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2022 CLEP Official Study Guide

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This study guide provides practice questions for all 34 CLEP exams. The ideal resource for taking more than one exam. Offered only by the College Board.

CLEP® Principles of Management Examination Guide

PDF Document $10.00

The Principles of Management exam requires knowledge of human resources and operational and functional aspects of management.

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CLEP Practice App for Principles of Management

Practice for the Principles of Management exam with the new CLEP Principles of Management app from examIam. The app includes the same information and practice questions found in the Official Study Guide and subject-specific Examination Guide but offers the convenience of answering sample questions on your mobile device. The app also includes diagnostics to help you pinpoint strengths and weaknesses. To access the full version with sample questions, you'll need to create an account and purchase the premium app for $14.99.

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Principles of Management


The Principles of Management examination covers material that is usually taught in an introductory course in the essentials of management and organization. Questions on the exam require you to demonstrate knowledge of management functions and techniques, and ability to associate the meaning of specific terminology with important management ideas, processes, and techniques. You will also be required to apply knowledge, general concepts, and principles to specific problems.

The examination contains approximately 100 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. Some of these are pretest questions that will not be scored. Any time candidates spend on tutorials and providing personal information is in addition to the actual testing time.

Knowledge and Skills Required

Questions on the Principles of Management examination require test takers to demonstrate one or more of the following abilities in the approximate proportions indicated.

  • Specific factual knowledge, recall, and general understanding of purposes, functions, and techniques of management (about 10% of the exam)
  • Understanding of and ability to associate the meaning of specific terminology with important management ideas, processes, techniques, concepts, and elements (about 40% of the exam)
  • Understanding of theory and significant underlying assumptions, concepts, and limitations of management data, including a comprehension of the rationale of procedures, methods, and analyses (about 40% of the exam)
  • Application of knowledge, general concepts, and principles to specific problems (about 10% of the exam)

The subject matter of the Principles of Management examination is drawn from the following topics. The percentages next to the main topics indicate the approximate percentage of exam questions on that topic.

Organization and Human Resources (15%–25%)

  • Personnel administration
  • Human relations and motivation
  • Training and development
  • Performance appraisal
  • Organizational development
  • Legal concerns
  • Workforce diversity
  • Recruiting and selecting
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Collective bargaining

Operational Aspects of Management (10%–20%)

  • Operations planning and control
  • Work scheduling
  • Quality management (e.g., TQM)
  • Information processing and management
  • Strategic planning and analysis
  • Productivity

Functional Aspects of Management (45%–55%)

  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Leading
  • Controlling
  • Authority
  • Decision making
  • Organization charts
  • Leadership
  • Organizational structure
  • Budgeting
  • Problem solving
  • Group dynamics and team functions
  • Conflict resolution
  • Communication
  • Change
  • Organizational theory
  • Historical aspects

International Management and Contemporary Issues (10%–20%)

  • Value dimensions
  • Regional economic integration
  • Trading alliances
  • Global environment
  • Social responsibilities of business
  • Ethics
  • Systems
  • Environment
  • Government regulation
  • Management theories and theorists
  • E-business
  • Creativity and innovation

Study Resources

Most textbooks used in college-level principles of management courses cover the topics in the outline given earlier, but the approaches to certain topics and the emphases given to them may differ. To prepare for the Principles of Management examination, it is advisable to study one or more college textbooks, which can be found in most college bookstores. When selecting a textbook, check the table of contents against the knowledge and skills required for this test.


A survey conducted by CLEP found that the following textbooks are among those used by college faculty who teach the equivalent course. You might purchase one or more of these online or at your local college bookstore.

  • Bateman and Snell, M: Management (McGraw-Hill)
  • Griffin, Fundamentals of Management (Cengage)
  • Hill and McShane, Principles of Management (McGraw-Hill)
  • Jones and George, Essentials of Contemporary Management (McGraw-Hill)
  • Montana and Charnov, Management (Barron's)
  • Robbins and Coulter, Management (Prentice Hall)
  • Robbins and De Cenzo, Fundamentals of Management (Prentice Hall)
  • Schermerhorn, Management (Wiley)
  • Williams, MGMT (Cengage)

Online Resources

Score Information

Passing Score for Principles of Management
ACE Recommended Score*: 50
Semester Hours: 3

Each institution reserves the right to set its own credit-granting policy, which may differ from that of ACE. Contact your college as soon as possible to find out the score it requires to grant credit, the number of credit hours granted, and the course(s) that can be bypassed with a satisfactory score.

*The American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT) has evaluated CLEP processes and procedures for developing, administering, and scoring the exams. The score listed above is equivalent to a grade of C in the corresponding course. The American Council on Education, the major coordinating body for all the nation’s higher education institutions, seeks to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and to influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives. Visit the ACE CREDIT website for more information.