How to Study for CLEP Exams

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Are you a college student preparing for the CLEP exams? Are you confused about the exam structure or how to go about preparing for the exams? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, this article has detailed information for you. The CLEP exam is an excellent way to earn college credits. But, it requires a different approach compared to other college exams. Since you won’t learn about the CLEP exam or how to pass it in class, it’s essential to prepare for the test yourself. But how much preparation is adequate preparation? We’ll find out in this article.

How to Study for CLEP Exams?How to Study for CLEP Exams?

Students can take college board CLEP exams in many subjects to earn college credit. However, you don’t just sit for the exams without adequate preparation. This is where adopting the right study techniques come into play. During preparation, several questions come to mind. One of these questions is, “how do you study for CLEP exams?”

For CLEP, just like any other exam, you can develop a strategy to prepare for the exams. Many students prefer to start by acquiring numerous CLEP study materials for practice purposes. Fortunately, many of these materials are available online, where you can reach them. However, you may need to register on the websites to access them.

Another essential step to preparing for the CLEP exams is reviewing specific guidelines provided by the college board about each exam. This step helps you keep everything in check and ensure that you don’t miss anything before and during the exams.

Furthermore, you can use study techniques like spaced practice and mind mapping to improve your understanding of each subject. This strategy helps you stay on your feet throughout the preparatory stage without losing focus.

If you have friends that are studying for these exams, you can form a study group with them. Apart from studying together, study colleagues also help to bring you information that you might have missed about the exams.

What Does a CLEP Exam Cover?

What Does a CLEP Exam Cover?

As expected, there are quite a number of elements that make up the CLEP exam.  Beyond helping you to know how to prepare, a knowledge of these elements can also help you decide whether you should write the exam or not. The areas covered in the CLEP exams range from composition and literature, history and social sciences, world languages, business, mathematics, and science.

A new section was recently added to test students’ knowledge of the Spanish language. However, this section tests your basic knowledge of the language and ability to communicate in it.

CLEP exams would typically cost about $89, which includes administrative costs. However, if you opt for a three-credit college cost, you’ll likely pay up to $1,677. In other words, testing out of college courses can help many students save up to hundreds of dollars in their tuition.

Apart from reduced cost, CLEP has several other advantages.  One of the most common advantages is that it can help to hasten your graduation time. CLEP exams can decrease the amount of time you will spend on your classes by up to forty hours.

Are CLEP Exams Hard to Pass?

Are CLEP Exams Hard to Pass?

CLEP exams are not as difficult as many people fear them to be. Most of the exams are multiple-choice questions, and there’s no penalty for guessing. Therefore, you can easily guess answers for those you don’t know and still stand a chance of passing. However, this composition doesn’t mean that the exams are not difficult at all. Accessing the exact level of difficulty of the CLEP exams may be somewhat subjective. Some people are naturally good at taking exams. Such people may do well with very little preparation.

It’s safe to say that the difficulty level of CLEP exams depends on numerous factors, including your familiarity with the subjects and the efforts you can put into preparing for the exam. Therefore, it’s not surprising that it can be easy for one person and difficult for another.

To make the exam easier for you, you must prepare adequately before sitting for it.

What is a Passing Score on the CLEP Exams?

What is a Passing Score on the CLEP Exams?

All exams have passing scores, and these scores depend on several factors, including the nature of the exam. It’s therefore not surprising that one of the most popular questions among prospective CLEP candidates is, “what is CLEP passing score?”

CLEP exam scores typically range from 20 to 80 points. The final score is referred to as a cut score and would be used to determine whether a test taker will earn college credits or not. The scoring pattern is determined by CLEP’s test development committee and standard-setting panel. Your final score would usually equal the number of questions answered correctly. The exam body has set the cut score to equal a scaled score of 50. Anything less than 50 is considered a failing score by the exam body. However, it’s also worth noting that the body allows individual institutions to set their passing scores where they seem necessary.

Also, for CLEP exams, there is no need to record the attempt on your official college transcript when you don’t pass. Record is only meant for those that pass. It’s better than recording an “F” as part of your permanent college record, which would, in turn, spoil your academic records.

If you fail the CLEP exams, you have to wait for a minimum of six months before you can attempt the exam again. This offers you ample time to wait and study again to pass easily.

How Do You Study for a CLEP Test? 5 Ways

How Do You Study for a CLEP Test? 5 Ways

The whole process of preparing for a CLEP exam can be overwhelming for anybody. Most times, there’s so much to do and very little time to do them. If you are in this shoe and wondering how you can be more efficient with your preparation, here are valuable tips that can help.

Review the exam outline

Although often overlooked, this step may be what unlocks your ability to choose suitable materials for your study. Fortunately, CLEP exams allow you to utilize the knowledge you acquire outside the classroom. For instance, while you may have learned so much about the American government from high school, the key is to understand what aspects of the American government CLEP would cover. As you progress, you’ll need so much previous knowledge you’ve acquired over time. However, you’ll need them in the context of the exam. Therefore, it’s important to look at the outline to find what’s important for the exam and what’s not.

Know that a “D” is not a terrible result. 

As explained above, you’ll need to answer 50 questions correctly out of the 80 questions to pass the exams. However, irrespective of your score, CLEP exams would only appear as a P in your transcript if you’ve passed the exam. The organizers do not expect you to answer all the questions correctly. After all, the exams contain a very broad range of concepts that you may find difficult to cover. So you don’t have to stress about struggling to be the best. Just do enough to pass as many questions as you can.

Utilize the review button

The test is computer-based, and each question has a review button attached to it. The review button helps you remember questions that you’ve not exactly finalized on. If you are not sure about the answer choice you’ve selected for a question in the exam, it makes sense to click on the review button attached to the question. In the end, you can come back to view all the questions you clicked the review button for and make corrections where necessary. If there’s still time, you can start from the beginning to review all the questions to be double sure you’ve chosen the right options.

Seek help when loss

Like most other exams, registering for the CLEP exam doesn’t relegate you to becoming an island. So many other people are also registering for the exams. There are chances that you know someone who has spent extensive time studying all the materials among these people. You can also ask a friend, teacher, or anybody to help walk you through concepts you are struggling with. After all, people love to talk about subjects and topics they know very well. Therefore, it’s important to focus on the subjects they know so much about.

Use flashcards to learn keywords

When studying for any college course, you’ll find that most concepts have names. Beyond understanding the concepts, you’ll need to know their names, especially when preparing for multiple-choice questions. Flashcards are excellent tools for memorizing terms for short-term and long-term usage. They also help eliminate the need to cram the night before the exam.

How Long Do You Need to Study for a CLEP Exam?

How Long Do You Need to Study for a CLEP Exam?

We’ve explained earlier that the CLEP exam is not as difficult as many people think. It’s a multiple-choice exam and can be passed with adequate preparation. But how much preparation is sufficient preparation? Experts suggest that you begin detailed studies for the exams at least one month before the exam date. While this is a great study technique, it’s also essential to weigh your personality and understand what works for you. You’ll also need to focus your attention on materials that offer value during this period.

There are also instances where people study for about five days and pass. But it’s not a recommended strategy, as things might go south at the end. Take the right precaution and go with what you know works for you.

Wrapping Things Up: How to Study for CLEP Exams

When it comes to preparing for the CLEP exams, different strategies work for different people. It’s important not to approach the exams with fear. Like most other exams you’ve written, CLEP exams will be simple if you prepare well. Adequate preparation involves targeted studies and mental preparation. Don’t just wait until it’s a few days before the exams before trying to cram everything. The outline is broad and hardly exhaustible within days. We typically recommend studying for at least a month before writing the exams.

Remember that the people you study with would play a massive role in how you prepare for the exams. It’ll be wise to form study groups with other intelligent students to help you walk through complex concepts. One significant benefit of joining study groups is that they don’t just help you cover CLEP study books; you’ll also be able to store a lot of concepts in your long-term memory.

Check out our other CLEP-related articles below:

> What Classes Can You CLEP?

> Are CLEP Exams Worth It?

> Are CLEP Exams Hard?

> Is CLEP Harder than AP?

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Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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