND TESTWARE
This book, along with the accompanying CD, provides you with complete preparation for the CLEP core exams. These exams are among the most popular in the CLEP program and correspond to the core courses required by most colleges. The book covers the following subjects: College Composition and College Composition Modular, Humanities, College Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences and History.
We give you customized practice tests for each subject, featuring content and formatting based on the official CLEP exams. Our practice tests contain every type of question that you can expect to encounter on the actual CLEP exam. Following each practice test you will find an answer key and detailed explanations designed to help you more completely understand the test material.
Each CLEP subject review in this book gives you concise coverage of the material you most need to know to pass the exam and get the college credit you’re seeking. On our exclusive TestWare CD you will find two more unique practice tests for each subject.
As you start your preparation, we strongly recommend that you begin by taking your first practice test on CD, as a diagnostic tool. This will help you zero in on your strengths and weaknesses in each subject area and pinpoint areas in need of further study. It’s also an excellent way to become familiar with the content and format of the computer-based CLEP exam. Our easy-to-use, interactive software provides the added benefits of instant scoring, performance feedback, and enforced time conditions.
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 who wish to bypass certain college courses and earn college credit. The CLEP program is designed to reward students for learning—no matter where or how that knowledge was acquired. The CLEP is the most widely accepted credit-by-examination program in North America.
CLEP exams are now available in more than 30 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.
Although most CLEP examinees are adults returning to college, many graduating high school seniors, enrolled college students, military personnel, veterans, 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.
For a complete list of the CLEP 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 Are the Exams Given?
CLEP exams are administered year-round at more than 1,400 test centers in the United States and can be arranged for candidates abroad upon 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
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, 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 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
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK AND TESTWARE
What Do I Study First?
To begin your studies, read over the introduction and test-taking suggestions for the CLEP exam(s) you are going to take. Take your first exam on CD to determine your strengths and weaknesses, and then study the course review material, focusing on your problem areas. The course review includes the information you need to know for that specific CLEP exam. Make sure to follow up your diagnostic work by taking the remaining practice exam on CD to become familiar with the format and feel of the CLEP exams. Finally, take the practice exam printed in this book for the subject for which you are studying.
When Should I Start Studying?
It is never too early to start studying for your CLEP exams. 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.
ABOUT OUR SUBJECT REVIEWS
The subject reviews in this book provide you with a thorough review of the major topics found on the individual CLEP exams. The reviews will help reinforce the facts you have already learned while better shaping your understanding of the discipline as a whole. By using the review in conjunction with the practice tests, you should be well prepared to take the CLEP exams.
SCORING YOUR PRACTICE TESTS
How Do I Score My Practice Tests?
CLEP exams are scored on a scale of 20 to 80. To score your practice tests, count up the number of correct answers. This is your total raw score. Convert your raw score to a scaled score using the conversion table included with each subject review in this book. (Note: The conversion table provides only an estimate of your scaled score. Scaled scores can and do vary over time, and in no case should a sample test be taken as a precise predictor of test performance. Nonetheless, our scoring table allows you to judge your level of performance within a reasonable scoring range.)
When Will I Receive my Score Report?
The test administrator will print out a full Candidate Score Report for you immediately upon your completion of the exam (except for CLEP College Composition and College Composition Modular exams). Your scores are reported only to you, unless you ask to have them sent elsewhere. If you want your scores reported to a college or other institution, you must say so when you take the examination. Since your scores are kept on file for 20 years, you can also request transcripts from Educational Testing Service at a later date.
STUDYING FOR THE EXAM
It is very important for you to choose the time and place for studying that work best for you. Some students may set aside a certain number of hours every morning, while others may choose to study at night before going to sleep. Other students may study during the day, while waiting on a line, or even while eating lunch. Only you can determine when and where your study time will be most effective. But be consistent and use your time wisely. Work out a study routine and stick to it!
When you take the practice tests, try to make your testing conditions as much like the actual test as possible. Turn your television and radio off, and sit down at a quiet table free from distraction. Make sure to time yourself. Start off by setting a timer for the time that is allotted for each section, and be sure to reset the timer for the appropriate amount of time when you start a new section.
As you complete each practice test, score your test and thoroughly review the explanations to the questions you answered incorrectly; however, do not review too much at one time. Concentrate on one problem area at a time by reviewing the question and explanation, and by studying our review until you are confident that you completely understand the material.
Although you may not be familiar with computer-based standardized tests, there are many ways to acquaint yourself with this type of examination and to help alleviate your test-taking anxieties. Listed below are ways to help you become accustomed to the CLEP, some of which may be applied to other standardized tests.
Know the format of the test. CLEP computer-based tests are not adaptive but rather fixed-length tests. In a sense, this makes them kin to the familiar paper-and-pencil exam in that you have the same flexibility to go back and review your work in each section.
Read all of the possible answers. Just because you think you have found the correct response, do not automatically assume that it is the best answer. Read through each choice to be sure that you are not making a mistake by jumping to conclusions.
Use the process of elimination. Go through each answer to a question and eliminate as many of the answer choices as possible. By eliminating just two answer choices, you give yourself a better chance of getting the item correct, since there will only be three choices left from which to make your guess. Remember, your score is based only on the number of questions you answer correctly.
Work quickly and steadily. Avoid focusing on any one question too long. You only have a certain amount of time to finish the exam. Taking the practice tests in this book and on our CD will help you learn to budget your time.
Acquaint yourself with the computer screen. Familiarize yourself with the CLEP computer screen beforehand by logging on to the College Board website. Waiting until test day to see what it looks like in the pretest tutorial risks injecting needless anxiety into your testing experience. Also, familiarizing yourself with the directions and format of the exam will save you valuable time on the day of the actual test.
Be sure that your answer registers before you go on to the next item. Look at the screen to see that your mouse-click causes the pointer to darken the proper oval. This takes less effort than darkening an oval on paper, but don’t lull yourself into taking less care!
THE DAY OF THE EXAM
On the day of the test, you should wake up early (hopefully after a decent night’s rest) and have a good breakfast. Make sure to dress comfortably, so that you are not distracted by being too hot or too cold while taking the test. Also plan to arrive at the test center early. This will allow you to collect your thoughts and relax before the test, and will also spare you the anxiety that comes with being late. As an added incentive to make sure you arrive early, keep in mind that no one will be allowed into the test session after the test has begun.
Before you leave for the test center, make sure that you have your admission form and another form of identification, which must contain a recent photograph, your name, and signature (i.e., driver’s license, student identification card, or current alien registration card). You will not be admitted to the test center if you do not have proper identification.
If you would like, you may wear a watch to the test center. However, you may not wear one that makes noise, because it may disturb the other test-takers. No dictionaries, textbooks, notebooks, briefcases, or packages will be permitted and drinking, smoking, and eating are prohibited.
Good luck on your CLEP exams!