Posted in CLEP, Credit by Exam, Curriculum

Used Book Buying Guide

Do you need to buy the current edition CLEP prep book?  Nope!  Why?  Read on…

All CLEP exams are worth college credit because they have undergone review by ACE.  ACE is the third-party review organization that colleges use to decide if a class or exam is “worth” college credit or not.  When ACE reviews an exam, they always assign a date range for that review.  In order for an exam to be refreshed, revised, or updated, it must undergo a new review.  When a new review happens, the ACE Database is updated!

So, the list below shows the current exam date ranges for each of the college-credit eligible exams.  Exam date changes are very important to test takers, so that’s one of the many things I track closely.

It is possible for CLEP to do a revision today, but while it undergoes review, they’ll have to continue to use the current exam.  Once the revised exam “passes” for credit, the database is updated, and the new exam goes into effect.  Therefore, we don’t usually know about an edition change until the database is updated or unless CLEP (College Board) puts out a press release.  So, be aware that this can happen anytime.

All date ranges and the history of date ranges are available by searching the ACE Database.

2 Parts of CLEP Prep

  1. The curriculum.  As a homeschool parent, you’ll likely want your teen to learn the material before taking a CLEP exam.  Let’s say your teen is learning American Government and American Literature this year, and you’d like her to try the CLEP tests.  The curriculum that you use for those subjects can be any brand, published any time, and new or used.  The curriculum is your choice.  You’ll want to visit the Official CLEP Website to be sure your curriculum covers similar content as they’ll be tested on, but in general, you can use anything you like.

  2. Test prep.  The test prep material dates are very important.  Test prep isn’t teaching new information, rather it is telling your teen what topics from their class will be on the test, and the distribution (percentages) they’ll need to know.   When exams are revised, not only can the topics tested change, but the distribution can change.  Knowing if a topic makes up 2% or 32% is a big deal.   In this case, you’ll always want to be sure the test prep books were published since the exam revision!


Based on the current exam edition of American Government, any test prep book written after 7/1/01 will be accurate.  For American Literature, however, the test prep book needs to have been written after 3/1/15 to be accurate.  Again, curriculum can be older, but test prep materials must match the current exam version.

American Government  7/1/01- 11/30/18

American Literature  3/1/15 – 11/30/18

Analyzing and Interpreting Literature  3/1/15-11/30/18

Biology  7/1/01- 11/30/18

Calculus 10/1/12 – 11/30/18

Chemistry 7/1/01- 11/30/18

College Algebra 1/1/07 – 11/30/18

College Composition (essay) 7/1/10 – 11/30/18

College Modular (no essay) 3/1/15 – 11/30/ 18

College Math 3/1/15 – 11/30/18

English Literature 3/1/15 – 11/30/18

Financial Accounting 1/1/07 – 11/30/18

French Language 3/1/15 – 11/30/18

German Language 3/1/15 – 11/30/18

History of the United States I 7/1/01- 11/30/18

History of the United States II 7/1/01- 11/30/18

Human Growth and Development 11/1/06 – 11/30/18

Humanities 3/1/15 – 11/30/18

Information Systems 10/1/12 – 11/30/18

Intro. Educational Psychology 10/1/12 – 11/30/18

Intro. Business Law 5/1/02 – 11/30/18

Intro. Psychology 10/1/12 – 11/30/18

Intro. Sociology 10/1/12 – 11/30/18

Natural Sciences 7/1/01- 11/30/18

Precalculus 10/1/12 – 11/30/18

Princ. of Macroeconomics 10/1/12 – 11/30/18

Princ. of Microeconomics 10/1/12 – 11/30/18

Princ. of Management 3/1/15 – 11/30/18

Princ. of Marketing 10/1/12 – 11/30/18

Social Science and History 3/1/16 – 2/28/19

Spanish Language 3/1/15 – 11/30/18

Western Civ.I 7/1/01- 11/30/18

Western Civ. II 7/1/01- 11/30/18