guess who passed the CLEP College Algebra ?

Discussion in 'CLEP, DANTES, and Other Exams for Credit' started by james_lankford, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. james_lankford

    james_lankford New Member

    not me !
    ha ha

    needed 50, got a 47

    I thought I was prepared, I bought and read the REA book and did the practice exams in the back. I watched some videos on youtube, but that test was HARD !

    there are 60 question in 90 minutes
    I thought that sounded a little diffiecult and I wasn't fininshing the practice exams in the REA book, but I figured that was just becuase I was using pencil and paper

    I started the test at the testing center and breezed through the first few questions: simple ratios, solve for x, easy stuff;
    I did them in my mind, 10 seconds per question, I felt confident and thought this was going to be easy

    then around question 5 there was a graph problem.
    Two straight lines drawn on a graph, part of the graph was shaded.
    The question was "which solution set below represents the shaded region of the graph"
    the choices were something like
    |3x - 2| <= x
    x <= 4x^2 - 6x + 3 <= x

    and some other 2 ridiculous choices, (I know my examples are garbage, but I have no idea about graphs)

    so I sat there staring at the screen and drawing the graphs on scratch paper trying to solve all 4 choices and see where they lay on the graph: next thing I knew 10 minutes had gone by ! Yikes !

    and it just got worse: graph question after graph question after graph question:
    circles drawn on top of parabolas - where do they intersect ?
    which graph is the solution for the following inequality ...

    before I knew it an hour had gone by and I was still on question 28
    28 !

    oh, and the logarithms !
    so many questions on logarithms. And some didn't even have any numbers !
    log x of abc = bc ^ log x of a
    solve for x in terms of a

    what ? !

    so time ran out and I finished about 36 questions.
    36 out of 60
    I knew I failed, but I reported it anyway to Excelsior
    I needed to see the grade just so I could get an idea of what score would equal my effort

    I was quite suprised to see I scored so high

    what I take away from this is that my strategy sucked.
    I should have skipped the first graph problem after one minute and still being clueless. I should have skipped every problem I didn't IMMEDIATLEY know how to do. The time I wasted drawing stuped graphs on scratch paper I could have spent going through the rest of the exam. I've got to believe that out of the remainign 24 questions there had to have been at least 8 easy ones that I never even got to look at.

    So I should have have gone straight through the exam and answered every question and then gone back and spent time on the difficult questions.

    I really believe I could have picked up another 3 points if I had done it that way.

    Well, at least it was a learning experience.
    I think I'll spend some time studying for the College Mathematics test and try my strategy on it. Better than waiting 6 months to take the Algebra exam again. And Mathematics is 6 credits anyway. Or maybe I'll do StraighterLine.

    So for all of you scared of the College algebra exam: be afraid, be very afraid.

    But use a better strategy than I did: skip questions, skip 10 in a row if you have to, go through the entire exam and first answer the ones you can answer quickly. You you can always go back and answer the tough time consuming ones later.
    I think you WIILL pass if you do it that way.
  2. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Awww!!! Sorry to hear about your minor setback (don't call this a failure). It won't be long before your successes make you completely forget that this ever happened :)
    That's funny. I was just thinking today that the reason why CLEP and ECE tests take so freaking long is that its on computer and not on paper :D

    No matter how prepared you are, it is really hard to stare at a screen that is almost completely white for 1-2 hours straight. I literally can't see (and therefore walk) straight when I am done with one of these exams. Can't they tint it just a little?! Maybe to the same color as the background of posts on this site? That would help tremendously!
  3. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    Have you thought about taking the class at Clovis Community College? It is available this fall.

  4. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    Sorry to hear - but my optimistic view is that you probably learned a lot from your 'ordeal' and that you will succeed the next time you take the test. There is always an element of luck in most tests.

    Here is a video course that might help you:
    Resource: Algebra: In Simplest Terms
  5. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    What you should have done.

    Rereading your post, it sounds like you actually did a very good job answering the questions correctly.

    You could have passed. Really. If you saw the time running out and you clicked a random answer to each question, odds are that a few of them would have been right and you would have gotten just enough to pass. Remember that next time you take an exam.
  6. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    Maniac is correct - if you read over the CLEP material, no penalty for guessing. If you are totally running out of time, alternate between B and C.

  7. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Only twice have I had time constraint, it happened for both the French and Spanish CLEP exams. My method was to "dial down the center" (from the 1-800-collect commercial :)).When I had about 10 minutes left, I marked every blank answer as C, and then went back and tried to correctly answer as many as I could in the time left. It was interesting how often the answer ended up being C anyway. For both exams, there were about 10 questions that I couldn't even look at, but at least had SOME answer on it.

    Side Note: On the final exam for my college physics class, some of the students were so overwhelmed that they did, in fact, "dial down the center" and just mark C's for everything. Mind you, they all failed, however some of them had scores in the rage of 35-40%. That plus the 10-point curve that the teacher tacked on meant that some of them failed the exam but still passed the class.

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