CLEP consists of a series of examinations that test an individual’s college level knowledge gained through course work, independent study, cultural pursuits, travel, special interests, military service schools, and professional development. The American Council on Education (ACE) recommends the minimum score for awarding credit but each institution determines its acceptable score and the amount of credit granted for each examination.
NOTE: CLEP General Exams are show in italic.
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The DANTES program is an extensive series of 37 examinations in college subject areas that are comparable to the final or end-of-course examinations in undergraduate courses. ACE recommends 3 semester hours of credit per test. DANTES funds paper-based DSST testing for eligible Service members and civilian examinees at DANTES Test Centers and at national test centers (colleges and universities) offering the Internet-based (iBT) DSSTs.
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EXCELSIOR College Examinations (formerly ACT/PEP) are used to meet specific college degree requirements of the Excelsior College degrees and are accepted for college credit by over 900 colleges and universities.
CLEP (CLEP General in italic)
The examination guide contains a complete exam description, including knowledge and skills required, sample questions and answers, test-taking strategies, scoring information, and study resources. Download from CG Portal.
Additional Study aids and practice exams are located at Peterson’s MWR Libraries.
To prepare for the American Literature exam, you should read critically the contents of at least one anthology. Most textbook anthologies contain a representative sample of readings as well as discussions of historical background, literary styles and devices characteristic of various authors and periods, and other material relevant to the test. The anthologies vary somewhat in their content, approach, and emphasis; you are advised to consult more than one or to consult some specialized books on major authors, periods, and literary forms and terminology.
You should also read as many as possible of the major novels that are mentioned or excerpted in the anthologies, such as Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Kate Chopin's The Awakening. Other novelists whose major works you should be familiar with include Melville, Crane, Wharton, Cather, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, Ellison, and Wright. You can probably obtain an extensive reading list of American literature from a college English department, library, or bookstore.
The most relevant preparation for the Analyzing and Interpreting Literature exam is attentive and reflective reading of the various literary genres of poetry, drama, and prose. You can prepare for the test by:
Textbooks and anthologies used for college courses in the analysis and interpretation of literature contain a sampling of literary works in a variety of genres. They also contain material that can help you comprehend the meanings of literary works and recognize the devices writers use to convey their sense and intent. You would do well to consult two or three texts because they do vary somewhat in content, approach, and emphasis.
Most textbooks used in college-level English Composition courses cover the topics relevant to the exam, but the approaches to certain topics and the emphasis given to them may differ.
To become aware of the processes and the principles involved in presenting your ideas logically and expressing them clearly and effectively, you should practice writing. Ideally, you should try writing on a variety of subjects and issues, starting with those you know best and care about most. Ask someone you know and respect to respond to what you write and to help you discover which parts of your writing communicate effectively and which parts need revision to make the meaning clear. You should also try to read the works of published writers in a wide range of subjects, paying particular attention to the ways in which they use language to express their meaning.
Most textbooks used in college-level English Literature courses cover the topics relevant to the exam, but the approaches to certain topics and the emphasis given to them may differ.
You should also read critically the contents of at least one literary anthology, many of which are used as textbooks in English literature courses at the college level. Most textbook anthologies contain a representative sample of readings, as well as discussions of historical background, literary styles, and devices characteristic of various authors and periods, and other material relevant to the test. The anthologies do vary somewhat in content, approach, and emphasis; you are therefore advised to consult more than one anthology, as well as some specialized books on major authors, periods, and literary forms and terminology. You should also read some of the major novels that are mentioned or excerpted in the anthologies.
You should also read as many as
To prepare for the Freshman College Composition exam, you should consult books that are typically used as reference books or textbooks for first-year English composition and rhetoric courses. The books in the first group include handbooks of grammar and manuals for writing papers and research papers. They offer guidance on the various elements of writing (sentences, paragraphs, essays) as well as examples illustrating acceptable usage and punctuation.
The books in the second group generally include examples of writing, usually written by professional writers but sometimes by student writers. The books in this group suggest ways to make writing interesting, effective, and suitable to a particular purpose. They provide examples of different kinds of writing and practice in reading comprehension.
Parents and others who work with children may have gained some preparation for this test through experience. However, knowledge of the basic facts, theories, and principles of child psychology and development is necessary to provide background for taking the exam.
You may find it helpful to supplement your reading with books and articles listed in the bibliographies found in most developmental psychology textbooks.
To do well on the Humanities exam, you should know something about each of the forms of literature and fine arts from the various periods and cultures listed in the exam description. It may also be helpful to refer to college textbooks, supplementary reading, and references for introductory courses in literature and fine arts at the college level.
Combined with reading, a lively interest in the arts (going to museums and concerts, attending plays, seeing motion pictures, watching public television programs such as Great Performances and Masterpiece Theatre, and listening to radio stations that play classical music and feature discussions of the arts) constitutes excellent preparation.
To prepare for the American Literature exam
There are many introductory economics textbooks that vary greatly in difficulty. Some books are published in one-volume editions that cover both microeconomics and macroeconomics; some of the texts listed here are published in two-volume editions, with one volume covering macroeconomics and the other microeconomics. A companion study guide/workbook is available for most textbooks. The study guides typically include brief reviews, definitions of key concepts, problem sets, and multiple-choice test questions with answers. Many publishers also make available computer-assisted learning packages as companions to these texts.
To broaden your knowledge of economic issues, you may read relevant articles published in the economics periodicals that are available in most college libraries. Magazines like The Economist and newspapers like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, along with local papers, may also enhance your understanding of economic issues.
You can broaden your understanding of marketing principles and their applications by reading articles in newspapers and business publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Ad Week, and Advertising Age. Journals like Journal of Marketing, Marketing Today, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Sciences, American Demographics, and Marketing Week can be found in most college libraries.
To prepare for the Natural Sciences exam, it is advisable to study one or more college textbooks (selecting at least one biological science and one physical science textbook).
If candidates maintain an interest in scientific issues, read science articles in newspapers and magazines, watch public television programs such as Nova, or work in fields that require knowledge of certain areas of science, such as nursing and laboratory work, they will probably be knowledgeable about many of the topics included on the Natural Sciences exam.
To prepare for the Social Sciences and History exam, you should consult several introductory college level textbooks. Visit your local college bookstore to determine which textbooks are used by the college for history, sociology, political science, geography, and other related courses.
The materials suggested for preparing for other CLEP exams may also be helpful. Study resources for the subject examinations in American Government, History of the United States I and II, Principles of Macroeconomics and Principles of Microeconomics, Introductory Sociology, and Western Civilization I and II are particularly relevant.
As you read sociology textbooks, take notes that address the following issues, which are fundamental to most questions that appear on the test:
Contemporary novels and plays, as well as works by Homer, Shakespeare, and Dickens, provide rich sources of information. Classic works of nonfiction are equally valuable—for example, Machiavelli's The Prince, Mill's On Liberty, and Paine's The Rights of Man. Books of documents are an excellent source for sampling primary materials. Actual works of art in museums can bring to life not only the reproductions found in books, but history itself.
Many of the texts listed here are published in two-volume editions, with one volume covering Western Civilization I and the other covering Western Civilization II. Some also have one-volume brief or concise editions, designed for a less intensive review.
The DSST Fact Sheet contains test information, exam content outline, references that were used to create the exam, sample questions and answers, credit recommendations, and college course area equivalency.
Additional Study aids and practice exams are located at