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Chapter 1: PASSING THE CLEP SPANISH CBT
ABOUT THIS BOOK
This book provides you with comprehensive preparation for the CLEP Spanish Language Computer-Based Test, or CBT. Inside you will find a concise review of introductory human development, as well as tips and strategies for test-taking. We give you three full-length REA practice tests, all based on the official CLEP subject exam. 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 Spanish Language CBT on pages 5-6.
ABOUT THE EXAM
Who takes the CLEP Spanish Language CBT and what is it 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. With more than 2,900 colleges and universities that grant credit and/or advanced standing for CLEP exams, CLEP is the most widely accepted credit-by-examination program in the country.
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.
There are 34 CLEP examinations. Of these, five - English Composition (with or without essay), Humanities, College Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences and History - cover material usually taken as requirements during the first two years of college.
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 Spanish Language 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: 800-257-9558 (8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET)
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 six-week program, but can be condensed to three weeks if necessary by collapsing each two-week study session into a one-week period.
When should I start studying?
It's never too early to start studying for the CLEP Spanish 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 Spanish Language CBT assumes you'll have a level of mastery that would equate to skills normally achieved during two to four semesters of college-level work. The exam test basic vocabulary and word usage, as well as the ability to understand oral and written English.
There are approximately 120 multiple-choice questions on the test, each with four possible answer choices, to be answered in three separately timed sections. You will be allotted a total of approximately 30 minutes for the Listening portion of the test (which comprises Sections I and II) and 60 minutes for the Reading portion of the test (which comprises Section III). The approximate breakdown of topics is as follows:
Section I - Listening: Rejoinders (15%)
Section II - Listening: Dialogues and Narratives (25%)
Section III - Reading
Part A (16%): Discrete sentences (vocabulary and structure)
Part B (20%): Sort cloze passages (vocabulary and structure)
Part C (24%): Reading passages and authentic stimulus materials (reading comprehension)
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 SPANISH LANGUAGE CBT
It is crucial 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. 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. Use a timer to ensure that each section is accurately clocked.
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 Spanish Language 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 a total of about 30 minutes for the two Listening sections and 60 minutes for the reading section. Taking our practice tests-which, again, have a few more questions than the actual test-will help you learn to budget your time wisely. Count on 40% of your total exam time being spent listening to the material in Section I and Section II.
Learn the directions and format for each section of the test. This will put extra time on your side that you can use to review your work on test day.
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 Spanish Language CBT!