CLEP Analyzing and Interpreting Literature

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About the CLEP Analyzing & Interpreting Literature: Study Guide & Test Prep Course

People who are interested in earning three undergraduate literature credits without taking a full semester of a college class can take the CLEP Analyzing and Interpreting Literature Exam to earn those credits. This test will assess a test-taker's comprehension and analysis skills when reading a variety of literature excerpts, including poetry and plays. This test is divided into three categories: Genre, National Tradition, and Period.

Number and Type of Questions 80 multiple-choice questions
Time 1 hour and 38 mins
Content Areas 1. Poetry (35%-45%)
2. Prose (35%-45%)
3. Drama (15%-30%)
Cost $90

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What Is on the Analyzing and Interpreting Literature CLEP Exam?

The Analyzing and Interpreting Literature CLEP Test will have 80 multiple-choice questions. In general, these multiple-choice questions will assess if a test-taker can recognize a given work's literary devices, rhetoric, and style. To prepare for this test, candidates should review the following:


For the Genre category, test-takers will need to understand the structure and functions of different genres. Examinees will be given passages of poetry, excerpts from plays, or short nonfiction or fiction samples. This category will ensure that candidates can apply their literary analysis skills while reading a wide variety of texts across genres.

National Tradition

The main focus of this category will be to analyze important British and American literature. A small portion of this category may ask questions on translated works as well. Excerpts from popular British and American literary works will be provided to test-takers for them to analyze themes and literary or rhetorical devices, and answer comprehension questions.


The majority of this category will cover literary works spanning the 18th-21st centuries, though there will also be questions regarding works from the ancient Greek and Roman periods as well as the Renaissance. While knowing the history from these time periods will not be the focus of this category, test-takers should read prominent works from each of these periods to be prepared for the exam.

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Frequently asked Questions

The difficulty of this exam will mirror the difficulty of an undergraduate level literature course. It is recommended that candidates read a variety of literary works in multiple genres from different time periods to be successful on this exam.

Examinees will have 98 minutes to complete the exam. During this time they will need to answer 80 multiple-choice questions, some of which will be unscored pretest question.

The American Council on Education recommends that universities accept a minimum score of 50 to be considered passing to earn three undergraduate credits. However, universities are allowed to require a different score, so it is important to double-check with the university the credits will go towards first.

Test-takers are allowed to register for a retake of this exam after three months from their prior test date. It is recommended that in that time period candidates spend some time studying for their retake, especially the content areas they struggled with the first time.

The Analyzing and Interpreting Literature CLEP Exam will cost $90. Depending on the testing center a candidate takes this exam at, there might be additional administration fees.

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