The College Board administers the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), which offers affordable exams that help students receive college credits. This page covers the CLEP English Literature exam, which mainly covers British authors and literary works.
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What is the CLEP English Literature Test?
As mentioned previously, CLEP tests can be taken to earn college credits for the things you already know. If you have learned the test 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 English Literature test, you can skip the first semester of your English Literature 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 English Literature test 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 test to make sure they will accept it.
CLEP tests 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 English 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
Test Outline Review
The CLEP English Literature test contains 95 questions and has a time limit of 90 minutes.
There are three ways the questions on this test can be categorized:
Knowledge and Ability
The questions on this test assess both your knowledge of certain topics and your ability to perform certain tasks.
- Identification of authors
- Metrical patterns
- Literary references
- Literary terms
- Literary background
- Analyze form
- Perceive meanings
- Identify tone and mood
- Follow patterns of imagery
- Identify characteristics of style
- Comprehend the reasoning in an excerpt of literary criticism
The subject matter of the questions is taken from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present.
- Middle Ages (10%)
- 16th and early 17th Century (15%)
- Restoration and 18th Century (10%)
- Romantic (20%)
- Victorian (20%)
- 20th Century to the present (25%)
The questions on the test cover a range of literary genres.
- Novels (15%)
- Short stories (10%)
- Poetry (45%)
- Drama (20%)
- Nonfiction (10%)
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You can register for the test online via the College Board website. The CLEP English Literature test is administered throughout the year on a very flexible schedule.
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 testing fee. You will also choose whether to take the exam at a testing center or remotely. If you are taking the test in-person, you must ensure that you print out your examination ticket once you have completed the registration process.
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 test, 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 test on your computer at home.
On the day of your test, you should arrive at the testing center about 30 minutes earlier than the scheduled exam time. When you arrive, you will be asked to provide a form of valid, government-issued photo identification, as well as your printed registration ticket.
Before you enter the testing room, you will be asked to leave all personal items in a provided locker. These include your cell phone, pencils, books, and food items.
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 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. The proctor will then be able to 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 Test is Scored
The CLEP English 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 test, 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 English Literature test?
There are 95 questions on the test.
How long is the CLEP English Literature test?
The time limit for this test is 90 minutes.
What is the passing score for the CLEP English Literature test?
There is no set passing score for this test. Each school has their own passing score requirements.
How much does the CLEP English Literature test cost?
The testing fee is $90.