About the CLEP/DSST/TECEP/ECE Exams...

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Lauradglas, May 29, 2005.

  1. Lauradglas

    Lauradglas New Member

    I've read a great deal about how easy many of these tests are. However, in reading the descriptions and reviewing the example questions, I find that none of these seem "easy". I'm not generally considered slow, and I'm a good test taker. (I call multiple choice "monkey tests" because even a monkey has a 20-25% chance of getting the answer right.) So, are the practice questions not indicitive of the difficulty? I've got 33 s.h. to complete, and no money or time to waste. I don't want to over study, but I don't want to walk in under-prepared either. Thanks in advance. Sincerely, Laura
  2. james_lankford

    james_lankford New Member

    easy is subjective

    I only studied a week for the DANTES Intro to Religion test, but I read the Religion for Dummies, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0764552643/qid=1117322116/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-3612649-5859923?v=glance&s=books , and Everything Religion, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1580626483/qid=1117322050/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-3612649-5859923?v=glance&s=books

    I passed with a high A, but I was answering questions down to the last second and I had a lot of trouble distinguishing questions about buddhism and hinduism

    it was an easy 3 credits considering the amount of money and time I put in, but it was not an easy test
    I thought the CLEP psychology was easier. I used

    The Stimulating World of Psychology by the standard deviants
    http://www.standarddeviants.com/pls/brain/goldhil.show_product?p_product_id=50 and
    Introducing Psychology,

    these additional ones
    Psychology the Easy Way

    Cracking the GRE Psychology Test

    are all you need for all the other CLEP, DANTES and Excelsior psychology exams

    use Cliff's Notes, Barron's Ez-101 Study Keys, Standard Deviants and you'll do ok for most subjects

    some tests, Accounting, Humanities, Chemistry will of course require much more work and more detailed books
  3. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    I think many are easy IF you've gained a fair amount of knowledge from life and are at least decent at test taking. I could see some one bad at test taking not passing even if they knew most of the material.
  4. CoachTurner

    CoachTurner Member

    One thing is that these are not scored in a direct percentage manner. That is, if you answer 80 of 100 you don't score an 80 per se. In fact, 80% on most of these would be a pretty high score.

    The tests are designed to cover the material as it might have been taught at any number of schools. For that reason, there is a certain core knowledge expected of everyone but some additional knowledge you may or may not have gotten in a class.

    The "detractors" on these tests are also often very well done. This means that guessing is probably not much help unless you can eliminate at least two of the options. Remember, you have a 25% odds at any one guess being right but 75% wrong. Odds are decidedly against you.

    I read once that the odds of getting a pass score on dead guessing is something like .000016% -- I'm sure some stats person can give us this number.

    Some of the practice tests are designed the same way so some of us work on the idea that if you get 50% on a good practice test you're probably ok. If you get 75% then you're probably good-to-go.

    One of the most important things in test prep for these is vocabulary. If you have the vocab of the subject area down pretty well, you will score much higher than if you try to concentrate on concepts and ideas.

    Some of the tests are notoriously easy. Of course, their classroom equivalent is also known to be easy.

    Freshman Comp. is not considered by most students to be a hard class. Nor is Intro to Business.

    Your best results will come from testing content that you have a good grasp of already. For this reason, the older testers tend to do much better than those testing at 18-25. Vietnam veterans tend to do pretty well on the Vietnam War test while non-vets tend not to for example (not a scientific observation). Computer programmers tend not to have much trouble with Intro to Computers.

    Some other tests tend to be tough for almost everyone. Biz Law II, Finance, Money and Banking seem to have pretty low pass rates.

    It's going to be a matter of what you already know and how well you learn knew material from self-study. I've done pretty well on most of the CLEP and DANTES exams that I've taken.

    My unscientific observation of my own experience is that the DANTES were not as hard as the CLEPs and that the subjects are easier than the generals.

    I'm working on a study of pass rates listing the exams in pass rate order. Taking into account that most people take tests that they think they are prepared for, pass rates should still be a reasonable indicator of relative ease.
  5. CoachTurner

    CoachTurner Member

    exam pass rates over 50%

    Following are in order high to low...

    Of the CLEP Subject exams, these have a military pass rate of 50% or higher:

    Analyzing and Interpreting Literature (6)
    Freshman College Comp. (6)
    Principles of Management (3)
    Information Systems and Computer Apps. (3)

    Of the DANTES subjects, far more have a pass rate over 50%:
    (all 3 hours)

    Princ. of Public Speaking
    Intro to Computing
    Technical Writing
    Intro to Business
    Management Information Systems
    Here's to Your Health
    Business Mathematics
    Principles of Supervision
    Human Resource Management
    Intro to Law Enforcement
    Intro to World Religions
    Ethics in America
    Environment and Humanity
    Personal Finance
    Foundations of Education
    Criminal Justice
    Introduction to the Modern Middle East
    Fundamentals of Counseling

    Of the CLEP general exams, the following have a pass rate above 50%:

    Natural Sciences (6)

    all others are under 35%

    The following ECE exams had a military pass rate under 50%:
    (in no order)

    Life Span Dev. Psych.
    World Population
    Human Resource Management
    Organizational Behavior


    These are military pass rates and some are influenced by military training and experience in the subject area. For example -- the middle east test may be higher because this is an area of high interest to military personnel. Supervision and management may be higher because this is an area of training for military personnel.
  6. Lauradglas

    Lauradglas New Member

    Okay I guess I have a better understanding. I was really concerned because on the sample tests I was getting 15 right and 10 wrong... or a 60%. Now, another question: The ECE sample tests for Gerontology and Psychology of Adulthood & Aging are exactly the same. Do these credits generally overlap? Also, in reading some of the replies am I correct in interpreting you to mean that if I get half of the sample questions correct that I'm probably fine to take the test? Thanks in advance.
  7. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    Hi Laura

    Have you had a chance to read www.bain4weeks.com in detail? If not it has the answers to these questions and many more and is likely to speed up the whole process for you. Good luck!
  8. CoachTurner

    CoachTurner Member

    I'd say it's more like this:

    * If you get less than 50% on a quality practice test then it is definately not time to take that test.

    * If you're getting between 50 and 75% on the quality practice tests then you are probably in line for a pass -- not exceptional, but a pass nonetheless. (caution -- some schools award letter grades based on those test scores). A little more reading or an educational video or two won't hurt but go ahead and test if you can afford the risk.

    * If you're scoring above 75% on a good quality practice test then you should expect that you're also going to score a good pass on that test. A bit of additional study won't hurt but there's no good reason not to go ahead and give it a shot.


    That said, much does depend on your test taking skill. If someone has week testing skills then they could be getting 100% on a practice test and still fail.

    Also, a practice test is only a valid diagnostic the first time you take it. The validity of that practice test diminishes each time you use the same form as your diagnostic (because you begin to learn the answer to the specific question and not the underlying concept).

    If you "study the practice test" then you should be expected to start getting 100% before very long. That won't improve your real test results very much at all unless you happen to be studying for a radio operators license or some other test where the practice test is composed of the complete test bank.

    The best shot might be to jump on in and try one of the "easier" tests just for practice and confidence building. This will let you know how they are designed and how the test center you use operates while leaving you in a less stressful situation. Analyzing and Interpreting Literature might be a good one for that.
  9. Orson

    Orson New Member

    I've found that sample questions for these examse tend to be close to the mean level of difficulty. That is, they represent medium level difficulty. Or in other words, a roughly equal number of questions will be slap and tickle easy AND genuinely hard.

    If you're getting 60% right on the sample, you're almost a lock to get "A" level performance.
  10. AJArndt

    AJArndt New Member

  11. Lauradglas

    Lauradglas New Member

    Update on my tests....

    Okay here's my final tally:

    CLEP English Composition w/ essay 71
    CLEP Analyze & Interpret Lit. 72
    CLEP Human Growth & Development 68
    CLEP Intro to Educational Psychology 66
    DSST Drug and Alcohol Abuse 61
    DSST Fundamentals of Counseling 58
    DSST Criminal Justice 52
    ECE Psychology of Adulthood & Aging- A
    ECE Organizational Behavior- A
    ECE Abnormal Psychology- A
    ECE Gerontology- B

    All in all 39 units in the space of a few weeks, 15 of those upper division. I took my first test on Jun 4th and my last on Jul 5th. Not exactly a BA in 4 weeks... but seriously I could have done a BA in four weeks if I had needed to. I wouldn't recommend it particularly if you suffer from IBS... but it can be done. Luckily I had most of my undergrad done. Now if only I could choose my major!!!!
    I'm finished if I want a social science BA
    I need statistics for a sociology BA
    I need experimental psych and statistics for a psychology BA.
    I need to decide between social work, teaching, or becoming a therapist. I enjoy all of them which is part of the reason I've been in school so long... decisions, decisions.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2005
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  13. Orson

    Orson New Member

    Re: Update on my tests....


    Now how about trying a self-assessement test like those in "Discover what You're Best At" or the Strong Interest Inventory?

    You can do them more than once, given a suitable interval. This can help you to decide between your choices! Or affirm you inclinations (It worked for me>...)

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2005
  14. Lauradglas

    Lauradglas New Member

    ROTFLMAO! It doesn't help. They all say I would be good in one of the helping professions, such as a teacher, counselor, or social worker! LOL And it's definately the truth because I'm good at all of them. My preference is toward counseling. I would love love love to be a marriage counselor. But, as a mother with 7 children I have to think about what's best for my family. Teaching would give me 3 months off a year and good benefits. Both teaching and counseling would require me to get my Master's, while I could work as a social worker today. I have enough upper division behavioral science units and I'm already on the eligible list (in the top range) for the county. If they call me I'll probably take the job. But that still leaves me with whether to pursue social work (and if I go on to get an LCSW I can work as a counselor), counseling psychology (with an eye toward the MFT and possibly go on to a Doctorate), or teaching.
  15. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    Where are you located, Laura? I mean, not to pry... just the state will do. In which state are you?
  16. Lauradglas

    Lauradglas New Member

    No prob. I'm in SoCal. And, if you're wondering you don't have to have an MSW to work as a social worker here except in certain settings (hospital medical social worker is one). If that isn't what you were wondering please ignore my presumptiousness! LOL
  17. suelaine

    suelaine Member

    Three months off with good benefits

    Laura, don't count on "three months off." Fewer and fewer districts offer that. School years and school days are getting longer and longer, in part, because of NCLB. Getting your Masters while teaching will certainly kill the first couple years of "summer vacation." Even after getting your Masters, in most states you are required to continue taking college courses "forever." I taught math/computer science for five years in a public high school. This varies a lot by district, and by subject that you teach, but in my district, I taught five different high school subjects and had 6 or 7 classes to teach each day. I spent about as much time working at home (grading, making lesson plans, etc.) as I did in school. Definitely more than 40 hours per week though I have at least one brother who does not believe me! I gave it all up for year round work, but I'm actually happier now and have more free time, less stress and more $$$. But, as an after thought, it is my high school teaching experience that got me my current job (teaching teachers who are working on their Master's Degree). So don't let me discourage you! Good luck with whatever you pursue! We need good teachers, and when you are ready to pursue your Masters, Walden is the way to to go! :)
  18. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    What is this ROTFLMAO abbreviation I keep seeing?
  19. I believe it's Rolling On The Floor, Laughing My Ass Off.
  20. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member


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