Everything you need to pass the exam and get the college credit you deserve.
CLEP® is the most popular credit-by-examination program in the country, accepted by more than 2,900 colleges and universities. For over 15 years, REA has helped students pass the CLEP® exam and earn college credit while reducing their tuition costs.
Our CLEP® test preps are perfect for adults returning to college (or attending for the first time), military service members, high-school graduates looking to earn college credit, or home-schooled students with knowledge that can translate into college credit.
There are many different ways to prepare for the CLEP® exam. What's best for you depends on how much time you have to study and how comfortable you are with the subject matter. Our test prep for CLEP® American Literature and the free online tools that come with it, will allow you to create a personalized CLEP® study plan that can be customized to fit you: your schedule, your learning style, and your current level of knowledge.
Here's how it works:
Diagnostic exam at the REA Study Center focuses your study
Our online diagnostic exam pinpoints your strengths and shows you exactly where you need to focus your study. Armed with this information, you can personalize your prep and review where you need it the most.
Most complete subject review for CLEP® American Literature
Our targeted review covers the material you'll be expected to know for the exam and includes a glossary of must-know terms.
Two full-length practice exams
The online REA Study Center gives you two full-length practice tests and the most powerful scoring analysis and diagnostic tools available today. Instant score reports help you zero in on the CLEP® American Literature topics that give you trouble now and show you how to arrive at the correct answer - so you'll be prepared on test day.
REA is the acknowledged leader in CLEP® preparation, with the most extensive library of CLEP® titles available. Our test preps for CLEP® exams help you earn valuable college credit, save on tuition, and get a head start on your college degree.
About the Author
Dr. Stratman is currently an Assistant Professor of English at John Brown University, Siloam Springs, Arkansas. He teaches English I and II, American Literature to 1900, World Masterpieces and the Young Adult Literature course.
Read an Excerpt
Passing the CLEP American Literature Exam
Congratulations! You’re joining the millions of people who have discovered the value and educational advantage offered by the College Board’s College-Level Examination Program, or CLEP. This test prep focuses on what you need to know to succeed on the CLEP American Literature exam, and will help you earn the college credit you deserve while reducing your tuition costs.
There are many different ways to prepare for a CLEP exam. What’s best for you depends on how much time you have to study and how comfortable you are with the subject matter. To score your highest, you need a system that can be customized to fit you: your schedule, your learning style, and your current level of knowledge.
This book, and the online tools that come with it, allow you to create a personalized study plan through three simple steps: assessment of your knowledge, targeted review of exam content, and reinforcement in the areas where you need the most help.
Let’s get started and see how this system works.
Test Yourself & Get Feedback
Assess your strengths and weaknesses. The score report from your online diagnostic exam gives you a fast way to pinpoint what you already know and where you need to spend more time studying.
Review with the Book
Armed with your diagnostic score report, review the parts of the book where you’re weak and study the answer explanations for the test questions you answered incorrectly.
Ensure You’re Ready for Test Day
After you’ve finished reviewing with the book, take our full-length practice tests. Review your score reports and re-study any topics you missed. We give you two full-length practice tests to ensure you’re confident and ready for test day.
THE REA STUDY CENTER
The best way to personalize your study plan is to get feedback on what you know and what you don’t know. At the online REA Study Center, you can access two types of assessment: a diagnostic exam and full-length practice exams. Each of these tools provides true-to-format questions and delivers a detailed score report that follows the topics set by the College Board.
Before you begin your review with the book, take the online diagnostic exam. Use your score report to help evaluate your overall understanding of the subject, so you can focus your study on the topics where you need the most review.
Full-Length Practice Exams
Our full-length practice tests give you the most complete picture of your strengths and weaknesses. After you’ve finished reviewing with the book, test what you’ve learned by taking the first of the two online practice exams. Review your score report, then go back and study any topics you missed. Take the second practice test to ensure you have mastered the material and are ready for test day.
If you’re studying and don’t have Internet access, you can take the printed tests in the book. These are the same practice tests offered at the REA Study Center, but without the added benefits of timed testing conditions and diagnostic score reports. Because the actual exam is Internet-based, we recommend you take at least one practice test online to simulate test-day conditions.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE EXAM
The CLEP American Literature exam consists of approximately 100 multiple-choice questions, each with five possible answer choices, to be answered in 90 minutes.
The exam covers the material one would find in a college-level American Literature course. It tests your knowledge about literary works written in the United States from colonial times to the present.
What’s on the Exam - by Topic
* Knowledge of particular literary works—authors, characters, plots, style, setting, themes, etc. 45% to 60%
* Ability to understand and interpret short poems or excerpts from long poems and prose works 25% to 40%
* Knowledge of the historical and social settings of specific works, their relations to other literary works and to literary traditions, and the influences on their authors 10% to 15%
* Familiarity with terms, verse forms, and literary devices 5% to 10%
The subject matter of the CLEP American Literature exam is drawn from the following chronological periods:
What’s on the Exam - by Literary Period
The Colonial and Early National Period Beginnings to 1830 15%
The Romantic Period 1830 to 1870 25%
The Period of Realism and Naturalism 1870 to 1910 20%
The Modernist Period 1910 to 1945 25%
The Contemporary Period 1945 to Present 15%
The Optional Essay Section
An optional essay section can be taken in addition to the multiple-choice test. The essay section requires that two essays be written during a total time of 90 minutes.
The first essay requires test-takers to write a well-organized essay on a common theme that runs through American literature. A list of major American authors is provided and candidates are asked to discuss how this theme is handled in works by any two of the listed authors.
For the second essay, test-takers are asked to respond to one of two topics: one requiring analysis of a poem, the other requiring analysis of a prose excerpt. In each case, the specific poem or prose excerpt is presented and relevant questions are offered to guide your response.
The essay section is graded by faculty at the institution from which you wish to earn credit and is administered in paper-based format. Be aware that there is an additional fee for taking this section, payable to the institution where you take the exam.
ALL ABOUT THE CLEP PROGRAM
What is the CLEP?
CLEP is the most widely accepted credit-by-examination program in North America. The CLEP program’s 33 exams span five subject areas. The exams assess the material commonly required in an introductory-level college course. Examinees can earn from three to twelve credits at more than 2,900 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada. For a complete list of the CLEP subject examinations offered, visit the College Board website: www.collegeboard.org/clep.
Who takes CLEP exams?
CLEP exams are typically taken by people who have acquired knowledge outside the classroom and who wish to bypass certain college courses and earn college credit. The CLEP program is designed to reward examinees for learning—no matter where or how that knowledge was acquired.
Although most CLEP examinees are adults returning to college, many graduating high school seniors, enrolled college students, military personnel, veterans, and international students take CLEP exams to earn college credit or to demonstrate their ability to perform at the college level. There are no prerequisites, such as age or educational status, for taking CLEP examinations. However, because policies on granting credits vary among colleges, you should contact the particular institution from which you wish to receive CLEP credit.
How is my CLEP score determined?
Your CLEP score is based on two calculations. First, your CLEP raw score is figured; this is just the total number of test items you answer correctly. After the test is administered, your raw score is converted to a scaled score through a process called equating. Equating adjusts for minor variations in difficulty across test forms and among test items, and ensures that your score accurately represents your performance on the exam regardless of when or where you take it, or on how well others perform on the same test form.
Your scaled score is the number your college will use to determine if you’ve performed well enough to earn college credit. Scaled scores for the CLEP exams are delivered on a 20–80 scale. Institutions can set their own scores for granting college credit, but a good passing estimate (based on recommendations from the American Council on Education) is generally a scaled score of 50, which usually requires getting roughly 66% of the questions correct.
For more information on scoring, contact the institution where you wish to be awarded the credit.
Who administers the exam?
CLEP exams are developed by the College Board, administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), and involve the assistance of educators from throughout the United States. The test development process is designed and implemented to ensure that the content and difficulty level of the test are appropriate.
When and where is the exam given?
CLEP exams are administered year-round at more than 1,200 test centers in the United States and can be arranged for candidates abroad on request. To find the test center nearest you and to register for the exam, contact the CLEP Program:
P.O. Box 6600
Princeton, NJ 08541-6600
Phone: (800) 257-9558 (8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET)
Fax: (610) 628-3726
The new CLEP iBT exams
To improve the testing experience for both institutions and test-takers, the College Board’s CLEP Program has transitioned its 33 exams from the eCBT platform to an Internet-based testing (iBT) platform. Plans call for all CLEP test-takers to be able to register for exams and manage their personal account information through the “My Account” feature on the CLEP website. This new feature simplifies the registration process and automatically downloads all pertinent information about the test session, making for a more streamlined check-in.
OPTIONS FOR MILITARY PERSONNEL AND VETERANS
CLEP exams are available free of charge to eligible military personnel and eligible civilian employees. All the CLEP exams are available at test centers on college campuses and military bases. Contact your Educational Services Officer or Navy College Education Specialist for more information.
Visit the DANTES or College Board websites for details about CLEP opportunities for military personnel. Eligible U.S. veterans can claim reimbursement for CLEP exams and administration fees pursuant to provisions of the Veterans Benefits Improvement Act of 2004. For details on eligibility and submitting a claim for reimbursement, visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website at www.gibill.va.gov.
CLEP can be used in conjunction with the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which applies to veterans returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of operation. Because the GI Bill provides tuition for up to 36 months, earning college credits with CLEP exams expedites academic progress and degree completion within the funded timeframe.
SSD ACCOMMODATIONS FOR CANDIDATES WITH DISABILITIES
Many test candidates qualify for extra time to take the CLEP exams, but you must make these arrangements in advance. For information, contact:
College Board Services for Students with Disabilities
P.O. Box 8060
Mt. Vernon, Illinois 62864-0060
Phone: (609) 771-7137 (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET)
TTY: (609) 882-4118
Fax: (866) 360-0114
Know the format of the test. Familiarize yourself with the CLEP computer screen beforehand by logging on to the College Board website. Waiting until test day to see what it looks like in the pretest tutorial risks injecting needless anxiety into your testing experience. Also, familiarizing yourself with the directions and format of the exam will save you valuable time on the day of the actual test.
Read all the questions—completely. Make sure you understand each question before looking for the right answer. Reread the question if it doesn’t make sense.
Read all of the answers to a question. Just because you think you found the correct response right away, do not assume that it’s the best answer. The last answer choice might be the correct answer.
Work quickly and steadily. You will have 90 minutes to answer 100 questions, so work quickly and steadily. Taking the timed practice tests online will help you learn how to budget your time.
Use the process of elimination. Stumped by a question? Don’t make a random guess. Eliminate as many of the answer choices as possible. By eliminating just two answer choices, you give yourself a better chance of getting the item correct, since there will only be three choices left from which to make your guess. Remember, your score is based only on the number of questions you answer correctly.
Don’t waste time! Don’t spend too much time on any one question. Remember, your time is limited and pacing yourself is very important. Work on the easier questions first. Skip the difficult questions and go back to them if you have the time.
Look for clues to answers in other questions. If you skip a question you don’t know the answer to, you might find a clue to the answer elsewhere on the test.
Be sure that your answer registers before you go to the next item. Look at the screen to see that your mouse-click causes the pointer to darken the proper oval. If your answer doesn’t register, you won’t get credit for that question.
Good luck on the CLEP American Literature exam!
Table of Contents
About Our Author
A Note from Our Author
About Research & Education Association
Chapter 1 Passing the CLEP American Literature Exam
The REA Study Center
An Overview of the Exam
All About the CLEP Program
Options for Military Personnel and Veterans
SSD Accommodations for Candidates with Disabilities
6-Week Study Plan
The Day of the Exam
Online Diagnostic Test
Chapter 2 The Colonial and Early National Period
Native American Literature: Before the Beginning
European Exploration: The Beginnings
The Colonial Period: Literature from 1620 to 1750
Early National Period: Literature from 1750 to 1820
Diaries and Journals of the Eighteenth Century
Chapter 3 The Romantic Period
The American Renaissance and a New National Literature
Chapter 4 Realism and Naturalism
The Major Writers
The Minor Writers
African-American Literature at the Turn of the 20th Century
Chapter 5 The Modernist Period
The Harlem Renaissance
Chapter 6 The Contemporary Period
The Earlier Generation
The Confessional Poets
The Beat Generation
The Age of Multicultural Literature
More Modern and Contemporary Authors
Practice Test 1
Detailed Explanations of Answers
Practice Test 2
Detailed Explanations of Answers