How to Use CLEP Study Guides to Your Advantage

If you're planning on taking CLEP exams to earn some college credits, CLEP study guides are the best place to start preparing. These guides often use questions from older exams, giving you access to the types of questions you can expect for any of the 34 available CLEP exams. Go to www.collegeboard.com to find plenty of resources for CLEP study materials, then follow these tips to get the most from them.

  • Make a plan. You will need to allow enough time to prepare for the exam(s) you decide to take. Do not expect to cram the night before the test and do well. In order to maximize your chances of success, you will need a study plan that takes you through each section, with enough time for you to absorb the information you need. For some, two to three months is needed to become fully prepared.
  • Take practice tests. They recreate the computer testing conditions and give you sample questions. The more you use them, the better you are prepared. You can retake them as many times as needed, and they are usually free. The College Board's Web site will point you to useful resources for CLEP online study.
  • Choose your tests wisely. Choose CLEP exams based on your strengths. Don't choose your weakest subject and expect to just learn it for the test. Start where your strengths are, and focus on one test at a time.
  • Study the question format. With multiple-choice tests, there are keywords that are important clues for understanding and choosing answers. Remember that words such as "every" and "never" will only have one possible answer attached, whereas "often" and "may" usually involve further thought.
  • Guessing is allowed. There are no penalties for guessing if you don't know the answer, so an educated guess is better than no answer, which will always be wrong. There are no penalties for incorrect answers. Only correct answers are counted.
  • Practice timing. Know that you will have limited time for the actual test, so time your practice tests.
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