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The Spanish Language exam measures skills typically acquired through two to four semesters of Spanish language study.
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2019 CLEP Official Study Guide
This study guide provides practice questions for all 33 CLEP® exams. The ideal resource for taking more than one exam. Offered only by the College Board.
CLEP® Spanish Language Examination Guide
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This guide provides practice questions for the CLEP® Spanish Language (Levels 1 and 2) Exam only.
Try Free Spanish Language Sample Questions
Answer sample questions to get a sense of the format and difficulty level of the Spanish Language exam.
The Spanish Language exam is designed to measure knowledge and ability equivalent to that of students who have completed one to two years of college Spanish language study.
Material taught during both years is incorporated into a single exam, covering both Level 1 and Level 2 content.
The exam contains approximately 121 questions to be answered in approximately 90 minutes. Some of these are pretest questions that won’t be scored. There are three separately timed sections. The three sections are weighted so that each question contributes equally to the total score. Any time that test takers spend on tutorials or providing personal information is in addition to the actual testing time.
There are two listening sections and one reading section. Each section has its own timing requirements.
- The two listening sections together are approximately 30 minutes long.
- The amount of time you’ll have to answer a question varies according to the section and doesn’t include the time you spend listening to the test material.
- Timing begins after the section directions are dismissed.
- You can change the volume by using the Volume testing tool.
- The audio portions of the listening sections will be presented only once.
- The reading section is 60 minutes long.
Knowledge and Skills Required
Questions on the Spanish Language exam require test takers to comprehend written and spoken Spanish. The subject matter is drawn from the abilities described below. The percentages next to the main topics indicate the approximate percentage of exam questions on each.
Section I (15%)
Listening comprehension through short oral exchanges. Choose the response that most logically continues or completes each conversation. You’ll have 10 seconds to choose your response before the next conversation begins.
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Section II (25%)
Listening: Dialogues and Narratives
Listening comprehension through longer spoken selections. You’ll hear a series of selections, such as dialogues, announcements, and narratives. Each audio selection is accompanied by a graphic or picture and is followed by one or more questions.
The questions have various formats. Some questions offer four possible responses, each with an oval to click to indicate your answer. Other questions ask you to select part of a graphic, fill out a table, or put a list in the correct order. For some of these questions, you’ll have to click in more than one place to complete your response. Be sure to follow the specific directions for each question.
You’ll have a total of 12 minutes to answer the questions in this section. Note: The timer is activated only when you’re answering questions.
In this section, you may adjust the volume only when a question is on your screen. It will affect the volume of the next audio prompt you hear. You can’t change the volume while the audio prompt is playing.
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Section III (60%)
16% Part A: Discrete sentences (vocabulary and structure)
Each incomplete statement is followed by four suggested completions. Select the one that is best in each case by clicking on the corresponding oval.
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20% Part B: Short cloze passages (vocabulary and structure)
In each paragraph, there are blanks indicating that words or phrases have been omitted. When a blank is shaded, four completions are provided. First, read through the entire paragraph. Then, for each blank, choose the best completion, given the context for the entire paragraph.
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24% Part C: Reading passages and authentic stimulus materials (reading comprehension)
Each selection is followed by one or more questions, incomplete statements, or commands. For each question or incomplete statement, select the best answer or completion. For each command, click the appropriate area of the screen according to the directions given.
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Most textbooks used in college-level Spanish language courses cover the topics in the above outline, but the approaches to certain topics and the emphases given to them may differ. To prepare for the CLEP Spanish Language exam, it's advisable to study one or more college textbooks, which can be found in most college bookstores.
Besides studying basic vocabulary, you should understand and be able to apply the grammatical principles that make up the language. To improve your reading comprehension, read passages from textbooks, short magazine or newspaper articles, or other Spanish-language materials of your choice. To improve your listening comprehension, look for opportunities to hear the language spoken by native speakers and to converse with native speakers. If you have opportunities to join organizations with Spanish-speaking members, to attend Spanish movies, or to listen to Spanish-language television or radio broadcasts, take advantage of them.
A survey conducted by CLEP found that the following textbooks are among those used by college faculty who teach the equivalent course. You can purchase one or more of these online or at your local college bookstore.
- Armen, Abriendo Puertas: Lenguaje (McDougal Littell)
- Gill et al., En Contacto (Heinle)
- Gilman et al., Nuevos Horizontes (Wiley)
- Iglesias and Meiden, Spanish for Oral and Written Review (Heinle)
- Kiddle et al., Perspectivas (Heinle)
- Knorre et al., Puntos de Partida (McGraw-Hill)
- Siskin et al., Entrevistas: An Introduction to Language and Culture (McGraw-Hill)
- Valdes and Teschner, Español Escrito (Prentice Hall)
- Dozier and Iguiña, Manual de gramática: Grammar Reference for Students of Spanish (Heinle)
- Frances et al., Manual de gramática y ortografía para hispanos (Pearson)
- Gac-Artigas, Directo al Grano (Prentice Hall)
These resources, compiled by the CLEP test development committee and staff members, may help you study for your exam. However, none of these sources are designed specifically to provide preparation for a CLEP exam. The College Board has no control over their content and can't vouch for their accuracy.
- Trent University: Spanish Language Exercises
- AP Spanish Language and Culture: Some of the materials covered in this AP course are also examined by the CLEP Spanish Language exam. CLEP test takers may use this course as a study resource for the knowledge and skills covered by the CLEP Spanish Language exam.
- Free online CLEP Spanish Language course offered by Modern States Education Alliance
Credit-Granting Score for Spanish Language
ACE Recommended Score*: 50
Semester Hours: 6
ACE Recommended Score*: 63
Semester Hours: 9
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 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.