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CLEP Math Test: Guide and Examples

CLEP Math Test: Guide and Examples

What Is the CLEP Math Test?

The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) Math test (or CLEP Mathematics test) is an exam where, if you achieve a qualifying score, you can earn college credits.

There are a range of different CLEP exams, all of which are designed to establish your knowledge on a particular academic subject.

The purpose of the CLEP tests is to help people to gain college credits in subjects they are already familiar with at a much lower price than attending college.

CLEP tests are administered by the College Board, so many different universities and colleges accept CLEP test scores.

In this article, you can learn about the format of the CLEP Math test and gain insight on the type of questions you will need to answer.

You can also learn where to find CLEP math practice test papers and calculus CLEP study guide resources.

History of the CLEP Test

The College Board was created in 1900. Its mission was to improve access to higher education by connecting students to college learning opportunities.

In 1965, the College Board took on responsibility for overseeing the earliest iteration of the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP).

The first CLEP examinations were administered in 1967, following the establishment of 50 test centers across the US.

Today, there are more than 2,000 CLEP test centers in the US, including high schools, colleges, military bases and independent testing organizations. CLEP tests can also be taken through remote proctoring.

CLEP tests are free to US military service people and some military veterans. Since 1974, CLEP has maintained links with the Department of Defense, offering college learning opportunities to active duty service members.

In recent years, this funding has been extended to cover CLEP exams for military veterans, allowing veterans to gain the college credits required to make a smooth transition from military to civilian life.

By taking a CLEP exam, students show that they have attained college-level knowledge of the course content. Anyone can earn college credits through a CLEP exam, from high school students to people already in college.

Most of the internet-based tests are made up of multiple-choice questions and they can be scheduled at any time throughout the year. Nearly all of the CLEP exams offer instant score reports (excluding Spanish with Writing and College Composition).

CLEP standardized tests cover 34 different academic areas. They allow students to earn college credits without having to study a college course.

CLEP tests are administered by over 1,500 different colleges, universities and military organizations throughout the United States. More than 2,800 different colleges grant CLEP credit.

CLEP tests are most relevant for students who have gained knowledge outside of the classroom. This might have been achieved by work experience, homeschooling, independent study or cultural interaction. They are also relevant to students who have completed their school education outside of the United States.

Taking a CLEP exam is often more affordable and convenient than completing a semester of coursework for comparable credit.

Try the CLEP College Algebra Test on Test-Prep Online

Try the CLEP College Pre Calculus Test on Test-Prep Online

Available Subjects

CLEP examinations are available in the following subjects:

History and Social Sciences

  • American Government
  • History of the United States I: Early Colonization to 1877
  • History of the United States II: 1865 to the Present
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Introduction to Educational Psychology
  • Introductory Psychology
  • Introductory Sociology
  • Principles of Macroeconomics
  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Social Sciences and History
  • Western Civilization I: Ancient Near East to 1648
  • Western Civilization II: 1648 to the Present

Composition and Literature

  • American Literature
  • Analyzing and Interpreting Literature
  • College Composition
  • College Composition Modular
  • English Literature
  • Humanities

World Languages

  • French Language: Levels 1 and 2
  • German Language: Levels 1 and 2
  • Spanish Language: Levels 1 and 2

Science and Mathematics

  • Biology
  • Calculus
  • Chemistry
  • College Algebra
  • College Mathematics
  • Natural Sciences
  • Precalculus


  • Financial Accounting
  • Information Systems
  • Introductory Business Law
  • Principles of Management
  • Principles of Marketing

CLEP Math Test Format and Topics

The CLEP Mathematics exam includes all of the material you would expect to find on a college course aimed at non-mathematics majors and majors in subjects that do not require knowledge of advanced mathematics.

The CLEP Mathematics test contains around 60 questions. Candidates taking the test have 90 minutes to answer all of the questions. A portion of the questions are categorized as pretest questions and are not scored as part of the overall exam result.

Approximately 50% of the test relates to solving routine or straightforward problems. The other half of the test requires candidates to solve non-routine problems for which they will need to have an understanding of concepts and the application of skills and concepts.

The subject matter of the test is broken down as follows:

Algebra and Functions (20%)

In the CLEP test algebra section, candidates must work out equations and solve linear equations and systems of linear equations through the use of analytical reasoning and graphical methods.

They must also show that they can interpret, represent and evaluate functions, including descriptive, graphical, numerical and symbolic methods.

Candidates will be expected to show good numerical reasoning skills, analyze graphs of function and have a solid understanding of linear and exponential growth.

Try the CLEP College Algebra Test on Test-Prep Online

Counting and Probability (10%)

Candidates must solve counting problems, demonstrating their numerical reasoning skills as well as a good knowledge of combinations, permutations and the multiplication rule.

Data Analysis and Statistics (15%)

Candidates must show that they can interpret and represent data through the use of tables, graphs, charts, histograms and scatter plots.

They must also show that they understand the concepts of standard deviation and normal distribution, and be able to calculate numerical summaries of data including the mean, median, mode and range.

Financial Mathematics (20%)

Candidates must demonstrate an understanding of percentages, interest, present value and future value.

Geometry (10%)

Candidates must show that they have an understanding of the properties of triangles and quadrilaterals, including:

  • Area
  • Perimeter
  • Similarity
  • Pythagorean theory

They must also show knowledge of parallel and perpendicular lines and the properties of circles.

Logic and Sets (15%)

Candidates must be able to use logical operations and statements, including:

  • Conjunctions
  • Disjunctions
  • Negations
  • Hypotheses
  • Counterexamples
  • Logical equivalence

They must also show knowledge of set relationships, disjoint sets, equality of sets and Venn diagrams.

Numbers (10%)

Candidates must show that they have an understanding of the various properties of numbers and their operations, including the recognition of irrational and rational numbers.

They must also demonstrate knowledge of elementary number theory, measurement and absolute value.

CLEP Algebra Example Questions and More

Example Question

1. Matthew deposited $20,000 into a two-year certificate of deposit that earned 12% annual interest, compounded monthly. Matthew did not make any withdrawals or additional deposits to the certificate of deposit.

Calculate the value of the certificate of deposit by the end of the two-year period.

a) $25,031.72
b) $25,394.69
c) $26,384.54
d) $27,519.33

Example Question

2. 400 students answer a school survey. One of the questions asks whether they enjoy Mathematics and Social Sciences classes. 130 of the students surveyed say that they only enjoy Mathematics classes. 160 of the students say that they only enjoy Social Sciences classes. 40 of the students say that they don’t like Mathematics or Social Sciences classes.

How many of the students enjoy both Mathematics and Social Sciences?

a) 50
b) 60
c) 70
d) 80

Example Question

3. This table shows the average sunshine hours in a city between 1 June and 31 October.

Month Average Sunshine Hours
June 275
July 325
August 328
September 268
October 215

What percentage of sunshine hours during this timeframe is received during the month of September?

a) 17%
b) 18%
c) 19%
d) 20%

CLEP Math Test: Guide and Examples
CLEP Math Test: Guide and Examples
Example Question

4. Samantha uses the bar chart to break down the monthly cost of her grocery shopping. Her monthly income is $2,500.

Which of the following statements is true?

a) The amount of money she spends each month on cleaning items is more than 2% of her monthly paycheck.
b) The amount of money she spends each month on meat is less than 2% of her monthly paycheck.
c) The amount of money she spends each month on vegetables is 2% of her monthly paycheck.
d) The amount of money she spends each month on bakery items is 0.5% of her monthly paycheck.

CLEP Calculus Practice Test Tips

Step 1. Revisit Basic Math Concepts

Improving on the foundations as part of your CLEP calculus preparation means you will feel more confident when answering more difficult questions in the test.

Step 2. Use Online Test Resources To Help You With Your CLEP Math Prep

You can find a variety of free and paid-for resources online. Using these websites will help you to understand the format of the test questions and identify any areas you need to improve on. Search for a CLEP algebra study guide or CLEP calculus examination guide to get started.

Step 3. Create a Study Plan

If you want to score highly on the CLEP College Math Test, you need to invest your time in studying for it. Setting up a daily or weekly study plan is a good way to manage your time effectively and make sure that you are allowing yourself time to study for all aspects of the exam.

Step 4. Consider Hiring a Tutor

Some CLEP candidates choose to hire a private tutor to assist them with their studies.

If you can afford to hire a tutor, their support could help you to stay on track with your studies.

They can also give feedback on any CLEP algebra practice test papers you complete.

Step 5. Allow Yourself Time to Memorize Formulas

During the test, you will not be provided with a formula sheet. This means that you must memorize all of the important formulas.

Try printing a sheet of the important formulas and studying them at multiple points throughout the day. You might also ask a friend or family member to test you on them.

Step 6. Complete Practice CLEP Math Tests

Working through CLEP math exam papers as part of your preparation is key. As you approach the date of your test, try sitting CLEP mathematics practice test papers against the clock and under exam conditions. You can find CLEP algebra practice tests and CLEP calculus practice tests online.

Work out how much time you should allocate to each question. If you are unable to answer a question within this timeframe, it is best to move on to the next one. There are no penalties for an incorrect answer, so it is best to make an educated guess.

After taking each test, it is important that you analyze your results. This will help you to identify the areas that you need to focus on.

Step 7. Register for an Account on the College Board Website

You will need to have an account before taking the test. You can set this account up on the College Board website.

Once you have set up an account, you will be able to pay for your test and print out your test ticket. If you are taking the test at a center, you will need to take your test ticket with you on the day of the test.

Step 8. Gather Everything You Will Need on the Day of the Test

Making sure you have everything to hand is a good way to minimize stress on your exam day. You will need to take your printed test ticket and a valid ID card.

It is best to leave your cell phone at home, as these are not permitted in the test room. You do not need to take a calculator with you – all candidates are provided with a scientific calculator, which can be used throughout the test.

Step 9. Learn How to Use a Scientific Calculator

Step 10. Try to Stay Calm and Focused

Plan your route and aim to arrive at the test center early. Find out where to park and where to find the closest restroom. Feeling stressed will be detrimental to your performance on the test, so it is best to take all the steps you can to arrive feeling calm.

If you want 12-month access to all the practice resources for this test, our partner offers a Family Membership.

Family Membership gives you access to all the TestPrep-Online resources for the next 12 months. You will also get two separate accounts, which can be very helpful if you have two children preparing for their tests.

Get a Family Membership with 12-month access

CLEP Math Exam Scoring

The CLEP Math test is multiple-choice and scored by a computer.

If you took your test in a test center, your unofficial score report will be shared with you as soon as the test ends. To view your official score, you can log into the My Account portal and clock on My CLEP Exam Scores. Your official score will be published online one business day after you complete the exam.

If you took the remote-proctored exam, you will see your score immediately after finishing the test.

The total score shown on your score report is based on the following calculations:

  • Raw score – This is the number of correctly asked questions. You will gain one point for each question that you answer correctly.

  • Scaled score – This will range from 20 to 80. Your raw score is used to work out your scaled score. The American Council on Education (ACE) suggests that colleges grant credit to those candidates with a scaled score of 50 or more. However, individual education establishments are allowed to set individual CLEP policies.

The majority of colleges publish the score required to earn CLEP credit on their website.

When you take a CLEP exam, you will receive one point for every correct answer. Points are not deducted if you answer a question incorrectly or skip a question altogether. If you are not sure of an answer, it is always best to make an educated guess.

If you fail a CLEP exam, you will have to wait three months (90 days) before you can take it again. This only applies to the exact same CLEP exam. If you want to take a CLEP test in a different subject, there is no need to wait.

There is no set limit on the number of times that you can retake a CLEP exam. However, it is important to check individual college policies. In some cases, a college may only accept the score you achieved on your first test attempt.

Canceling Your Score

If you reach the end of the test and are unhappy with your test score, you have the option to cancel it. Canceling your score before you finish the test will prevent your result being sent directly to your college. You must decide whether or not to cancel your score before knowing whether you have passed or failed.

If you choose to cancel your score, you will have to wait three months before you will be allowed to resit the test. In most cases, it is best not to cancel your score.

The only reason you may want to consider it is if your college limits the number of CLEP attempts and you are sure that you have performed poorly on the test.

Frequently Asked Questions

The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) math test allows you to earn college credits by achieving the qualifying score.

The CLEP math test is a college-level exam, so it is designed to test your mathematical knowledge. As long as you dedicate enough time to studying for it, the CLEP math test should not be hard to pass.

There are several online resources designed to help you prepare for the CLEP math test. These resources include example CLEP math test questions, CLEP math study guides and mock assessments.

The average score for the CLEP math test is not published. Scores for the CLEP math test range from 20 to 80. A score of 50 is generally considered to be a passing score on the CLEP math test.

The College Board does not set a limit on how many times you can retake a CLEP test. However, it is important to check with your college. Some education establishments will only accept your first score on the CLEP test.

If you fail the CLEP math test, you will need to wait a minimum of three months (90 days) before you will be allowed to resit the test.

However, this does not prevent you from sitting a CLEP test in a different subject area during the three-month waiting period.

The highest possible CLEP score is 80. To achieve this, you would need to answer all of the questions correctly.

The CLEP math test helps students to show they have college-level knowledge in a particular subject area. Anybody can earn college credits through a CLEP exam.

The CLEP math test allows students to earn college credits without having to worry about the cost or time required to study a college course.

It would be very difficult to cheat on the CLEP math test as you are not allowed to take anything into the test center with you.

If you risk cheating on the CLEP math test, you may be disqualified from taking the test at all.

Dedicating sufficient time to study prior to the exam is a better option.

You can use a search engine to find a variety of online tools to help you prepare for the CLEP math test. To start, you can search for a CLEP algebra study guide or CLEP calculus examination guide.

The College Board website also has a range of practice questions and calculus CLEP exam study guide resources.

You can also prepare on Test-Prep Online.

Everyone is eligible to take the CLEP math test. This includes high school and college students, adult learners, military service people and veterans, and professional people who want to gain continuing education credits.

CLEP candidates must be aged 13 years or older and located in the United States or be receiving funding from Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES).

You can find a complete guide for the CLEP test online. You might also consider buying a comprehensive official study guide in paperback format.

Final Thoughts

If you are planning to take the CLEP math test, it is vital that you set aside sufficient time to prepare.

Your CLEP math prep should include revisiting mathematical concepts, practicing using a scientific calculator and completing as many CLEP math exam practice papers as possible.

There are many resources available online to help you, including free math CLEP practice test papers on the College Board website and on Test-Prep Online.

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