Most students say the College Composition CLEP Test is a pretty “basic” English Exam to pass, even for those who hated high school English. Although many past test takers admit that this is one CLEP you’ll be racing against the clock to finish. However, with the Best College Composition CLEP Study Guides and Practice Tests you’ll be able to test out of college class within just a few short weeks of studying!
Note: This webpage covers BOTH the College Composition CLEP & College Composition Modular CLEP, as the exams are identical in content.
IMPORTANT: On July 1, 2010, CLEP introduced two new exams – the College Composition and College Composition Modular. These exams replaced three current exams, which were discontinued:
- English Composition with Essay was replaced by College Composition.
- English Composition without Essay was replaced by College Composition Modular.
- Freshman College Composition was replaced by College Composition Modular.
Each college decides its own policy for the new exams, so check with your admissions office, test center, or academic adviser before taking a test.
By the End of this *FREE* CLEP eGuide You’ll Learn:
- What is the CLEP Tests… (click here to read section) AND How It Can Help You Finish Your College Degree FASTER & CHEAPER!
- The College Composition vs College Composition Modular CLEP Exam (click here to read section) AND What’s The Difference Between The Two & Which Exam You Need To Take…
- What’s on the College Composition CLEP Tests… (click here to read section) AND The One “Secret” You Need to Know to Pass the Exam!
- Where to Find the BEST College Composition CLEP Study Guides… (click here to read section) AND My “Cheat Sheets” (aka cliff-notes :)) to Pass the CLEP in as little as 1 Week!
- Where to Find the BEST College Composition CLEP Practice Tests… (click here to read section) AND My 10 Step Study Plan That Helped Me Pass the CLEP Every Time!
- What is a Passing College Composition CLEP Score… (click here to read section) AND Why CLEP Tests are Easier to Pass Than You Think!
- FINALLY, How-To Pass the College Composition CLEP Guaranteed… (click here to read section) AND The 3 Things You Need to Know BEFORE Taking the Exam!
What is the CLEP Tests?
AND How It Can Help You Finish Your College Degree FASTER & CHEAPER!
Developed by the College Board, the same people behind the SAT and AP Exam, for over 40 years the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP Test for short) has helped students save both time and money by earning college credit by testing out of college courses (aka credit-by-exam). Passing the CLEP College Composition Tests will allow college students to test out of up to two semesters of English Composition Classes at over 2,900 colleges and universities across the United States. You’ve learned standard written English from kindergarten through 12th grade. So why should you have to spend 16-weeks and $1,000+ in college tuition for something you already know? By testing out of a college course you already know or at least don’t mind a few short weeks of independent study. It’s a small price to pay for saving hundreds and even thousands of dollars in college tuition!
Many students also credit the CLEP Tests as one of the Bests Ways to Pay for College Tuition. Given that the cost of the CLEP Test is less than the cost of your college English textbook for the class and that you spend a fraction of the time studying than you would in a traditional 16-week English course. It’s a “literal” fact 😉 that CLEPping out of college classes will save you money in college tuition AND time in the classroom.
College Composition CLEP Tests vs.
College Composition MODULAR CLEP Tests
What’s The Difference Between The Two & Which Exam You Need To Take…
College Composition contains 50 multiple-choice questions and two mandatory, centrally scored essays. College English faculty from throughout the country convene twice a month to score the essays via an online scoring system. Each of the two essays are scored independently by two different readers, and the scores are then combined. This combined score is weighted equally with the score from the multiple-choice section. These scores are then combined to yield your final score. The resulting combined score is reported as a single scaled score between 20 and 80. Separate scores are NOT reported for the multiple-choice and essay sections. College Composition contains approximately 50 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 50 minutes and two required essays to be written in 70 minutes, for a total of 120 minutes testing time.
College Composition Modular contains 90 multiple-choice questions that is supplemented with an optional essay section that is either provided and scored by your college or provided and scored by the College Board. College Composition Modular is available for colleges that want a valid, reliable multiple-choice assessment and greater local control over the direct writing assessment. College Composition Modular contains approximately 90 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 90 minutes and two optional essays to be written in 70 minutes. Some colleges may opt to provide their own locally scored writing assessment or some other evaluation.
For those of you deciding between the College Composition CLEP verses the College Composition Modular CLEP, it’s important to know the exams are similar in the knowledge and skills assessed and identical in percentages of exam topic questions. But the obvious difference is, since the College Composition Modular CLEP is 90 questions in 90 minutes verses the College Composition CLEP is 50 questions in 50 minutes, the extended time means the College Composition Modular CLEP will have progressively more difficult multiple-choice questions. In addition, the CLEP College Composition Required Essay is usually centrally scored by CLEP faculty verses the CLEP College Composition Modular Optional Essay is usually locally scored by your college.
Of course which CLEP Exam you take is dependent on your college’s CLEP policy, but if given the option between the two I recommend the CLEP College Composition Tests. Because 1) The testing time period is shorter and 2) the test is centrally scored so you know what rubric you are scored on. But that’s just my two cent!
What’s on the College Composition CLEP Tests?
AND The One “Secret” You Need to Know to Pass the Exam!
What Topics are Covered on the CLEP College Composition (Modular) Tests? The College Composition CLEP Exam covers material that is normally taught in the first year of a College English Undergraduate Course.
To prepare for the exam I usually tell people that CLEP Exams are designed to be self-study, even someone with NO or limited prior knowledge or background can pass the exam in just a few short weeks (and sometimes even days) of studying. I’ll show you how in the next section.
For the CLEP College Composition Test you will have approximately 1 minute per multiple-choice question in 4 English sub-topics including: 1) Conventions of Standard Written English, 2) Revision Skills, Including Sentence-Level Skills, 3) Ability to Use Source Materials, And 4) Rhetorical Analysis.
The secret to this CLEP is to watch your time! Remember, you’re graded on the number of questions answered correctly, with NO penalty for incorrect answers. So if you find yourself stuck on one questions pick your gut answer, mark it, skip it, and move on. You can mark the question and come back later if you have time. The strategy for this exam is to get through all the questions in the allotted time, because you will be racing against the clock.
I also advise you to take plenty of CLEP Composition Practice Tests to become familiar with the format and time constrains. This tests is all about grammar and sentence structure application. So simply memorizing the definition of a subject-verb agreement is NOT enough, instead you’ll have to know how and when to correct a sentence given to you. So if you hated English in high school or it’s been a few decades since you’ve last seen a English textbook :), it’s very important that you spend several hours brushing up on your English grammar skills. Remember, not just theory but actual application.
I know all this information may seem overwhelming at first, and you may think that it’s just easier to take the course at your college instead. But trust me, just use the CLEP College Composition Study Guides and CLEP College Composition Practice Tests below and testing out of a college class will be easier than you think. Not to mention a great way to help you pay for college and earn your degree faster!
Where to Find the BEST
College Composition CLEP Study Guides?
AND My “Cheat Sheets” (aka cliff-notes :)) to Pass the CLEP in as little as 1 Week!
How Do I Study for the CLEP College Composition (Modular) Test? To study for the CLEP College Composition Exam, the College Board (the makers of the tests) recommend you read several 800+ page College Composition textbooks. Now that is a daunting task even for the most studious over-achiever! No wonder so many students believe the MYTH that testing out of a college course is actually harder than just taking the darn class! But no worries, because the TRUTH is CLEP Tests were designed to be self-study for any student with the motivation and desire to pass the CLEP Exam. So that’s why I’ve put together the FASTEST AND EASIEST Way to Prepare and Pass the CLEP Biology Tests below.
First, I always-always recommend students use InstantCert’s CLEP Study Guides, because it is The Fastest & Easiest Way to Prepare & Pass the College Composition CLEP Tests. I personally use InstantCert, because it is like having your college professor’s “cheat sheet” (aka cliff notes) to study for your College Composition Final Exam!
Look, there is a lot of information out there that can help you prepare for the CLEP College Composition Tests. However, using a premium service like InstantCert’s CLEP College Composition Study Guides is the best way to help you learn the material and pass the exam on the FIRST ATTEMPT. No prior knowledge or background required. You do NOT have to read hundreds of pages of fluff or spend hours researching the Internet.
InstantCert will give you a solid foundational knowledge necessary to Pass the College Composition CLEP Exam by spoon-feeding you ONLY the main points through their interactive learning format. They are able to keep your mind engaged and processing the information, so you are able to prepare and pass the College Composition CLEP Tests in a matter of days…not weeks!
And thousands of successful past test takers will agree, InstantCert was not only their secret weapon to passing the College Composition CLEP Test but also the ONLY CLEP Study Guide needed. Click here for my InstantCert Review + InstantCert Discount Code. Plus as a special bonus for reading this, if you use Instant Discount Code 30142, you get 25% OFF Your 1st Month Membership!
After you’ve reviewed a premium College Composition CLEP Study Guide service, like InstantCert, Google is a great way to supplement to your CLEP studies. InstantCert will give you the foundational knowledge necessary to pass the CLEP, but supplemental reading will give you that extra confidence boast to improve your College Composition CLEP Score.
The CLEP Tests is based on what you would normally learn in an Undergrad Composition Course. Below I’ve outlined the Composition CLEP Questions by Topic. Use this outline when searching for additional web resources OR
CLEP College Composition Questions by Topic
10% Conventions of Standard Written English – This section measures candidates’ awareness of a variety of logical, structural and grammatical relationships within sentences. The questions test recognition of acceptable usage relating to the items below:
- Syntax (parallelism, coordination, subordination)
- Sentence boundaries (comma splice, run-ons, sentence fragments)
- Recognition of correct sentences
- Concord/agreement (pronoun reference, case shift, and number; subject-verb; verb tense)
- Active/passive voice
- Lack of subject in modifying word group
- Logical comparison
- Logical agreement
40% Revision Skills – This section measures candidates’ revision skills in the context of works in progress (early drafts of essays):
- Evaluation of evidence
- Awareness of audience, tone and purpose
- Level of detail
- Coherence between sentences and paragraphs
- Sentence variety and structure
- Main idea, thesis statements and topic sentences
- Rhetorical effects and emphasis
- Use of language
- Evaluation of author’s authority and appeal
- Evaluation of reasoning
- Consistency of point of view
- Sentence-level errors primarily relating to the conventions of standard written English
25% Ability to Use Source Materials – This section measures candidates’ familiarity with elements of the following basic reference and research skills, which are tested primarily in sets but may also be tested through stand-alone questions. In the passage-based sets, the elements listed under Revision Skills and Rhetorical Analysis may also be tested. In addition, this section will cover the following skills:
- Use of reference materials
- Evaluation of sources
- Integration of resource material
- Documentation of sources (including, but not limited to, MLA, APA and Chicago manuals of style)
25% Rhetorical Analysis – This section measures candidates’ ability to analyze writing. This skill is tested primarily in passage-based questions pertaining to critical thinking, style, purpose, audience and situation:
- Rhetorical effects
- Use of language
- Evaluation of evidence
In addition to the multiple-choice section, College Composition includes a mandatory essay section that tests skills of argumentation, analysis and synthesis. This section of the exam consists of two essays, both of which measure a candidate’s ability to write clearly and effectively. The first essay is based on the candidate’s reading, observation or experience, while the second requires candidates to synthesize and cite two sources that are provided. Candidates have 30 minutes to write the first essay and 40 minutes to read the two sources and write the second essay. The essays must be typed on the computer.
Where to Find the BEST
College Composition Practice CLEP Tests?
AND My 10 Step Study Plan That Helped Me Pass the CLEP Every Time!
How Do I Practice for the CLEP College Composition (Modular) Test? The two most popular options are purchasing the Online Peterson’s College Composition CLEP Practice Tests or ordering the printed REA College Composition Practice CLEP Tests Book from Amazon. Again, there is a lot of information out there that can help you prepare for the CLEP College Composition Tests. But I always recommend going with at least one premium service, because they are the most up-to-date and resemble both the format and type of questions you’re likely to encounter on the actual College Composition CLEP Exam.
I also recommend you check out the Official CLEP Study Guide Book from Amazon. While it’s incorrectly named CLEP Study Guide (it should be named Practice CLEP Tests because it doesn’t have ANY study guide information). It is the only CLEP Practice Tests created by the actual tests makers for all 33 CLEP Tests. Note: Only one practice tests included per exam and no explanation to answers are provided. As compared with REA and Peterson that offer 3 practice exams and detailed explanations.
Anyway, whatever option you go with, it will cost you less than $20; a small price compared to taking the college course at your college. And while no CLEP Practice Tests (not even the Official Practice CLEP Tests) will be an exact version of the actual CLEP you test on “D-Day,” they do help to familiarize you with the format and type of CLEP College Composition Questions to expect. I like to use practice tests as indicators of my readiness for the actual College Composition CLEP Tests, so I’m more confident on exam day.
Both the Peterson’s Online CLEP College Composition Practice Tests and the REA CLEP College Composition Practice Tests Book include 3 Full-Length Timed Practice Tests.
Below is my 10-Step Study Plan:
- Study all InstantCert CLEP College Composition Study Guides, so I have a solid foundational knowledge. (If you haven’t already done so, then sign-up for your InstantCert Membership and remember to use your special InstantCert Discount Code 30142 for $5 OFF your 1st Month Membership!)
- Take my 1st CLEP College Composition Practice Tests to get a starting point for my progress.
- Review College Composition CLEP Test Answers and add questions to my study guide notes.
- Use the FREE College Composition CLEP Study Guide above to find resources on the Internet to fill-in the gaps of questions I was unsure of on the Practice CLEP Tests.
- Take my 2nd College Composition CLEP Practice Tests to improve from my initial CLEP Score.
- Review CLEP College Composition Test Answers and add questions to my study guide notes.
- At this point I strategize my studying. Focusing the remaining time on my strengths and only briefly reviewing my weaknesses. This may sound counter-intuitive, but you can spend weeks studying concepts that’s only one or two questions on the tests. The CLEP is scored on a curve (which I’ll discuss in the next section), so you don’t have to answer EVERY question correct to achieve a high score. You just have to answer more questions correct than the average college C-Student on a similar College Composition Final Exam. And trust me, the curve is usually VERY generous! So after I make peace with my weaknesses, I then focus my remaining study time on my strengths and make sure the concepts I am good at that I am great at.
- Take my 3rd (and final) Practice CLEP College Composition Tests to improve my CLEP Score and decrease my testing time.
- Review CLEP Test College Composition Answers and add questions to my study guide notes.
- At this point, I only briefly review my CLEP Study College Composition Guides. I just want to know whether I will pass or fail the exam and in how much time can I get the test done. I’m not really going to do too much more studying after this point. Otherwise I might think my way out of taking the tests! Accept your current competency and be realistic about your desired CLEP Score. Remember a pass is a pass, and your job is to simply pass. Most schools only award pass-fail grades anyway, so it’s not going to negatively impact your GPA, regardless of what passing score you achieve.
Above are the 10-steps I use to prepare & pass any CLEP Exam. It may or may not work for you, but use this as a guide to create your own CLEP study plan that works for you!
So to recap, the Online Peterson’s College Composition CLEP Practice Tests, Printed REA College Composition Practice CLEP Tests Book, and Official College Composition Practice CLEP Tests Book are all premium (paid) options. I always recommend you use at least one premium service, because they are designed to simulate the actual CLEP Tests.
And to achieve a high passing score on the CLEP you have to know what to expect and improve your skills. Just like it would be silly for an athlete NOT to practice before game day, it would be silly for you NOT to practice before test day. So taking a CLEP College Composition Practice Test plays a BIG role in your overall success. And you can ONLY simulate “game day” by using a premium service like Peterson, REA, or the Official CLEP.
Now after you’ve used a premium CLEP Testing service if you’re still looking for more practice tests then college textbook companion websites offer some free practice tests. While they do NOT resemble the CLEP Tests, they do help make sure you have a DEEP understand of the subject. I have mixed feelings about textbook companion website quizzes because the questions are more detailed than you’re required to know on the CLEP exam. But the advantage is they help to get you thinking about topics you need to study more. In my free download study notes I will give you several textbook companion websites where you can get more practice tests for free.
What is a Passing College Composition CLEP Score?
AND Why CLEP Tests are Easier to Pass Than You Think!
What is a Passing College Composition (Modular) CLEP Test Score? After completing the 50/90-minute, 50/90 Multiple-Choice Question CLEP College Composition Tests, you will receive a scaled score ranging between 20 – 80. Each college and university has its’ own credit-by-exam policy for awarding college credit, but the ACE (American Council on Education) recommended Passing College Composition CLEP Score is 50.
IMPORTANT: If your Composition CLEP includes an essay portion the multiple-choice and essay are averaged together to give you a final CLEP Score. Since the scores are NOT reported separately you will have to wait until your essay is reviewed for a final CLEP Score. Plan on about 6-8 weeks to receive a final score.
It’s important to know that CLEP Tests are scored on a curve, with a passing score being the same number of questions correct a C-Average Student would receive on a comparable College Composition Final Exam. While the College Board (which does the scoring) does not release this number, seasoned CLEP Test Takers usually aim for a raw score of 60-70% correctly answered questions. Depending on the difficulty of the exam, this is usually well above the curve you need to achieve a passing score on the CLEP College Composition Tests.
I also advise new CLEP Test Takers that you do NOT lose points for incorrect answers, so you should at least try to answer ALL the questions on the exam, even if you’re unsure of the correct answer. This works best if you can narrow down your choices to two or three possible answers. That way you have a 50-50 chance of guessing correctly!
And remember, each question is worth the SAME amount of points as the next one, regardless of how easy or difficult the question. The name of the game is to answer as many easy and intermediate questions as fast as possible. If you come across a question that is too hard to solve within a minute or two then mark it, skip it, and move on! You don’t want to struggle and toil over every hard question at the expense of not having enough time to answer the easier questions. You can always go back to the ones you skipped at the end of the exam, if you have time leftover. So go for the “low hanging fruit” first!
A couple of other CLEP Tips: Manage your time wisely. Depending on your comfort level, some tests you can whiz by and others will come down to the last second. If you know that to be the case, then you always want to select an answer before you skip a question, just in case you don’t have time to return at the end of the exam. Remember, you do NOT lose points for incorrect answers. So it’s better to have something than nothing.
Also, be on the lookout for questions that answer other questions. Every now and then you’ll run across a question that can help you answer another question. The CLEP is multiple-choice for Pete’s sake, so the answer is right in front of you! If you don’t know the answer then use this technique and process of elimination to help you determine the correct answer.
And remember, you don’t have to get a 100% on the CLEP Tests to score well. It’s a curved tests, so you just have to do better than the next person to score well!!! And trust me, the curve is usually very-very generous!
How-To Pass the
College Composition CLEP Guaranteed!
AND The 3 Things You Need to Know BEFORE Taking the Exam!
How Do I Pass the College Composition (Modular) CLEP Tests? OK, we’ve covered a lot of information. Depending on your prior comfort-level, the CLEP College Composition Test is an easy to intermediate exam to study for and most students will need about 1-4 weeks of reasonable study time to prepare (about 10-15 hours/week).
Even students that say they hated English in high school find that with the right preparation, they can pass the CLEP with just a little brushing up. Because whether you realize you were learning standard written English from kindergarten through 12th grade or not, you already have a good foundation in English. You just need a little CLEP Preparation to sharpen up your skills.
The key to any study plan is DO NOT GET OVERWHELMED! There is a lot of information to review and it’s not uncommon to feel stressed out and overwhelmed at times. But just use my 3 STEPS Below for The FASTEST & EASIEST Way To PREPARE & PASS The CLEP College Composition Exam and you’ll do great.
Below I review how you can test out of a college classes by passing the College Composition CLEP Tests. And discover the little-known secret savvy students use to pay for college and graduate faster!
- Step 1: BEFORE you do anything else, study InstantCert’s College Composition CLEP Study Guide and InstantCert’s CLEP College Composition Exam Specific Feedback Forum. This will give you a rock solid foundation to pass the CLEP College Composition Tests. Many past test takers say you can pass the College Composition CLEP Tests with this information alone! Click here for my behind-the-scenes InstantCert Review. (If you haven’t already done so, then sign-up for your InstantCert Membership and remember to use your special InstantCert Discount Code 30142 for 25% OFF your 1st Month Membership!)
- Step 2: Next take all 3 Peterson’s College Composition CLEP Practice Tests or REA College Composition Practice CLEP Tests to assess your readiness for the College Composition CLEP Exam. This will give you a good indicator of if and when you’re ready to take the exam. Seasoned CLEP Test Takers usually aim for a raw score of 60-70% correctly answered questions. Depending on the difficulty of the exam, this is usually well above the curve you need to achieve a passing score on the CLEP College Composition Tests.
- Step 3: Last download my FREE College Composition CLEP Study Guide Notes to help give you that extra confidence boast during the CLEP Exam. Click Here to Download my FREE College Composition CLEP Study Guides & FREE College Composition Practice CLEP Tests.
Well, I’ve told you everything I know to help you Prepare & Pass the College Composition CLEP Tests. Now the rest is up to you. So Go Get ‘Er Done!
Good Luck Fellow CLEP Test Takers!
The CLEP Review Gal
P.S. Download my FREE College Composition CLEP Study Guides & FREE College Composition Practice CLEP Tests below.
P.S.S. Please leave questions or comments below, so I can know how to better help you.