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Parent question: Is the CLEP Official Study Guide pretty much the same as the individual subject guides?

Yes, but a bigger better version. The Official Study Guide contains all of the individual subject guides in one book, and it’s going to cost a fraction of the price. Individual subject guides In today’s post, I want to talk a bit about how to use the Official Study Guide, and why it’s the first book you need for CLEP prep.

The CLEP Official Study Guide covers all 34 CLEP exam topics in one book, and it’s updated yearly. The CLEP Official Study Guide is published by the exam vendor (The College Board), in other words, it’s getting test prep straight from the horse’s mouth.

The Official Guide has a few parts, each with different usefulness. It includes practice questions for all exams, exam descriptions, information on getting credit for CLEP, and test-taking tips and strategies.

Though not intended to give you the “actual” questions, I have personally received test questions that were nearly identical to those in the guide, so it’s nice when you encounter that kind of freebie.

The CLEP Official Study Guide costs under $20, and since it has all 34 exams, it isn’t very cost effective to buy the Individual Study Guides for $14.99 each when you can get the entire 34 exam bundle for $20!!


Is The CLEP Official Study Guide all I’ll need to prepare for a CLEP?

No, there isn’t any “learning” content in the book, it’s just giving you an outline of what you’ll be tested on and a full-length practice test with answers.

Do I need a current edition?

No, because CLEP exams are not revised each year. Some CLEP exams have not undergone revisions for a LONG time!! Biology’s last revision was July 1, 2001 -yes, over 20 years ago! College Algebra CLEP has been unchanged since January 1, 2007. Now, you might find a really old guide at a yard sale for a $1 and wonder if it’s worth buying? YES! If your yard sale find was published before 2016, you can still use the practice test in the book! Having an extra practice test is a great tool, just ignore the old “information about the test” in each section because it is probably too old to be accurate.

PRO TIP: In 2019, CLEP added a Spanish Writing exam to their catalog. Guides published before that exam will say “33 exams” and guides published with that exam will say “34 exams.”

How do you use The CLEP Official Study Guide when Homeschooling for College Credit?

If you have the book Homeschooling for College Credit, you should review Chapter 5 “Building Good Curriculum” which goes into detail about how to layer The CLEP Official Guide into your homeschool program so everything lines up. When I use the guide, I’m able to match up the exam topic distribution (what’s on the test) to any textbook I’m considering. This tells me whether or not its a match.

“I’m considering a US History curriculum for next year, the publisher explains the course covers Columbus through Reconstruction in the first half, and then Late 1800s through the Present in the second half. Does that line up?”

When you look in The CLEP Official Study Guide, you’ll see that CLEP US History 1 lines up with the first half and that CLEP US History 2 lines up with the second half. From that I can make a homeschool plan to take each CLEP at the correct time.

For the cost, The CLEP Official Study Guide is a great investment. It only costs $20 and will last through multiple tests and multiple children (don’t write in the book) and you’ll still be able to sell it when you’re finished in our HS4CC Marketplace!

HS4CC Insider: Parents share that they see a lot of the same “recycled” CLEP practice questions appearing in both the CLEP Official Study Guide and Modern States.

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MAX CLEP IN HIGH SCHOOL In this session, you’ll learn how to bring in the maximum amount of CLEP exam college credit into your homeschool while still leaving room for other important high school subjects. We’ll discuss the importance of single-subject exams when compared to exams that rely on cumulative understanding. In this presentation, your teen…


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