Audiobooks for Test Prep

Discussion in 'CLEP, DANTES, and Other Exams for Credit' started by TonyM, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. TonyM

    TonyM Member

    Has anyone else prepped for CLEP or Dantes with audiobooks? You can prep for almost any of the social science, literature, foreign language and history exams with audiobooks. I prepped for the Dantes Vietnam and Soviet Union exams with a combination of documentaries, recorded books and some regular reading. I did the same for the Clep Western Civilization I and II. Even if audiobooks don't suffice on their own, they are way to make your commutes or gym time productive. For histories, in my opinion. you can 99% prep with only audio/video sources.

    Here's my formula: First, listen to big survey histories (one or two at the most) then listen to a couple of biographies of major historical figures, then one or two historical novels (gives the historical names a personality), take a practice exam from a study guide. FINALLY, on the morning of the test, read an encyclopedia article of the War or period or nation (example: Vietnam War)...and you will pass with using only entertaining materials.

    Here's how I prepped for the Dantes Vietnam War: Listened to Stanley Karnow's Vietnam, Watched the PBS Vietnam: A Television History, reviewed a textbook, and read the Encarta and Encyclopedia Britannica articles on the topic.

    Anyone else do something similar?
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2010
  2. ideafx

    ideafx New Member


    I have a program called NaturalReader that does just that. I can paste long blocks of text into the program, adjust the reader's voice, and save it as an MP3. I then copy it to my MP3 player and listen to it while I work. I have a physical job that doesn't require much interaction with other employees, so I can listen to it all day on loop. After an eight hour shift, most of the information is burned into my memory.

    The key is in finding a synthetic voice that isn't too cacophonous. The default Windows XP/Vista voices are unbearable.
  3. Alissa

    Alissa New Member

    I used audio books while studying for the GRE Literature. I liked it so much that I hardly listen to the radio anymore in the car. I like that my son is listening to classic literature in the car when we drive around instead of advertising and some provocative music lyrics.
  4. TonyM

    TonyM Member

    I need to look into that! I'm doing some graduate work that requires reading old texts from and similar places. What voice works the best for you?
  5. TonyM

    TonyM Member

    Did it work for the GRE?

    I've thought about taking the GRE lit test to add to my transcript...was it a good way to prep?
  6. Alissa

    Alissa New Member

    Yes, it helped me score high enough to get all the credits at Charter Oak. I also read and watched movie versions of some of the works on the reading list. My score wasn't that high, 54th percentile, but I think when I started taking practice tests it was at something like the 20th percentile, and I was only aiming for 40th %ile.

    With a young son to look after, I tried to find as many hands-free learning methods as I could. Online lectures, educational DVDs, and audio books are just as good, if not better, ways to remember the material for some of us. I noticed that I more easily remembered things I watched or heard rather than read, and I consider myself to be more of an audio-visual learner. If the subject I was studying for had relevant drawings, diagrams, or charts I would print them off and hang them on my kitchen cabinets so I had to look at them every day after I copied them into my notes. Everyone has a learning method that they like best, and audio-visual materials and note-taking were my staple methods.
  7. MISin08

    MISin08 New Member

    I've never been that driven to use nonprint study materials, but I am in some crazy high percentile for reading comprehension. Just the same I know there's solid science behind the idea that engaging your mind through more than one mode improves retention, so I do watch videos when I find them. I'll make a shameless plug for MS OneNote, great note-taking software that allows (among other things) pasting varied content into the document. I turn my notes into hyperlinked, illustrated custom study guides and this seems to do a lot for me. Also writing and reviewing concept cards, which are flash cards, but more in-depth.

  8. TonyM

    TonyM Member

    I didn't know about OneNote as a study guide...I often see it but pass it by with the idea that is was a business app. I could see where it might be useful to prepare a paper. The old note card system is fine, but carrying your work in a file would be helpful.
  9. TonyM

    TonyM Member

    Is there a GRE test prep guide that discusses the novels and works found of the GRE English Lit exam? That would be a fun project for 2010.
  10. Alissa

    Alissa New Member

    Princeton Review is the best study guide, but don't buy the newest one because it's absolutely identical to the older, cheaper edition.

    There was an online listing of works on past GRE Lit exams, but when I searched for it, it seems the site no longer exists or has been moved. Here are some other sites that may help:
  11. TonyM

    TonyM Member

    Thanks! I've been looking at the Duke link...very helpful!
  12. TMW2009

    TMW2009 New Member

    In addition to the audio books themselves, you can find a LOT of podcasts of classes through ITunes U from a good many schools, in all subjects.

    It is a great resource, especially if you have an iPod/iPhone available to you. (There's another thread in the Off Topic forum as well about what a versitile tool the Touch for scholastic work.)
  13. PonyGirl93

    PonyGirl93 Member

    Oh my gosh, I am so glad you mentioned iTunesU, TMW!!!!!! I had never heard of it before, but now I'm in heaven... I'm downloading like a million courses!! So cool!! Listening to a Yale Am Lit lecture, I feel like an ivy leaguer ;) lol :D I'm such a nerd :)
  14. GoodYellowDogs

    GoodYellowDogs New Member

    This is great! I do really well when I hear things or watch things!
  15. TonyM

    TonyM Member

    Learn like they do at MIT!

    Here's MIT's free courseware site, which has an extensive library of complete courses with video lectures and syllabi. Basically, it's recordings of MIT classes with all the study materials the students have.
  16. Lindagerr

    Lindagerr New Member

    Thank you for the great links

    I studied for the Vietnam war DSST with the Kubric audio book, but I do not do as well with pure audio learning. If I can combine watching and hearing I have better retention. I will check out these presentations to help me study.
    When I tried the audio books I used for the books. I did find if I listened to the books as I went to sleep I would remember some of it I did not think I had.
  17. TonyM

    TonyM Member

    Mixing study materials works well for me too. I need to see key words on paper before the test date, so I will recognize them on test day. The audio versions make study possible when I would otherwise have my hands during my commute.

Share This Page