Study Tips

Study Tips

To get ready for a CLEP exam, you may want to create a study plan. Here are some ideas:

  • Check with your college bookstore to find out which books and materials are used for the related course. You can usually find the course syllabus on your college's website.
  • Review the appropriate exam description and related resources.
  • Answer sample questions for the CLEP exam you plan to take.
  • Take a look at suggested study resources.
  • Check with your librarian about locating study aids relevant to the exam you plan to take. These materials may include, for example, videos made by education-oriented companies and organizations, language audio files, and computer software.

Multiple-Choice Tips

  • Read the entire question, and all the answer choices, before answering a question. Instructions usually tell you to select the best answer. Sometimes one answer choice is partially correct, but another option is better. Read all the answers before you choose one, even if the first or second answer choice looks good to you.
  • Pace yourself. Keep an eye on the clock. As you proceed, make sure that you are not working too slowly. You should have answered at least half of the questions in a section when half of the time for that section has passed.
  • Don't spend too much time on any one question. If you don't know the answer after you've considered it briefly, go on to the next question. Mark that question, using the mark tool at the bottom of the screen, and go back to review it later.
  • Make educated guesses. There are no penalties for incorrect answers. If you have some knowledge of the question and are able to eliminate one or more of the answer choices as wrong, your chance of getting the right answer is improved.
  • Don't waste your time looking for flaws in question wording or patterns in correct answers. CLEP puts a great deal of effort into developing valid, reliable and fair exams.

Essay Tips

There are five CLEP exams with essay sections:

Check before you take an exam to determine if an essay is required for college credit. If your college requires the essay portion, you may want to do some additional preparation.

Estimate how much time you can give to each question. Once you know which questions you plan to answer and in what order, determine how much testing time remains and estimate how many minutes you have to spend on each question.

Pay attention to these key words that often appear in free-response questions. Be sure you know the exact meaning of these words before taking the exam.

analyze
apply compare
assess
compare
contrast
define
demonstrate
derive
describe
determine
discuss
distinguish
enumerate
explain
generalize
illustrate
interpret
justify
list
outline
prove
rank
show
summarize

 

If a question asks you to outline, define, or summarize, do not write a detailed explanation. If a question asks you to analyze, explain, illustrate, interpret, or show, then you must do more than briefly describe the topic.

Organize your thoughts. Write a brief outline on the scratch paper provided by the test center before you write your essay response.