Read an Excerpt
Passing the CLEP Social Sciences and History Exam
About This Book and TestWare®
This book provides you with complete preparation for the CLEP Social Sciences and History 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 Social Sciences and History 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. Another practice test for the CLEP Social Sciences and History exam is also offered free-of-charge on our website. Go to www.rea.com/CLEP/SocialScience to access this bonus practice exam.
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.
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 CLEP exams?
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 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.
CLEP marks a special sweet 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 Social Sciences and History 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 to determine your strengths and weaknesses, and then study the course review material, focusing on your specific problem areas. Studying the reviews thoroughly will reinforce the basic skills you will need to do well on 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 Social Sciences and History exam. Once you’ve completed your review and the practice exams, visit our website (www.rea.com) to access a third practice exam for CLEP Social Sciences and History.
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 an four-week program, but can be condensed, 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 Social Sciences and History 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 Social Sciences and History exam covers the material one would find in college-level introductory classes in the following disciplines: United States history, western civilization, world history, government/political science, geography, economics, psychology, sociology, and anthropology.
The exam consists of 120 multiple-choice questions, each with five possible answer choices, to be answered in 90 minutes.
The approximate breakdown of topics is as follows:
United States History 17%
Western Civilization 15%
World History 8%
Social Sciences 60%
Government/Political Science 13%
About Our Course Review
The review in this book provides you with a complete background of all the important material relevant to the exam, focusing on the theories, terminology and methods of the Social Sciences, as well as historical events and trends. 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 Social Sciences and History exam.
Studying for the CLEP
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.