Description of the Examination
The Calculus examination covers skills and concepts that are usually taught in a one-semester college course in calculus. The content of each examination is approximately 60% limits and differential calculus and 40% integral calculus. Algebraic, trigonometric, exponential, logarithmic, and general functions are included. The exam is primarily concerned with an intuitive understanding of calculus and experience with its methods and applications. Knowledge of preparatory mathematics, including algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and analytic geometry is assumed.
The examination contains 44 questions, in two sections, to be answered in approximately 90 minutes. Any time candidates spend on tutorials and providing personal information is in addition to the actual testing time.
- Section 1: 27 questions, approximately 50 minutes.
No calculator is allowed for this section.
- Section 2: 17 questions, approximately 40 minutes.
The use of an online graphing calculator (non-CAS) is allowed for this section. Only some of the questions will require the use of the calculator.
A graphing calculator is integrated into the exam software, and it is available to students during Section 2 of the exam.
Only some of the questions actually require the graphing calculator. Students are expected to know how and when to make appropriate use of the calculator. The graphing calculator, together with brief video tutorials, is available to students as a free download for a 30-day trial period. Students are expected to download the calculator and become familiar with its functionality prior to taking the exam.
In order to answer some of the questions in the calculator section of the exam, students may be required to use the online graphing calculator in the following ways:
- Perform calculations (e.g., exponents, roots, trigonometric values, logarithms)
- Graph functions and analyze the graphs
- Find zeros of functions
- Find points of intersection of graphs of functions
- Find minima/maxima of functions
- Find numerical solutions to equations
- Generate a table of values for a function
Knowledge and Skills Required
Questions on the exam require candidates to demonstrate the following abilities:
- Solving routine problems involving the techniques of calculus (approximately 50% of the exam)
- Solving nonroutine problems involving an understanding of the concepts and applications of calculus (approximately 50% of the exam)
Want to get a feel for the tests? Try out sample questions from actual CLEP exams in the subject of your choice.
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