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Brain Dump

Brain Dump:  A strategy used by people to pass their CLEP exams.

Official CLEP Information

“CLEP (the College-Level Examination Program®) offers 34 exams that cover intro-level college course material. With a passing score on one CLEP exam, you could earn three or more college credits at more than 2,900 U.S. colleges and universities.

Key CLEP Facts:

  • Students take CLEP exams on a computer at official CLEP test centers.
  • CLEP exams contain multiple-choice questions.
  • CLEP exams take about 90–120 minutes to complete, depending on the exam subject.

All test centers follow the same procedures and rules, which you should become familiar with before test day. Exam Day Information

It is cheating to bring any kind of notes, books, or paper into the testing center – or to remove papers from the testing center.  Be sure you leave any study guides in your car!

You can, however, study and cram right up until you enter the testing center.  Many times, as we are going into the testing center, we fear that we’ll forget specific vocabulary, formulas, stages, phases, dates, or specifics of some facts we’ve studied.  This last-minute cramming helps you focus on those key facts you are struggling with.   But what happens if you’re so worried about retaining those facts that you can’t settle in and focus on the exam for the next 90 minutes?

Brain Dump

Brain dumping is completely ethical, does not compromise exam integrity, and follows all College Board CLEP testing rules.

  1.  Get your piece of complimentary scratch paper. When you are taken to your testing center computer station, you are allowed a blank piece of scratch paper to use during your test. If you are not automatically given your paper, you may ask for it – but do this BEFORE your time begins!
  2. As soon as your testing time begins, quickly spend a couple minutes jotting down all of those important things you fear you won’t remember: stages, phases, important dates, amendments, names of systems or sequences, authors, formulas, titles, etc. By “dumping” those out of your short-term memory and onto your scratch paper, you can now free yourself up to relax and focus on the questions of your exam. This can reduce your stress significantly! Later, when you need to recall a fact or formula, simply look at your scratch paper.   
  3. Turn in your paper at the end of your exam. It is a College Board CLEP policy to surrender your scratch paper at the end of your exam – this is to protect the integrity of the exam. Even if your testing center doesn’t prompt you to do this, you must do it on your own If you leave with your scratch paper and they later realize their error, you could be accused of cheating. Don’t make that mistake!

After learning this technique, I used it many times to successfully pass my own CLEP and DSST exams. Good luck!

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Executive Director of Homeschooling for College Credit

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