How to Pass A College Math CLEP Test


If you have no time or resources to take a full-time study course, the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) conducted by the College Board, is your best bet at earning college credit. Anyone with a working knowledge of math studied at the high school level can clear the CLEP math test which covers basic concepts that a non-math major is expected to know. To pass this test, you need to acquire a score of 50, which is easy, provided you gain sufficient practice at working on problems the test covers. Besides the College Board website, there are other course providers that serve as valuable resources to help students ace the math CLEP test.

  • Look up the details related to the college math CLEP Test on the College Board website. Understand the type of questions that appear on the test. These generally cover general math and do not require you to have knowledge of advanced mathematics. You can solve about half of the questions by a direct application of formulas, whereas the others will be complex, and test your grasp of concepts. Check the weight assigned to each topic such as the real number system, functions, probability, data analysis and logic.

  • Brush up on current math vocabulary, notation and symbols; these will help you to quickly deduce what the question actually asks. Assess your math skills and find your strong and weak areas. Compare this with the syllabus covered on the test and prepare a study plan to focus on the areas that need improvement. Make sure you review only those concepts that are covered in the test. For example, stressing on arithmetic calculations is a waste, because there is little emphasis on these skills in the CLEP math test.

  • Study from books such as "Review for the CLEP General Mathematics Examination", (Comex) by O’Donnell and Floyd, and Princeton's "Review Cracking the CLEP", 5th Edition. Choose books that have an overview of the topics you need to study, lots of practice problems, and tips on preparing for the test. Practice diligently and often to increase your working speed.

  • Browse websites such as and and sign up for an online study course. Take up the practice tests they provide and check your timing. The CLEP math test will give you 90 minutes to answer about 60 questions; it is important to work quickly. Get familiar with using online calculators. Although there are no questions on the test that need a calculator, there will be one provided in case you need to verify some detail. Trying an online calculator for the first time on the test can exhaust valuable time.

  • Answer all questions on the test. Even if you answer wrong, there is nothing you stand to lose because the math CLEP test does not differentiate between questions answered wrong and those left unanswered. Your total score will be the number of correct answers adjusted in keeping with the difficulty of the exam. On a scale of 20 to 80, you will need to score 50 or above to pass the CLEP test.


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