The English Literature examination covers material usually taught in a semester course (or the equivalent) at the college level. The test is primarily concerned with major authors and literary works, but it also includes questions on some minor writers. You are expected to be acquainted with common literary terms such as metaphor and personification, and basic literary forms such as the sonnet and the ballad.
In both coverage and approach, the examination resembles the historically organized survey of English literature offered by many colleges. It assumes that you’ve read widely and developed an appreciation of English literature, know the basic literary periods, and have a sense of its historical development.
This test is given by The College Board which is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity.
Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education.
Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools.
This exam is available to all but is especially relevant to juniors and senior high school students.
Schedule a meeting with your school counselor or a teacher to learn about the process for taking this exam including deadlines for signing up for courses at your school.
There are many reasons to take this exam but many students choose it to set themselves apart in college admission and to earn the college credit and placement that come with a successful exam score.
The examination contains approximately 95 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. Any time candidates spend on tutorials and providing personal information is in addition to the actual testing time.
The CLEP English Literature exam also includes an optional essay section. Some schools require candidates to complete this section. Candidates should check with the school(s) of their choice to confirm whether the essay is required. This optional section requires candidates to demonstrate their ability to write clearly and effectively. Candidates respond to two of three essay topics. An essay on the first topic, a persuasive analysis of a poem, is required, and candidates are advised to spend 35 to 40 minutes on it.
For the second essay, candidates choose one of two topics that presents a specific observation, position, or theme. Depending on the topic chosen, candidates choose any work by a particular author to appropriately support the claim or select works from a designated list provided. Candidates should plan to spend 50 to 55 minutes on the essay. All essays are scored by faculty at the school(s) where candidates send their reports.