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2018 CLEP Official Study Guide

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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

PDF Document $10.00

This guide provides practice questions for the CLEP®  Spanish Language (Levels 1 and 2) Exam only.

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Spanish Language: Levels 1 and 2


The Spanish Language examination is designed to measure knowledge and ability equivalent to that of students who have completed two to three semesters of college Spanish language study.

Material taught during both years is incorporated into a single exam, covering both Level 1 and Level 2 content. ACE recommends 6 semester hours of credit for mastery of Level 1 content (a score of 50) and 9 semester hours of credit for mastery of both Levels 1 and 2 (a score of 63). Colleges may award different amounts of credit depending on the candidate’s test scores.

Knowledge and Skills Required


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 in length. The amount of time candidates have to answer a question varies according to the section and does not include the time they spend listening to the test material.
  • The reading section is 60 minutes in length.

Questions on the Spanish Language examination require candidates to comprehend written and spoken Spanish. The subject matter is drawn from the following abilities. The percentages next to the main topics indicate the approximate percentage of exam questions on that ability.

Section I (15%)
Listening: Rejoinders

Listening comprehension through short oral exchanges

Section II (25%)
Listening: Dialogues and Narratives

Listening comprehension through longer spoken selections

Section III (60%)

16% Part A: Discrete sentences (vocabulary and structure)
20% Part B: Short cloze passages (vocabulary and structure)
24% Part C: Reading passages and authentic stimulus materials (reading comprehension)

Study Resources

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 is 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, seek 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.

Other Resources

Listen to sample questions in the listening sections.


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.

  • 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)

Grammar Resources

  • 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)

Online Resources

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 cannot vouch for accuracy.

Score Information

Credit-Granting Score for Spanish Language

Level 1
ACE Recommended Score*: 50
Semester Hours: 6

Level 2
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 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.