CLEP American Literature Practice Test

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The College Board administers the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), which offers affordable exams that help students receive college credits. This article covers the CLEP American Literature exam, which covers prose and poetry written throughout the history of the United States.

Click “Start Test” above to take a free CLEP American Literature practice test, and check out our premium-quality CLEP test prep resources by clicking the links below!

What is the CLEP American Literature Test?

As mentioned previously, CLEP exams can be taken to earn college credits for the things you already know. If you have learned the exam material through on-the-job training, previous studies, or simple life experience, you can take this one exam and receive college credit as if you took the one-semester course!

By taking and passing the CLEP American Literature exam, you can skip the survey course at college. This will potentially:

  • Allow you to earn three or more college credits
  • Save you money because the test is cheaper than a semester at college
  • Allow you to graduate on time or possibly to graduate ahead of schedule
  • Add flexibility to your degree program

Taking the CLEP American Literature exam can save you from hours of classwork and all of the hours of homework that professors assign. You should check with your college before taking this exam to make sure they will accept it.

CLEP American Literature Test Eligibility

CLEP exams are open to anyone to take at any time! There are no age restrictions or educational requirements.

Here are some examples of who takes the CLEP American Literature test:

  • College students
  • High school students who are preparing to graduate
  • Homeschool students
  • Adults who are returning to school
  • Professionals who want to use the exam results to help advance their careers
  • Applicants to master’s degree programs that still have undergraduate prerequisites they need to fulfill

CLEP American Literature Test Outline

The CLEP American Literature test contains 100 questions and has a time limit of 90 minutes.

The questions on this test are designed to test one or more of the following:

  • Ability to understand and interpret short poems, excerpts from long poems, and excerpts from prose works (35%–40%)
  • Knowledge of literary works, including authors, characters, plots, settings, style, and themes (25%–30%)
  • Familiarity with critical terms, verse forms, and literary devices (15%–20%)
  • Knowledge of historical and social settings of specific works, relations between literary works, relations of specific works to literary traditions, and influences on authors (15%–20%)

The time periods covered by the test are split into the following five groups:

  • The Precolonial, Colonial, and Early National Period (Beginnings–1800): 15%
  • The Romantic Period (1800–1865): 20%
  • The Period of Realism and Naturalism (1865–1910): 20%
  • The Modernist Period (1910–1945): 20%
  • The Contemporary Period (1945–Present): 25%

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CLEP American Literature Test Registration

You can register for the exam online via the College Board website. The CLEP American Literature test is administered throughout the year on a very flexible schedule.

During the registration process, you will need to pay the $90 exam fee. You will also choose whether to take the test at a testing center or remotely. If you are taking the exam in-person, you must ensure that you print out your examination ticket once you have completed the registration process.

Test Day

In-person Testing

On the day of the test, you should arrive at the testing center 30 minutes early. Once you arrive, you will be asked to provide a form of valid, government-issued photo ID, as well as your printed registration ticket.

Once you are checked in, you will be asked to leave all personal items in a secure locker outside the testing room. This includes your cell phone, wallet, and keys.

Once your items have been stored, you will be led to the testing area and be given specific instructions on the testing process before your test begins.

Remote Testing

On the day of the test, you should log in to your CLEP account about 30 minutes before the scheduled exam time. Once you have logged in, you will need to download and install the Proctortrack desktop application.

Within the Proctortrack app, you will be asked to verify your identity by scanning your photo ID and your face using the webcam. You will also be instructed to use your webcam to scan your testing room.

Once the verification process is complete, you will need to open the ETS Online Test application. The proctor will then be able to get you set up and begin the exam.

How the Test is Scored

The CLEP American Literature test is scored so that one point is awarded for each correct answer, and you will not have points taken away for any incorrect answers. You will also not have points taken away if you skip a question altogether.

The number of correct answers you have will be your raw score. The raw score will be converted into a scaled score, which is typically in numeric form ranging from 20 to about 80.

Your unofficial score report will be available on your screen as soon as you finish the exam, and an official report will be made available the next day when you log in to your CLEP account.

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How many questions are on the CLEP American Literature test?


There are 100 multiple-choice questions on the test.


How long is the CLEP American Literature test?


The time limit for the test is 90 minutes.


What is the passing score for the CLEP American Literature test?


There is no set passing score for this exam. Every college has its own scoring standards.


How much does the CLEP American Literature test cost?


The testing fee is $90.

By Peter Rench

Peter Rench joined Mometrix in 2009 and serves as Vice President of Product Development, responsible for overseeing all new product development and quality improvements. Mr. Rench, a National Merit Scholar, graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in mathematics from Texas A&M University.


by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: December 15, 2023