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Month: March 2014

Books to Read for the Social Sciences and History CLEP

Books to Read for the Social Sciences and History CLEP

Books for Your Shelf

  • CLEP Official Study Guide 2014is by far my favorite resource I have on my shelf.  It has the breakdown and official practice test for every CLEP exam.  I highly recommend that you add this to your shelf before you take any tests.   5 out of 5 stars. 
  • CLEP Social Sciences and History.  REA is my “go to” resource for every CLEP exam.  My shelf is covered with yellow and purple books and I just love their style.  Each guide covers the basics of every topic you need to study.  If you already know it, the guide serves as a review.  If you don’t know it, the guide is a great place to get started!  Practice tests are online or on CD.  5 out of 5 stars.
  • The Princeton Review Cracking The Clep.  Princeton Review was the only test material I used for the ACT, and I loved their book.  I was thrilled to learn they had written a CLEP prep book.  The bad news is it only covers the General Five CLEPs, but the good news is, Social Sciences is one of those General Five!  So I highly recommend Princeton Review for this test.  I love their teaching style, and they have a great practice test for each exam.   5 out of 5 stars.
  • The Story of the World: Volume 4 The Story of the World Series has been on our shelves for years – for use as our homeschool curriculum.  But when I started studying for this test, and needed a broad and sweeping view of world history from beginning to current times, I pulled out our Story of the World books.  There are five books in the series, and I most highly recommend the last two, but the other three are very useful.
  • The Story of the World: Volume 1The Story of the World: Volume 2The Story of the World: Volume 3
  • All American History Volume 2. And, since American History is such a huge part of this test, you need a good American history resource.  Once again I went to our homeschool room and raided the bookshelves.  I loved these books when I went through high school, and once again they were the perfect book.  Because of the great concentration on later American history, I strongly recommend the second book, but I find the first to be just as good: All American History, Volume 1.
Social Sciences and History: Quick Tips and Practice Tests

Social Sciences and History: Quick Tips and Practice Tests

Checklist for Study

Use this checklist to make sure you are covering some of the basics for this exam.  

  • What are the major countries in the world and their capitals?
  • Who was Max Weber and what did he teach?
  • Can you read and understand a graph?
  • What is the difference between Macro and Micro Economics?
  • Make sure and get women’s rights in there!  (voting, work conditions, etc)
  • Who was FDR?  What were the things he fought for?
  • Know the basic climates of each continent.

Practice Tests

Take lots of practice tests!  Here are a few recommended online Social Sciences and History CLEP practice test sites.


REA Study Center



The Important Things

Make sure you focus on what is really important on the exam.  Don’t worry about the small stuff.

When I take my initial practice test, to evaluate where I stand on the subject, I look at what questions I answered incorrectly and plan my studying from there.  For example, if I answered EVERY history question wrong that would be a bad thing – since I know that 40% of the test is history.  However, if I get all the history correct, but miss all the sociology questions, I’m not too worried.  I know that I can study sociology and, even if I don’t master it, I will still score well on the whole CLEP – because sociology is only 10% of the whole exam.

Meet the Test: Social Sciences and History CLEP

Meet the Test: Social Sciences and History CLEP

Social Sciences and History CLEP

The Social Sciences and History CLEP is exam is one of the General Five CLEPs.  Which means that it is a very broad test, but you are also awarded 6 credit hours for this test.  Unlike the Subject Exam CLEPs, this test worth an entire semester’s worth of study.  That is the bad news and the good news.  On one hand it is a very broad exam that covers a lot of information, but on the other hand, it is so broad that it doesn’t go into much detail.

This test has a basic CLEP format, 120 questions to be answered in 90 minutes.  There is no essay.

CollegeBoard gives the following breakdown for the Social Sciences and History CLEP:

  • 40% History
  • 13% Government and Political Science
  • 11% Geography
  • 10% Economics
  • 10% Psychology
  • 10% Sociology
  • 6% Anthropology

Obviously the largest part of this exam is the History section.  Of this section, 17% is American History, 15% is Western Civilization, and 8% World History.

While CLEP has done a fairly good job of being neutral in this test, some politically correct stuff has made it’s way onto the exam.  For instance, b.c.e (before common era) is used, instead of B.C (Before Christ).

A Cup of Chai Latte

A Cup of Chai Latte

I’ve been hitting my ALEKS Statistics course hard this week.  I’ve been very frustrated with the whole course, to tell the truth.  It freezes up, it removes parts of the problems, it shuts down.  I’ve switched browsers, I’ve updated this, I’ve updated that.  Nothing has really helped.

But, a cup of Chai Latte can fix anything.  That, and six episodes of Adventures in Odyssey.  🙂  I love Bernard Walton and Jimmy Barclay.

Thank you, Ms. Jan, for the fun birthday gift last year.  I’m nearing the bottom of the jar, but it is helping me concentrate.