Clep Testing Tips and What to Expect on Test Day
Studying for the CLEP Exam is only half of the battle. Even after studying the best CLEP prep materials available, you’re going to encounter unfamiliar material on the exam. That’s why good test-taking skills go a long way—they’re usually what differentiate a person who barely passes from one who barely fails.
Probably the biggest problem many test-takers have is poor time management. Every question on your test is worth the same number of points. Therefore, it makes no sense to spend too much time on any one question—your goal is to rack up as many points as you can before your time runs out.
The most common strategy is simple. On the computer-based tests, you have a “Mark” button to mark questions that you want to come back to later. If you have absolutely no idea what the answer to a question is, then mark it and move on. Knock out all of the easy and average-difficulty questions first; save all of the hard questions for the end when you have time left over.
NEVER Change Your Answer
Another common mistake test-takers make is that they second-guess themselves. 90% of the time, your first instinct is correct. These tests are not designed to be super tricky—if one answer initially tickles you as correct, it generally is. Resist the urge to go back and change answers; studies show that your first choice has a much higher chance of being correct!
Do NOT Leave Any Questions Unanswered
Each right answer is worth one point. Each wrong answer is worth exactly the same amount as each non-answer—that’s right, they’re both worth ZERO points. There is no penalty for wrong answers! Therefore, at the end of the test, make sure that you’ve selected something for every single question.
DON’T Get Discouraged
On a difficult exam, you might find yourself marking half of the questions because you have no idea what the answer is. Do NOT get discouraged! Keep following good test-taking strategy and finish the test. Remember, you can generally get quite a few questions wrong and still come away with a passing score.
NEVER Cancel Your Score
At the end of the test, you’ll be given the option to cancel your score. The only thing canceling your score does for you is throw away all of your hard work! Practically none of the colleges record failed CLEP test scores. Canceling your score means you’ll never know if you passed, and you’ll still have to wait SIX months to take the test again!
The Day of the Test
Make sure you get plenty of rest, eat a light meal, and relax. A big, heavy meal right before the test is not a good idea as it could make you drowsy. As for the test itself, if this is your first exam, don’t worry! Before the test starts, you’ll be given the option of working through a tutorial with sample questions so that you can get a feel for how the CLEP testing software works.