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Passing the CLEP Natural Sciences Exam
About This Book and testware®
This book provides you with complete preparation for the CLEP Natural Sciences 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 three practice tests, featuring content and formatting based on the official CLEP Natural Sciences 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.
Practice tests 1 and 2 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. Practice test 3 is included in printed format only.
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 Natural Sciences 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
SSD Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
Many students qualify for extra time to take the CLEP Natural Sciences 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
Our TestWare® can be adapted to accommodate your time extension. This allows you to practice under the same extended-time accommodations that you will receive on the actual test day. To customize your TestWare® to suit the most common extensions, visit our website at http://www.rea.com/ssd
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 Natural Sciences exam.
When should I start studying?
It is never too early to start studying for the CLEP Natural Sciences 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 Natural Sciences exam covers the material one would find in a freshman or sophomore general science survey course covering biology and physical science. It is meant for students who are non-science majors. The exam stresses basic facts and principles, as well as general theoretical approaches used by scientists.
There are 120 multiple-choice questions on the exam, each with five possible answer choices, to be answered in 90 minutes.
The approximate breakdown of topics is as follows:
50% Biological Science
10% Origin, evolution, and classification of life (Chapter 2)
10% Cell organization and division, gene regulation, bioenergetics,biosynthesis (Chapter 3)
20% Structure, function, and development of organisms; heredity (Chapter 4)
10% Concepts of population biology, ecology (Chapter 5)
50% Physical Science
7% Atomic and nuclear structure, properties, and reactions, elementary particles (Chapter 6)
10% Chemical elements, compounds, reactions, molecular structure and bonding (Chapter 7)
12% Heat, thermodynamics, states of matter; classical mechanics; relativity (Chapter 8)
4% Electricity and magnetism, waves, light, and sound (Chapter 9)
7% The universe: galaxies, stars, the solar system (Chapter 10)
10% Earth: atmosphere, hydrosphere, structure features, geologic processes and history (Chapter 11)
About Our Course Review
The review in this book provides you with a complete background of all the important natural sciences principles and theories relevant to the exam. 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 Natural Sciences exam.