CLEP College Algebra Practice Test

Prepare for your test with realistic questions.

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 College Algebra exam, which tests basic algebraic operations like linear and quadratic equations, inequalities, and graphs.

Click “Start Test” above to take a free CLEP College Algebra practice test!

What is the CLEP College Algebra Exam?

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 College Algebra exam, you can skip the algebra class 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 College Algebra 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 College Algebra Exam 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 College Algebra exam:

  • 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 College Algebra Exam Outline

The CLEP College Algebra exam contains 60 questions and has a time limit of 90 minutes.

About half of the questions will focus on your ability to solve simple, straightforward problems, while the other half of the questions are centered on more complex problems that require you to fully understand the concepts at hand. It is assumed by the test makers that you have a working knowledge of algebraic vocabulary, symbols, and notations.

The questions are split into four categories:

Algebraic Operations (25%)

The knowledge and skills tested in this section include:

  • Operations and exponents
  • Factoring and expanding polynomials
  • Operations with algebraic expressions
  • Absolute value
  • Properties of logarithms

Equations and Inequalities (25%)

The knowledge and skills tested in this section include:

  • Linear equations and inequalities
  • Quadratic equations and inequalities
  • Absolute value equations and inequalities
  • Exponential and logarithmic equations

Functions and their Properties (30%)

The questions in this section may contain an assortment of functions, including polynomial (degree ≤ 5), linear, exponential, rational, absolute value, power, logarithmic, and piecewise-defined.

The knowledge and skills tested in this section include:

  • Definition, interpretation, and representation/modeling (numerical, graphical, verbal, and symbolic)
  • Domain and range
  • Evaluation of functions
  • Algebra of functions
  • Graphs and their properties (intercepts, transformations, and symmetry)
  • Inverse functions

Number Systems and Operations (20%)

The knowledge and skills tested in this section include:

  • Real numbers
  • Complex numbers
  • Sequences and series
  • Factorials and binomial theorem

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CLEP College Algebra Exam Registration

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

At the top of the page on the far right-hand side, you will see a heading marked “My CLEP account.” This drop-down menu will allow you to go to the correct page to establish an account manage your profile, see the exams you have taken, and view the grades of the exams you have taken. You can also request a transcript from this page.

During the registration process, you will need to pay the $90 exam fee. You will also choose whether to take the exam at a testing center or remotely.

Testing In-person

Once you have selected the test center and time that you want to take the exam, you will need to return to the portal of the CLEP website and print your ticket. You will not be admitted into the testing center without this printed ticket.

Testing Remotely

Before registering to take the exam remotely, you should ensure that you meet the technical requirements:

  • You must have a PC desktop or laptop (Macs, Chromebooks, and tablets are not supported).
  • Your computer must be using the Windows 10 operating system (Windows 11 is not supported).
  • Your computer must have the most recent version of Google Chrome installed.
  • You must have a speaker of some kind, internal or external (headphones are not allowed).
  • You must have a camera and microphone, internal or external.
  • You must have a reliable internet connection.

Once you have selected the day and time that you want to take the exam, you will need to return to the portal of the CLEP website and download the ETS Online Test application. This application is what allows you to take the exam on your computer at home.

Test Day

In-person Testing

You should arrive at the testing center 15-30 minutes early. When you arrive, you will be asked to provide a valid, government-issued photo ID, as well as your printed registration ticket.

Before you enter the testing room, you will be asked to leave all personal items behind. These include your cell phone, pencils, books, notes, calculators, bags, and food items. Because you cannot bring your own calculator, a TI-30XS MultiView scientific calculator will be made available within the testing software throughout the entire exam:

Texas Instruments TI-30XS MultiView Scientific Calculator

Remote Testing

You should log in to your CLEP account 15-30 minutes before your scheduled exam time. Once you have logged in, you will need to download and install the Proctortrack desktop application. Within this app, you will verify your identity with a face scan and a scan of a valid photo ID. You will also be instructed to use your camera to scan your testing room.

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

During the exam, you must ensure that no one enters your testing room. If someone does enter, you must ask them to leave, and you cannot say anything else to them.

How the CLEP College Algebra Exam is Scored

CLEP exams are scored with one point for each correct answer. You will not have points taken away for any incorrect answers. If you skip a question, you will not have points taken away. The number of correct answers you have will be your raw score.

The raw score that you receive will be converted into a scaled score. A scaled score 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.

Passing Score

There is no set passing score for CLEP exams; each college will have its own score requirements. You can find this score requirement either on the college website, or it may be listed in the course catalog.

According to the American Council on Education, a score of 50 or higher on the scaled score is often what colleges require.

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How to Study for the CLEP College Algebra Exam

How to Study Effectively

Your success on CLEP test day depends not only on how many hours you put into preparing but also on whether you prepared the right way. It’s good to check along the way to see whether your studying is paying off. One of the most effective ways to do this is by taking CLEP College Algebra practice tests to evaluate your progress. Practice tests are useful because they show exactly where you need to improve. Every time you take a free CLEP College Algebra exam practice test, pay special attention to these three groups of questions:

  • The questions you got wrong
  • The ones you had to guess on, even if you guessed right
  • The ones you found difficult or slow to work through

This will show you exactly what your weak areas are and where you need to devote more study time. Ask yourself why each of these questions gave you trouble. Was it because you didn’t understand the material? Was it because you didn’t remember the vocabulary? Do you need more repetitions on this type of question to build speed and confidence? Dig into those questions and figure out how you can strengthen your weak areas as you go back to review the material.

Answer Explanations

Additionally, many CLEP College Algebra practice tests have a section explaining the answer choices. It can be tempting to read the explanation and think that you now have a good understanding of the concept. However, an explanation likely only covers part of the question’s broader context. Even if the explanation makes sense, go back and investigate every concept related to the question until you’re positive you have a thorough understanding.

Comprehend Each Topic

As you go along, keep in mind that the CLEP practice test is just that: practice. Memorizing these questions and answers will not be very helpful on the actual test because it is unlikely to have any of the same exact questions. If you only know the right answers to the sample questions, you won’t be prepared for the real thing. Study the concepts until you understand them fully, and then you’ll be able to answer any question that shows up on the test.

Strategy for CLEP College Algebra Practice

When you’re ready to start taking practice tests, follow this strategy:

  • Remove Limitations. Take the first test with no time constraints and with your notes and CLEP study guide handy. Take your time and focus on applying the strategies you’ve learned.
  • Time Yourself. Take the second practice test “open book” as well, but set a timer and practice pacing yourself to finish in time.
  • Simulate Test Day. Take any other practice tests as if it were test day. Set a timer and put away your study materials. Sit at a table or desk in a quiet room, imagine yourself at the testing center, and answer questions as quickly and accurately as possible.
  • Keep Practicing. Keep taking practice tests on a regular basis until you run out of practice tests or it’s time for the actual test. Your mind will be ready for the schedule and stress of test day, and you’ll be able to focus on recalling the material you’ve learned.



Are calculators allowed on the CLEP College Algebra exam?


Yes, but you cannot bring your own calculator. A digital calculator will be provided for you.


How many questions are on the CLEP College Algebra exam?


There are 60 questions on this exam.


Are CLEP College Algebra questions all multiple-choice?


Yes, every question on this exam is multiple-choice.


Are formulas given on the CLEP College Algebra exam?


Though you are provided with a scientific calculator, you are not given a list of formulas to use during the exam.


How long is the CLEP College Algebra exam?


The time limit for this exam is 90 minutes.


What is the passing score for the CLEP College Algebra exam?


There is no set passing score for this exam. Your college will determine which score they accept as a passing score.


How much does the CLEP College Algebra exam cost?


The exam 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 | Last Updated: May 24, 2024