my experience with CLEP

Discussion in 'CLEP, DANTES, and Other Exams for Credit' started by Dennis, Aug 11, 2001.

  1. Dennis

    Dennis New Member


    I've just returned from Munich, Germany where I took some general CLEP examinations. Maybe you'd be interested in some first hand remarks on this issue. I took the general examinations in Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences. I'm afraid I've failed the Natural Sciences test though I plowed through a biology text book but my chemistry and physics knowledge wasn't exactly brilliant.

    I've used the Princeton Review for my preparations, and, I agree, it does a good job. For example, Princeton Humanities review indicates that there is often a question about John Milton's poem "Paradise lost" and I really had such a question on my Humanities examination. Sometimes you encounter questions fairly similar to those in the sample tests. There is also a part of questions you can answer with knowledge based upon everyday life. For example, on the Social Sciences test I'd a question about the relation of carbon dioxyde and global warming. If you watch the news and read the newspapers you should have no problems with that sort of questions. But there is also a third and pretty large type of questions that requires at least some basic knowledge about the particular subject. For example how can you expect someone without any knowledge about the history of painting to tell the difference between Mannerism and Impressionism?

    When studying with Princeton you should also carefully study the explanations to the wrong answers. In fact, the explanations are a small encyclopedia in itself about some basic material you could be asked during the test. Additionally, you should make yourself familiar with the issues outlined in the exam overview section. I myself, found the Internet to be a very helpful source in this regard.

    I'm also glad of the fact that the general CLEP's are rated on the basis of pass/fail and so there is no difference whether you get an A or a C. The fact that is certainly important when later calculating the GPA.

    Basically, I've no problems with Lawrie's concept of earning a degree in a month as long as one does already have the knowledge required and this time is mainly used to demonstrate this knowledge.

    In conclusion, I perhaps should mention that studying for the general CLEP's, I greatly expanded my general education. For example, not being an American citizen, I had only a sketchy knowledge of US history and government. Now I'm familiar with the basic facts. And should someone ask me a couple of months ago about the author of "The Wasteland" I wouldn't know the answer.

    Dennis Siemens
  2. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    Excellent post, Dennis. Nothing like having the testimony from one who have recently been in the ring.

    Sorry to hear of your problem with Natural sciences. Thank you for being so frank. I think your conclusions and your advice, sound.

    I would like to ask you about the predictive nature of the Princeton review, "Cracking the CLEP". I found it a very good indicator of actual performance in the general exams. I go to some length in {i]BA in 4 Weeks - FIRST YEAR[/i] to make this point, and indeed, through out the guide, I emphasize that satisfactory performance in the relevant practice test is an essential prerequisite before scheduling a real exam.

    What were your results in the Princeton Review practice exams telling you about your likely score in Natural Sciences?

    Also worth reiterating that [i}BA in 4 Weeks[/i] does not contend everyone who tries can pass in under a month.

    Extracted are the quotes for BA in 4 Weeks relevant to this post.

    From the introduction to BA in 4 Weeks

    It's estimated that 15% to 20% of motivated adults could complete the process in under a month if inclined to do so.I think it entirely likely that fully 60% of motivated adults taking on this project, could complete degree requirements within six months. I am as sure as I can be that close to 90% of motivated adults could complete degree requirements within a year. . .

    The 15% to 20% of students who can consistently score "A"s in these exams or score in the top 20% of all students, can likely pass most of the same exams (within the top 50%) with no study at all. This is not because the exams are a sham, but because these adults have accumulated a wealth of knowledge over the course of a lifetime that has direct application in these tests.

    If you have less knowledge coming into the process, it will take you longer to complete it. How much longer depends on your existing knowledge base, how efficiently you study, and your native wit.

    From the article BA in 4 Weeks FIRST YEAR on the CLEP general exams


    However, as in the case of the GRE subject exams, there is one exception. The Princeton Review "Cracking the CLEP". This book covers all five general examinations with a full complement of questions for each. There are detailed notes in the answer section. Most importantly, the difficulty and scope of the
    tests match (pretty nearly) the genuine article.

    . . .

    Get the Official CLEP Guide and the Princeton Review. Try out the mock exams. If you're scoring greater than 500 scaled score, sit the exams without further ado. Remember, a pass at 500 yields exactly the same credit as a pass at 800. There are no grades attached to the general exams. In the unlikely event you do fail, you can resit the exam and suppress the failure..... no one will know, or care.

    Note that the passing score at Excelsior College is 420 for the CLEP general exams. At TESC, I believe the passing score is 500. At COSC, 500 and 470.

  3. wz7w

    wz7w New Member

    Congrat's Dennis,
    I have taken and passed three CLEP Generals, and while I have the Princeton Review too, I also found the comex books to be very helpful. Those books are under $10 and are a great deal, they have movies that accompany them that I was fortunate enough to be able to check out from a military education office. I would never have been able to afford these movies though if they weren't otherwise available, as they are at a much higher price-break than the books. I highly recommend the Comex book for Nat. Sci and a quick overview of AIDS and the role of T-cell helpers in immunity. I think readers digest had a fine article on the topic.

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