The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) allows students to earn college credit by passing exams in a variety of subjects. With 34 exams covering material taught in introductory college courses, CLEP offers a great opportunity to save time and money in earning a college degree. However, not all CLEP exams are created equal when it comes to difficulty. By focusing your study efforts on some of the traditionally easier CLEP exams, you can maximize your chances of passing and earning valuable college credit. This guide provides tips on how to prepare for some of the easiest CLEP exams.
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How to Identify the Easiest CLEP Exams
The easiest CLEP exams will vary from student to student, depending on your personal academic background and professional experience.
When deciding which CLEP exams to take, consider the following factors:
- Your strongest academic subjects: Think back to high school and college courses you excelled at. The CLEP exams that cover those subjects will likely be easier for you.
- Relevant work experience: CLEP exams related to your career or industry will draw on knowledge you use regularly. This can make them easier to pass.
- Self-assessment: Before registering for a CLEP exam, take a sample test to gauge your existing knowledge of the subject. This will help determine if an exam is a good match for your abilities.
- Pass rates: Historically, some CLEP exams have had higher pass rates than others. While not definitive, pass rates can provide insight into an exam’s relative difficulty.
Setting SMART Study Goals
Once you’ve selected your CLEP exams, set Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely (SMART) goals to stay focused and motivated while prepping.
Make sure your study goals have:
- Specific outcomes (e.g. “I will learn all World War II events on the History CLEP exam”).
- Measurable targets (e.g. “I will complete 50 practice History CLEP questions per day”).
- Attainable expectations (e.g. “I will study 10 hours per week for the next 8 weeks”).
- Relevant objectives (e.g. “I will focus my Biology CLEP studying on molecular, cellular, and evolutionary concepts”).
- Timely deadlines (e.g. “I will take the Biology CLEP exam in 2 months”).
SMART goals keep your studying organized, efficient, and headed towards success.
Developing a Study Strategy
To pass any CLEP exam, you need an effective study strategy tailored to how you learn best.
Consider using techniques like:
- Spaced repetition: Revisit material over time, with increasing intervals between study sessions. This boosts long-term retention.
- Retrieval practice: Test yourself frequently with practice questions and flashcards. Producing answers aids learning.
- Interleaved practice: Switch between topics while studying instead of learning one topic at a time. This builds connections between concepts.
- Mind mapping: Visually link concepts using diagrams to understand relationships. This suits visual learners.
- Mnemonic devices: Use memory aids like acronyms or rhymes to boost recall of key facts. This aids rote memorization.
No matter your study techniques, cultivate good habits like setting a study schedule, taking breaks, creating a distraction-free environment, and getting enough sleep. This will optimize your CLEP prep.
Acquiring Study Materials
The College Board provides a few official CLEP study resources, including:
|CLEP Official Study Guide: This guide covers all 34 exams with sample questions and test||taking tips. Cost: $24.99|
|Exam||specific guides: These provide a full||length practice test and review of each exam’s content. Cost: $10 each|
For exams with many free resources available, the official guides may be overkill. But they can be worthwhile for exams with few third-party materials.
Free resources for CLEP exam studying include:
- Khan Academy: Video lessons and practice questions for Biology, Chemistry, Economics, and History exams.
- Modern States: Free online courses with video lectures for 33 exams.
- Free-CLEP-Prep.com: Practice tests and study guides for most exams.
- Library books: Older exam prep books from publishers like REA can often be found for free at libraries.
Using free resources, you can potentially prepare for most CLEP exams without paying for study materials. But the official guides do provide the most exam-specific practice.
Remember Institution Score Requirements
While the College Board suggests a minimum passing score of 50 (out of 100) for CLEP exams, individual colleges and universities set their own score requirements. Be sure to check your institution’s credit-granting policy for each exam. While a score of 50 may allow credit at some schools, others may require a higher passing score like 55 or 60 to confer credits. Know the target score you need to achieve before taking any CLEP exam.
Earning college credit through CLEP can accelerate your degree progress and reduce tuition costs. By focusing your study efforts on traditionally easier CLEPexams that align with your knowledge and experience, you can maximize your chances of passing. Use SMART goals, customized study strategies, a mix of free and official resources, and diligent preparation habits to prep properly. Check your institution’s score requirements beforehand as well. Follow these tips to successfully study for and pass some of the easiest CLEPexams.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to take a CLEP exam?
CLEPexams cost $89 for the exam fee. In addition, there is a $25 fee for an optional essay portion that’s available on some exams.
How many times can you take a CLEP exam?
You can take a CLEP exam once per calendar month. There is no limit on the total number of different CLEP exams you can take.
How long do CLEP exams last?
CLEPexams are 90 minutes long, except for College Composition exams, which are 120 minutes.
Are CLEP exams hard?
CLEP difficulty varies by exam, but overall they are designed to test introductory college-level knowledge. With proper preparation, many students are able to pass multiple CLEPexams.
What is the easiest CLEP exam?
Some traditionally easier CLEP exams include Principles of Management, Principles of Marketing, Human Growth and Development, Introductory Psychology, and Introductory Sociology. Your personal knowledge and strengths will determine which exams are easiest for you.