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How Hard is the CLEP Precalc exam?
Hello, I have question I would like to ask regarding the CLEP pre-calc test. I wanted to take this exam because I feel that I can get at least a 50 or better on it. The college I plan on going to, LCC or Lansing Community College will grant credit precalc II & placement in Calc I if I score a 50 or better on the exam. My plan is to double major in Physics & Chemistry, starting at LCC then transferring to Michigan State. Currently, I am excelling in Precalc right now (I'm a senior about to graduate in two months). Is there anyone here who has taken this exam before? If so, how hard is it? From what I've heard, the test mainly examines on Functions, Trigonometry & some Analytic Geometry (Conics sections). I was going to take this test in about 3 weeks, on Friday April 13th to be exact. Am I on the right track as to how I am studying? I have been reviewing some algebra 2 material like absolute value, quadratic functions & radical equations as well as some conic sections by doing practice problems. What Else should I expect or anticipate for this exam? Wish me luck when I take the exam soon!
I'm studying for this test too, and I bought the CLEP book from my college bookstore, by going through the questions this is pretty much what they want you to know.

#1 Tip - Know the standard form of parabollas, circles, quadratic equations ETC. Just being able to identify a function by looking at it will save you time.

- Know Functions in and out. Know what their graphs look like, for square root functions, quadratic and linear etc. Also know the trig functions. There are a few questions that just ask you to choose which graph it is. Just knowing what common types graphs look like will save you time. For trig know about amplitude, period, be able to instantly tell whether a graph is sin or cos.
- Inverse functions. You will have to find function inverses. Straight forward stuff.
Composite functions A question or two on these.
Roots / Zeros, X and Y Intercepts Be able to find these. There are a few questions where you need to find the roots or tell how many roots there are of a function on the NON CALCULATOR section.
Logarithms and Exponents Know about their functions and properties. Log is inverse of exponent etc. Know natural and common log.
- Asymptotes, Max / Min - On the graphing calculator section there will be questions if the function stated has asymptotes or a max / min point.
- Trig Identities. Be familiar with identities, it will help a lot. This question is copied straight out of the 2012 Clep Guide:
(sin t + cos t^2) = ? (^2 is squared if you didn't know.)
Finding corresponding angles There is a question about this. Fairly straight forward.
Translating functions Know how to move functions and conic sections around, vertically, horizontally, etc.
Find slope. - Easy algebra II stuff.
Exponential Decay and compound interest There is at least 1 question of each, the formula will be provided but still better to know the formulas and how it works.
Finding domain and rage Again straight forward pre-calc function stuff.
Finding vertex
Surface area question This was kind of a curveball, only 1 question so probably not too important but...

Again my list may be overkill, but better safe than sorry. My advice would be to just buy the online study guide for it from College Board and look through the questions, the test will probably be easier than the practice questions.


You're going to community college right? You will probably have to take the College Board Placement test to place into your classes, it is free to take two times, and you could probably place out of Pre-Calc that way. Or if you have taken Pre-Calc already the community college adviser may just let you take Calculus, however if you just want to take the CLEP test now I guess you could.
Thank you for your informative reply Boston, I really appreciate it. Smile Is there anyone else here who has taken this exam or has any more advice for on what to study & focus on?

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