Well there is a lot to cover in this post, hence why I have separated the post into a few sections. To begin I did the CLEP exam on July 22nd, and it was the Western Civilization 1 exam. It was stressful, and I mean really stressful. Studying for it was and actually doing the exam was stressful. But at the end of the day it is such a relief to get any exam over with and to pass any exam, also knowing the fact that this exam will save me money and time when it comes to higher education is also refreshing and worthwhile. The reason why I decided to write this post is because I have noticed that there are not a whole lot of videos, posts, etc on CLEP, and what to expect with these exams. Hopefully this post may help or give some insight to someone who is planning to take the exam. This is just my experience with the exam, you will most likely have a different experience than I did. Just wanted to put that out there.
How I Studied
The way I studied was by using a western civilization textbook, and my already written down notes from the Western Civilization 1 course I did from the Ron Paul Curriculum. Guys, taking a school course of a certain subject before doing an exam on the same subject was really helpful for me. Also I used the Ron Paul Curriculum CLEP/AP cram course on Western Civilization 1, which really helped me get started with the studying process. On writing notes some people write notes on flashcards others don’t. I was the person that didn’t use flashcards. I just used a decent sized notebook so all my notes would be compact and not separate. I just didn’t want to deal with losing any flashcards which would be a disaster for me! That’s basically how I studied.
What I Learned
I mean specifically what I learned from the process before taking the exam:
1: the first thing I learned is the fact that there are not a whole lot of testing centers(the place where you take a CLEP exam), in Canada. There are only a few places in Canada that actually provide CLEP. So it’s best to figure out if your area has a testing center that provides CLEP if you live in Canada. I don’t know about the US but I believe there are more providers of the exam there.
2: The number of questions on a CLEP exam may not be exactly 80 questions. Let me explain: on any source basically on CLEP it states that the exam consists of 80 questions, and you must get 50 right to pass the exam. Well when I did my exam the exam itself had over a hundred questions, which was shocking! I believe that the 80 questions thing is the scoring system. Even if your CLEP exam has over a hundred questions if you get a 50 or higher score that means you still passed; its the scoring system not the number of questions you got right.
3: Studying is really hard and stressful. At least it was for me. Studying for a CLEP exam was a mind numbing, exhausting, stressful, and not a pleasant experience for me. Maybe that was due to the exam I had to study for, but still studying for an exam is not fun at all.
4: the last and final main thing I learned from the whole experience is to take breaks, and to not over push yourself in the studying process. This is self explanatory.
Bonus: actually when I took I break from writing this post I also remembered one last thing that I learned from the experience. Take a break from all your other school work! Just focus on studying for the exam. This goes especially for people who are home schooled, and who do school over the summer. Worrying over the essays you have to write during the week does not benefit your studying and how well you do on the exam.
What I Would Do Differently
In short, meaning what I would do different next time I take a CLEP exam(which is pretty soon actually). Well there isn’t a whole lot I would do differently the second time around, I mean even though last time I felt like I wasn’t doing anything right, now looking back I see myself doing very similar things when I do it again. The first thing I would do differently probably is not be so hard on myself; some days if I couldn’t get a whole lot of studying in I would feel pretty annoyed with myself. Even though I knew that the day I was to take the exam wasn’t even booked yet, and because I am home schooled that means I can take anything school related at my own pace. Well the only thing I would do differently is to be not so hard on myself.
To conclude this, I would like to say to anyone who plans to take CLEP exams is: you can do it! That sounds motivational am I right lol. But on a serious note you can really do it, even when you think you can’t. Study hard, take practice tests, and you have a high chance for success! I should actually end this post now, history is calling my way.
Thank you for reading!