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  1. #1
    rackwin is offline Registered User
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    CLEP American Literature

    Hi everyone,

    I'm studying for this CLEP exam: American Literature. Has anyone in this forum ever sat for this exam? What books did u use? And how difficult is it when compared to other CLEPs. Please respond. Thanks.

  2. #2
    CoachTurner is offline Registered User
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    The Lit. exams are hard even if you're well read. If you're not well read then these are a real killer.

    The exams assume that you have read the canon of American literature. You'll need to know the major writers of American lit. and their periods.

    You'll also need to know the terms used in lit. crit. and analysis.

    I used the Norton Anthologies to prep for these and did pretty well. You won't be able to go in an expect that the works referenced are quoted well in the test questions, as they are in the Analyzing and Interpreting Literature exam. There are some examples quoted in the exam but mostly, you just have to know the major writers.

    More than half of this test is about who is who and who did what in various writings. Then there's a little about the writers and their time -- but not all that much.

    Read Hawthorne, Twain, Chopin (read alot), Faulkner, Hemmingway, and Mellville.

    I found that watching video/DVD of the classic lit. was helpfull in cram period. Things like Grapes of Wrath, Scarlet Letter, Red Badge of Courage, etc. -- especially the older versions that tend to mirror the texts better. It's especially helpful if you can recognize when "that's not in the book".

    Be familiar with literary terms or you can't answer the questions. See http://www.virtualsalt.com/litterms.htm

    The Wikipedia article can offer some good basic overview and might help you see where you're weakest. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_literature

    Good luck -- don't let me scare you from doing this one and maybe the English Lit.
    -----
    Carson Turner
    Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
    BA, Coastal Carolina University
    BSLS, Excelsior College
    MA, MBA, MA, Webster University
    MAIS, Western New Mexico University (due 2013)

  3. #3
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    Originally posted by CoachTurner
    The Lit. exams are hard even if you're well read. If you're not well read then these are a real killer.
    The important exception to this is Analyzing and Interpreting Literature, which assumes no familiarty with literature whatsoever. All passages to be analyzed are given to you to read as part of the exam. If your school accepts this, I strongly recommend it.

    -=Steve=-
    BS, Info Sys concentration, Charter Oak State College
    MA in Educational Tech, George Washington University
    PhD in Leadership, U. of the Cumberlands (in progress)
    More at http://stevefoerster.com

  4. #4
    CoachTurner is offline Registered User
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    If your school accepts this, I strongly recommend it.
    Agreed, Analyzing and Intrpreting Lit. was probably the easiest CLEP I've done -- I've done more than a few.

    It should be, for most adults, an easy 6 hours. You simply have to be able to understand what you read and know just a few literary terms.
    -----
    Carson Turner
    Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
    BA, Coastal Carolina University
    BSLS, Excelsior College
    MA, MBA, MA, Webster University
    MAIS, Western New Mexico University (due 2013)

  5. #5
    jesatlarge is offline Registered User
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    Clep American Lit is not too hard; I got a 71 with no prep. But I am pretty familiar with Am. Lit and read quite a bit. I wouldn't read a single book of any sort to prep. Just know about the great works in Am lit. Just know the top writers, their most famous works, a thumbnail bio of their life and times, a thumbnail overly general lit description of their genre/style and that's it. The test is way general. You can easily get all this info from the internet.
    Why read the Scarlet Letter(unless you want to, it's great) when all you need to know is who wrote it when and why and what does it represent. Classic Comics work great if they are still available.

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