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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default American Literature Clep Test Questions

    Okie dokie, so im planning on taking the American Literature Clep test, i have both the idiots guide and rea book to study. But i was wondering what i should spend the most time memorizing.
    If i knew the periods, major authors, major works, and plots of those works would that be enough? Basically what im asking is do i need to know about the authors personal lives at all? or will i
    be oK just memorizing there names and major works?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    For the major authors you should know their bios. For the rest, at least know about when they lived and what style/genre they wrote. The Clep could ask about "who wrote such-and-such book," and it might or might not give the title. It might just give the plot.

    Note: the REA is terrific for this test!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008


    Addition is that the English and American Literature tests also present questions on structure and devices; these are similar to what you would see in the A&I Literature test ref: analogies/metaphors/onomatapoeia (love that last one ).

    Good hints would include, as you've identified and has been suggested, plots, characters and also first lines. Add the usual Huckleberry Finn/Thomas Wolfe/Bradbury and you're good to go with your wider study (bit of poetry, too: rhyme structure, etc).

    Took American Literature on a whim, as an opportunity and barely squeaked through after English Literature, so best of luck to you!

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    In front of my computer on the IC forum


    All good advice. I might add that analyzing passages is a good skill to hone. PTs will help you with that. Check out Sparknotes or Cliffnotes for plot summaries with basic author bios.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default American Literature Clep

    I really need some help everyone. I am desperate. I have to pass the American Literature CLEP. I have about a week and a half. If I don't pass, I don't graduate. My school is in NC and I am in PA, so they said I could CLEP this and graduate. If I don't graduate, I don't go to grad school on the 4th of March. This is extra important because I am a struggling single mom, and I am counting on my loan refunds to help make ends meet for my girls and I while I take this giant leap of faith. Everything comes down to this exam. I am 41 and a realtor (starving). Please help me with what to study. My email is if you would prefer to email me there. Thank you!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013


    What's the REA book?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007



    A week and a half to study is a short amount of time, but many have done it in that or less (not me, though ). The REA Book and Idiot's Guide are the two most-recommended study sources for this exam. Also, I recommend you visit the Specific Exam Feedback section of this forum to view feedback from those who have already taken the American Lit CLEP. There is a subscription fee to access this area, if you have not already subscribed, but well worth it. In my opinion, you need to start studying today.

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    You can do this!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009


    Also look at the free videos and practice quizzes for this subject found at
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013


    Thanks Steve and John! I'm studying my face off!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011


    Ready for your CLEP exam?

    Study for your exam using the same CLEP Study Guides used by thousands of members of this discussion forum!

    Quote Originally Posted by IrishJohn View Post
    Also look at the free videos and practice quizzes for this subject found at
    I second this. I found the website very helpful.

    A lot of questions: who wrote the following book based on the passage, lots of interpret the meaning of this poem, a few: order these books in chronological order. There were a handful of authors I never heard of in the questions, and a few authors I never heard of in the answers.(Probably something to throw you off). All in all, I used educational portal and Barron's study keys as a reference and passed. You definitely need something that go's into analysis of the work and short synopsis is very helpful.

    I found the hardest part of the test was the interpreting poems sections. Some were clear, but others were so confusing I had no idea what the right answer was and put forth my best guess. Thanks to educational portal, I was able to save time and answer a number of these because the purpose had already been discussed.

    (Disclaimer: I also took 2 semesters of American Literature in HS. Moons ago)
    Last edited by CLEP_enthusiast; 08-16-2013 at 09:15 PM.
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