CLEP Spanish help?

Discussion in 'CLEP, DANTES, and Other Exams for Credit' started by DanielC, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. DanielC

    DanielC New Member

    I'm working toward my bachelors and my school has a foreign language requirement.

    I can fulfill the requirement by passing the Spanish CLEP exam instead of taking two semesters of Spanish. Unfortunately, I'm not a native speaker and actually don't remember much of high school spanish, despite having taken 5 years of it (junior high and high school) 20 years ago. I am hoping that some self-study review will refresh my memory. Any tips on the best way to study? Are there good online test prep or book recommendations?
  2. Delta

    Delta Active Member

    I recommend 501 Spanish Verbs. Gives you the conjugation of verbs in all tenses. Basically, you either know a language or you don't! Good luck!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2012
  3. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I used REA's book. Very cheap to find used on Amazon- you might even be able to find it at your local library (always awesome when that happens!). I've reviewed the book on a few occasions on this site, but here is the truncated version: It is sloppy, poorly organized and the practice test questions and answers to not always match up with one another. However, it will teach you absolutely everything that you could ever need to know to pass the actual CLEP exam and it gives you plenty of examples with detailed explanations of every correct and incorrect answer you give.

    Let me warn you now. I am at the point with my Spanish that I can converse with others very comfortably and understand most accents, including the insanely fast radio and newscasters of both Spain and Mexico. However, the audio quality of the CLEP examination was so terrible I could not understand hardly anything at all in the listening portion. My advice is to listen to as much Spanish as you can on the radio, tv and internet (here ya go: Noticias última hora, programas y series de RTVE AND Estaciones de Radio en Español e Inglés - Univision Música) but not to worry so much about this section because even native speakers will likely struggle. The good news is that it is actually more than possible to pass the exam even if you get every single question wrong in the listening section. Focus as much as you can on the basic syntax and grammar rules in Spanish, especially verb conjugations. There is heavy emphasis on subjunctive vs indicative mood and imperfect vs preterit tenses. If you do very well on the written portion, then any questions you get right in the listening portion are icing on the cake.

    It is not a hard exam if you know what you are getting into and are well prepared.
  4. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    Other resources:, an interactive Spanish-learning website with a special focus on the CLEP from the good people behind the CLEP/DSST/ECE flashcard site

    • AP Spanish books, often with accompanying CDs; maybe even, at a lower level but for some good especially as a refresher or initiation, SAT Spanish books and CDs; you could use these accounting for differences between the exams like the lack of any written-response questions on the CLEP.

    • The content guide with review questions, and perhaps the outline and recommended textbook, for the other main college credit exam in Spanish, from UExcel. This different from the CLEP in that many schools will award 6 semester hours for a certain cut score, 12 for a higher cut score, on the CLEP, but this generally transcripted as a pass without a grade; the UExcel is for 6 semester hours and UExcel awards a letter grade. UExcel is a joint venture of Excelsior College and the publisher and education company Pearson.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2012
  5. mbaonline

    mbaonline New Member

  6. DanielC

    DanielC New Member

    Thanks, Delta, Jonathon, Maniac & mbaonline. I actually already own a copy of the 501 verbs from when I was in high school 20 years ago. I'll buy a copy of the REA book and sign up for SpanishHour. I actually started watching the Destinos (the material that the MIT courseware is built around) a few months ago, but having a syllabus and course map really helps.
  7. 29palms

    29palms New Member

    I thought it was tough and I grew up speaking it. I speak English and Spanish very well, though I favor English significantly.
    Here is what's tough about it. They give you a story to hear, like Juan is flying to Mexico City tomorrow, and Jose will pick him up to show him some house that is located on such and such block on the 23rd of July at roughly 2:45 pm. This house is has a beautiful paint job with 3 bathrooms, a court yard yada yada yada......
    Then you have to repeat this in order of how you heard it translated in English via multiple choice.
    So its a story you listen to and then you place it in order to how you heard it in Spanish. It's more of a listening and comprehension thing. It was tough even as a native speaker. But I passed it with flying colors. If I can recall, it went from simple stuff to harder stuff. YOU CAN DO IT!

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