CLEP Success: English Composition with Essay

by Shawn Cohen / January 28, 2014
JANUARY 28, 2014 Category: Skills (Education and Learning)
Shawn Cohen

Shawn Cohen is a CollegePlus! alumni and employee. After starting out as a student, Shawn joined the company and started working his way up the ranks. When he's not working on ways to inspire innovation, he volunteers with TEDx San Antonio and serves as a business mentor to young men.

english clepThe CLEP English Composition exam is worth 6 college credits and tests a students grammar, usage, and writing skills. In addition to answering about 50 questions in 45 minutes, the student is required to write a short essay in an additional 45 minute time frame.

The type of questions students will encounter on the test are 
* Best rewording of sample sentence 
* Paragraph analysis 
* Interpretation of a paragraph's thesis 
* Grammar and usage errors 

How to prepare

Don’t over analyze the questions—you’re first guess is probably correct! 
Be able to write a 300 word essay in 45 minutes or less (use examples from Princeton Review Cracking the CLEP) 
Use 5 paragraph structure for the essay: an intro paragraph, a paragraph for each of three points and a conclusion paragraph 

When writing the essay, use the scratch paper and pencil provided to make an outline with the three main points of your essay as well as some sub-points for each. Don't start writing until you've completed the outline.

Once you've ordered your points to your satisfaction, start typing out the essay, starting with the first point, not the introduction. Do the introduction and conclusion last, after your three paragraphs for your three main points are complete.

Recommended resources

English Composition Study Guide by Comex 
Elements of Style by Strunk and White 
Easy Grammar by Wanda Phillips 
Gregg Reference Manual by William Sabin 
Advanced Communications Series by Andrew Pudewa 
Cracking the CLEP by the Princeton Review 
Official CLEP study guide by the College Board 

If you’ve take the CLEP English Composition with Essay exam, let us know how it went and any pointers you might have!

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