I can’t believe how quickly the homeschool journey has brought us to high school years. My son has decided he would like to attend college therefore we have found ourselves entering a whole new world called “College Prep”!
We are busy learning about admissions policies, testing requirements, dual enrollment procedures and more. One area we plan to spend time exploring this summer is CLEP – the College Level Examination Program.
It’s great to know that homeschoolers can earn college credits with CLEP. And, the best way to ensure success is helping teens make time for CLEP test prep.
I received access to the guides and was compensated for my time in writing this post. All opinions are my own.
There are many things for families to think about when homeschooling high school – challenging course work, volunteer opportunities, party-time jobs and more. If your teen is planning to attend college the to-do list is even longer. Identifying potential colleges and majors, selecting high school level course work to prepare for college admissions, taking college entrance exams, and making a plan to pay for college…the list seems to go on and on!
Several homeschool friends have shared information about the CLEP program and it seems this can be a very strategic option for many college bound students.
CLEP is a “credit-by-examination” program. Students who have acquired knowledge related to a certain subject can take an exam to assess their understanding of the topic and earn college credits. There are currently 33 exams that cover 5 subject areas.
By taking CLEP exams students can earn college credits. There is a fee to take CLEP exams, however the cost is typically much lower than the tuition costs for a college level course. The time savings is also another consideration – preparing for and taking a CLEP exam might take a few weeks versus a complete semester course which lasts for 3-4 months.
How to Successfully Complete CLEP Test Prep
Two of the more popular CLEP exams homeschool teens often take are College Composition and College Mathematics. Although many students may have acquired the knowledge of the material covered by these exams through other homeschool coursework, there is great benefit in taking a little time to prepare before taking the actual CLEP exams.
The CLEP College Composition exam measures writing skills that are taught in most first year college composition courses. The CLEP exam includes multiple-choice questions and two essays. Multiple-choice questions assess knowledge of conventions of standard written English, revision skills, ability to use source materials, and rhetorical analysis. The essays test a student’s skills of argumentation, analysis and synthesis.
The CLEP College Mathematics exam covers material found in an introductory college-level class for non-mathematics majors. Topics include algebra and functions, counting and probability, data analysis and statistics, financial mathematics, geometry, logic and sets, and numbers.
To help students prepare for the CLEP College Composition exam REA has created a book and online tools students can use to create a personalized study plan in three steps:
- Assess your knowledge of the topic – students take an online diagnostic exam to help determine what information is already known and were the student needs to spend more time studying,
- Complete a targeted review of the exam content and reinforce the areas where help is needed most – use the study guide (book) to review where you are week and study the answer explanations for questions answered incorrectly.
- Practice taking the CLEP exam – take a full-length practice test, review your score, and re-study any topics misses. Two full-length practice exams are available to ensure students are best prepared for the actual exam.
Benefits of the REA CLEP Test Prep Guides
As we have become more familiar with the REA CLEP test prep system my son is getting more comfortable with the idea of taking the CLEP exams.
Here are several benefits of taking time to prepare for the CLEP exams using the REA study system:
Practice tests eliminate any surprises of what to expect from the exam or the testing process.
By completing sample exams students understand the type of questions that will be asked. They can get a feel for the time allotted for the exam and how to manage their time.
Personalized review process.
Every student brings a different level of knowledge and experience to the testing process. The REA guides encourage students to create a review plan that meets their specific needs. Students can review information they need help with and skip the sections they already know well.
Self-paced review fits any schedule.
Other homeschool friends have suggested we use the summer to tackle several CLEP exams. My son will most likely prepare for one exam at a time. However, as soon as one exam is complete he knows he can immediately begin preparing for another exam. His goal is to complete 2 or 3 exams during summer break.