Books to read for CLEP literature (British & American)

Discussion in 'CLEP, DANTES, and Other Exams for Credit' started by hhannahh, Jul 30, 2001.

  1. hhannahh

    hhannahh New Member

    The official study guide of the College Board does not list the books one should have read to pass the CLEP literature exams.

    Does anyone have a list of the books I should read ? I did not go to school to US nor UK - and therefore did not read many books most of you have already read during school (and later).

    I tried the sample test but could not answer many questions - I need to study that subject ...

    Thanks !
  2. bgossett

    bgossett New Member

    What is important to know about these tests in order to pass them is that they are attempting to assess the knowledge that would be gained in a two semester survey course of the subject. I certainly wouldn't argue against anyone wishing to read the canon of English literature, but that depth of familiarity isn't necessary to pass the CLEP test.

    Literature in English spans approximately one thousand years and the works of dozens and dozens of authors and poets, major and minor. Survey courses generally have a textbook and an anthology of the literature being covered. In this respect, I believe the College Board's recommendation to study a comprehensive anthology probably makes sense for someone who hasn't read widely in these areas. The Norton 2-volume anthologies seem to be commonly used in literature courses, and I suspect are easily obtained in good, used quality.

    I sat the English Literature CLEP in March, and there are a couple of things I would point out to anyone contemplating this test. First, as mentioned in the Princeton Review's Cracking The CLEP, this test covers literature in English, meaning that not all of the authors/poets covered are necessarily British. Second, know your Shakespeare! [​IMG] The version I sat had eight questions about him or his works and on a ~95 question test, that's easily the difference between a good score and a great score, to say nothing of passing or failing.

    An additional reference that might be useful is the Princeton Review's Cracking The GRE Literature In English. Although intended for the more comprehensive GRE, much of the material in this book is also relevant to the CLEP, and might actually be a good starting point before beginning any serious reading.

    Anyway, that's my take on this test; I'd enjoy reading the opinions of others who have taken it. Best of luck.

    Bill Gossett

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