Read an Excerpt
About Research & Education Association
Research & Education Association (REA) is an organization of educators, scientists, and engineers specializing in various academic fields. Founded in 1959 with the purpose of disseminating the most recently developed scientific information to groups in industry, government, high schools, and universities, REA has since become a successful and highly respected publisher of study aids, test preps, handbooks, and reference works.
REA's Test Preparation series includes study guides for all academic levels in almost all disciplines. Research & Education Association publishes test preps for students who have not yet completed high school, as well as high school students preparing to enter college. Students from countries around the world seeking to attend college in the United States will find the assistance they need in REA's publications. For college students seeking advanced degrees, REA publishes test preps for many major graduate school admission examinations in a wide variety of disciplines, including engineering, law, and medicine. Students at every level, in every field, with every ambition can find what they are looking for among REA's publications.
While most test preparation books present practice tests that bear little resemblance to the actual exams, REA's series presents tests that accurately depict the official exams in both degree of difficulty and types of questions. REA's practice tests are always based upon the most recently administered exams, and include every type of question that can be expected on the actual exams.
REA's publications and educational materials are highly regarded and continually receive an unprecedented amount of praise from professionals, instructors, librarians, parents, and students. Our authors are as diverse as the fields represented in the books we publish. They are well-known in their respective disciplines and serve on the faculties of prestigious high schools, colleges, and universities throughout the United States and Canada.
Chapter 1: PASSING THE CLEP HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES II CBT
ABOUT THIS BOOK AND TESTware
This book provides you with comprehensive preparation for the CLEP History of the United States II Computer-Based Test, or CBT. Inside you will find a concise review of college algebra, as well as tips and strategies for test-taking. We give you two full-length REA practice tests, all based on the official CLEP History of the United States II CBT. Our practice tests contain every type of question that you can expect to encounter on the CLEP CBT. Following each practice test you will find an answer key with detailed explanations designed to help you more completely absorb the test material.
All 34 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. We detail the format of the CLEP History of the United States II CBT on pages 4-5.
The practice tests in this book and software package are included in two formats: in printed form in this book, and in TESTware format on the enclosed CD. We recommend that you begin your preparation by first taking the practice exams on your computer. The software provides timed conditions, automatic scoring, and scoring information, all of which makes it easier to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses.
ABOUT THE EXAM
Who takes CLEP exams and what are they used for?
CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) examinations are usually taken by adults who have acquired knowledge outside the classroom and 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 the country, with more than 2,900 colleges and universities granting credit for satisfactory scores on CLEP exams.
Although most CLEP candidates are adults returning to college, many graduating high school seniors, enrolled college students, 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.
Most CLEP examinations include material usually covered in an undergraduate course with a similar title to that of the exam (e.g. History of the United States I). However, five of the exams do not deal with subject matter covered in any particular course but rather with material taken as general requirements during the first two years of college. These general exams are English Composition (with or without essay), Humanities, College Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences and History.
Who develops and administers the exams?
The CLEP CBTs are developed by the College Entrance Examination Board, administered by Educational Testing Service, and involves the assistance of educators from across the United States. The test development process is designed and carried out to ensure that the content and difficulty of the test are appropriate to the college level.
When and where is this exam given?
The CLEP History of the United States II exam is administered each month throughout the year at approximately 1,400 test centers in the U.S. 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 6601
Princeton, NJ 08541-6601
Phone: (609) 771-7865
Fax: (609) 771-7088
How to Use this Book
What do I study first?
Read over the course review and the suggestions for test-taking. Then use the first practice test as a diagnostic to determine your area(s) of weakness. Once you find out where you need to spend more time, focus your efforts on those specific problem areas. To reinforce your facility with the subject matter, we advise keeping at your side a college-level textbook that covers the appropriate material.
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 a single week.
When should I start studying?
It's never too early to start studying for the CLEP History of the United States II 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 CLEP CBT
The CLEP History of the United States II covers the material one would find in the second semester of what is often a two-semester class in United States history. The exam covers the period of the United States history from the end of the Civil War to the present, and focuses on the twentieth century. There are 120 multiple-choice questions, each with five possible answer choices, to be answered in 90 minutes. The approximate breakdown of topics is as follows:
35% - Political institutions and behavior and public policy
25% - Social developments
10% - Economic developments
15% - Cultural and intellectual developments
15% - Diplomacy and international relations
ABOUT OUR COURSE REVIEW
The review in this book provides you with a complete background of all the important persons, events, and developments of the period of United States history between the end of the Civil War and the present. It 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 History of the United States II.
When will I receive my score report?
The test-center administrator will print out a full Candidate Score Report for you immediately upon your completion of the CBT. Your scores are reported only to you, unless you ask to have them sent elsewhere. If you wish to have 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 CLEP CBT
It is very important for you to choose the time and place for studying that works best for you. Some students set aside a certain number of hours every morning, while others 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 our practice tests, try to make your testing conditions as much like the actual test as possible. Turn off the television or radio, and sit down at a quiet table or desk 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 it and thoroughly review the explanations for the questions you answered incorrectly; but don't review too much at one sitting. 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.
Keep track of your scores and mark them on the scoring worksheet. By doing so, you will be able to gauge your progress and discover general weaknesses in particular sections. You should carefully study the review sections that cover your areas of difficulty, as this will build your skills in those areas.
Although you may not be familiar with computer-based standardized tests like the CLEP History of the United States II exam, there are many ways to acquaint yourself with this type of examination and thus help alleviate your test-taking anxieties. Listed below are ways to help you become accustomed to the CLEP CBT, some of which may be applied to other computer-based standardized tests as well.
Know the format of the CBT. CLEP CBTs 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. Moreover, the format hasn't changed a great deal from the paper-and-pencil CLEP.
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 possible response 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 be only 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. You will have just 90 minutes to work on the roughly 120 questions you'll be facing, so work quickly and steadily to avoid spending an inordinate amount of time on any one question. Taking our practice tests will help you learn to budget your time wisely.
Acquaint yourself with the CBT screen. Familiarize yourself with the CLEP CBT screen beforehand by logging on to the official College Board Website. Waiting until test day to see what the CBT screen looks like in the pretest tutorial risks injecting needless anxiety into your testing experience.
Be sure that your answer registers before you go to the next item. Check 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
Preparing for the CLEP CBT
On the day of the test, you should wake up early (after a decent night's rest, one would hope) and have a good breakfast. Dress comfortably so that you are not distracted by being too hot or too cold while taking the test. 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. No one will be allowed into the test session after the test has begun.
Before you set out for the test center, make sure that you have your admission form, Social Security number, and a photo ID with your signature (e.g., driver's license, student identification card, or current alien registration card). You need proper ID to get into the test center.
You may wear a watch to the test center, but it cannot make any noise, which could disturb your fellow test-takers. No calculators, computers, dictionaries, textbooks, notebooks, scrap paper, briefcases, or packages will be permitted; drinking, smoking, and eating are prohibited.
Good luck on the CLEP History of the United States II CBT!