Posted in HS4CC

CLEP Marketing

The Marketing exam is a great first CLEP for your teen. It is considered one of the easier CLEP tests. The content is manageable in a semester and is a great 1/2 credit elective for high school students that can yield three college credits.

If you want simple, select a textbook and simply have your teen read it.  That will cover the curriculum. I found Glencoe Marketing Essentials to cover the majority of the topics on the CLEP test. Older books are easy to obtain inexpensively.

Introductory Marketing


The Principles of Marketing examination covers material that is usually taught in a one-semester introductory course in marketing. Such a course is usually known as Basic Marketing, Introduction to Marketing, Fundamentals of Marketing, Marketing, or Marketing Principles. The exam is concerned with the role of marketing in society and within a firm, understanding consumer and organizational markets, marketing strategy planning, the marketing mix, marketing institutions, and other selected topics, such as international marketing, ethics, marketing research, services, and not-for-profit marketing. You’re expected to have a basic knowledge of the economic, demographic, social, cultural, political, legal, and technological trends that are important to marketing.

The examination contains approximately 100 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. Some of these are pretest questions that will not be scored. Any time candidates spend on tutorials and providing personal information is in addition to the actual testing time.

Knowledge and Skills Required

The subject matter of the Principles of Marketing examination is drawn from the following topics in the approximate proportions indicated. The percentages next to the main topics indicate the approximate percentage of exam questions on that topic.

Role of Marketing in Society (8%–13%)

  • Ethics
  • Nonprofit marketing
  • International marketing

Role of Marketing in a Firm (17%–24%)

  • Marketing concept
  • Marketing strategy
  • Marketing environment
  • Marketing decision system
    • Marketing research
    • Marketing information system

Target Marketing (22%–27%)

  • Consumer behavior
  • Segmentation
  • Positioning
  • Business-to-business markets

Marketing Mix (40%–50%)

  • Product and service management
  • Branding
  • Pricing policies
  • Distribution channels and logistics
  • Integrated marketing communications/promotion
  • Marketing application in e-commerce

Study Resources

Most textbooks used in college-level principles of marketing courses cover the topics in the outline given earlier, but the approaches to certain topics and the emphases given to them may differ. To prepare for the Principles of Marketing exam, it is advisable to study one or more college textbooks, which can be found in most college bookstores. When selecting a textbook, check the table of contents against the knowledge and skills required for this test. Please note that textbooks are updated frequently; it is important to use the latest editions of the textbooks you choose. Most textbooks have study guides, computer applications, and case studies to accompany them. These learning aids could prove useful in the understanding and application of marketing concepts and principles.


A survey conducted by CLEP found that the following textbooks are among those used by college faculty who teach the equivalent course. You might purchase one or more of these online or at your local college bookstore.

  • Armstrong and Kotler, Marketing: An Introduction (Pearson/Prentice Hall)
  • Bearden, Ingram, and LaForge, Marketing: Principles and Perspectives(McGraw-Hill/Irwin)
  • Boone and Kurtz, Contemporary Marketing (South-Western)
  • Etzel, Walker, and Stanton, Marketing (McGraw-Hill)
  • Kerin, Harley, Berkowitz, and Rudelius, Marketing (McGraw-Hill/Irwin)
  • Kotler and Armstrong, Principles of Marketing (Prentice Hall)
  • Lamb, Hair, and McDaniel, Essentials of Marketing (South-Western)
  • Lascu and Clow, Marketing Frontiers, Concepts, and Tool (Atomic Dog)
  • Perreault and McCarthy, Basic Marketing: A Global Managerial Approach(McGraw-Hill)
  • Pride and Ferrell, Marketing (Houghton-Mifflin)
  • Solomon, Marshall, and Stuart, Marketing: Real People, Real Choices(Pearson/Prentice Hall)
  • Zikmund and d’Amico, Marketing (South-Western)

You can broaden your understanding of marketing principles and their applications by reading articles in newspapers and business publications such as The Wall Street JournalBusiness WeekHarvard Business ReviewFortuneAd Week, and Advertising Age. Journals like Journal of MarketingMarketing TodayJournal of the Academy of Marketing SciencesAmerican Demographics, and Marketing Week can be found in most college libraries.

Score Information

Credit-Granting Score for Principles of Marketing

ACE Recommended Score*: 50
Semester Hours: 3

Each institution reserves the right to set its own credit-granting policy, which may differ from that of ACE. Contact your college as soon as possible to find out the score it requires to grant credit, the number of credit hours granted, and the course(s) that can be bypassed with a satisfactory score.

Homeschooling for College Credit Recommends…

The best CLEP prep book on the market for this exam is the REA CLEP Principles of Marketing book. It includes practice tests in the back that explain “why” an answer is right or wrong.  HIGHLY recommended.

Free-CLEP-Prep has a free study guide and a YouTube channel playlist. You can also purchase their Quick Prep Package which includes a Quick Prep Sheet PDF and a professionally narrated MP3 version and access to two practice tests.

Free online flashcards are available at Quizlet. Simply search “marketing clep” and you will find lots of options.

The US Small Business Association has a short Marketing 101 course with worksheets. This 30-minute interactive course would be a great introduction to the topic of marketing.

Standard Deviants Marketing DVD series.  My daughter loved this series and watched it twice! It’s a little cheesy and very 80’s, but that is part of its charm. I was able to find them used on Ebay for a reasonable price.

Saylor Academy offers a completely free Principles of Marketing online course. They offer an exam that awards college credit for $25.

The Modern States organization offers a completely free Principles of Marketing video-based online course. As a bonus, they are currently issuing vouchers to take the CLEP exam for FREE to anyone who asks.  Reducing your CLEP cost to $0? Yes, please!

If you’re looking for something on paper, try a laminated study sheet.  There are a ton of them covering dozens of subjects.  You can almost always get them for under ten bucks, and they will outline and zero in on all the major topics/dates/names/etc. for the subject without fluff.   Marketing Quickstudy Reference Guide