Read an Excerpt
Passing the CLEP Information Systems and Computer Applications Exam
ABOUT THIS BOOK AND TESTWARE®
This book provides you with complete preparation for the CLEP Information
Systems and Computer Applications 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 Information Systems and Computer Applications 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 Information
Systems and Computer Applications exam.
ABOUT THE CLEP PROGRAM
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 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
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 College Composition
and College Composition Modular, 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
When and where is the exam given?
CLEP exams are administered each month throughout the year 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, 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 Benefi ts 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 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 Information Systems
and Computer Applications 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
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 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 to become familiar with the
format and feel of the CLEP Information Systems and Computer Applications
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 Information Systems and
Computer Applications 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 Information Systems and Computer Applications exam covers
the material one would find in a college-level introductory business information
systems course. The exam emphasizes basic concepts about information
systems and the application of that knowledge. References to applications such
as word processing or spreadsheets do not require knowledge of a specific
product. Instead, the exam focuses on the concepts and techniques applicable
to a variety of products and environments. Knowledge of arithmetic and mathematics
equivalent to a first-year high school algebra course is assumed.
The exam consists of 100 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. The approximate breakdown of topics is as follows:
Information Systems and Office Application Software in Organizations 25%
Hardware and Systems Technology 20%
Information Systems Software Development 15%
Programming Concepts and Data Management 25%
Business, Social, and Ethical Implications and Issues 15%
SCORING YOUR PRACTICE TESTS
How do I score my practice tests?
The CLEP Information Systems and Computer Applications exam is 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 on the following page. (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). 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
works 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
such as the CLEP Information Systems and Computer Applications exam, 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 as well.
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. Moreover, the format
isn’t a great deal different 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 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. You will have only 90 minutes to work on
100 questions, so work quickly and steadily to avoid focusing on any
one question too long. Taking the practice tests in this book 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 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!