What Is the CLEP Precalculus Test?
The Precalculus CLEP exam is designed to test math knowledge of incoming college students. The exam primarily covers content required to advance to further calculus courses, with a focus on functions in terms of their characteristics and uses. Many universities across the United States accept this exam as a way to bypass first-semester or introductory calculus courses.
What Is on the CLEP Precalculus Test?
The Precalculus CLEP test has 48 total questions, which are split into two sections. Section 1 lasts about 50 minutes and has 25 questions that can be answered with the aid of an on-screen graphing calculator. Section 2 is around 40 minutes and has 23 questions that must be answered without a calculator. Test content is divided into six knowledge and skill areas including Algebraic Expressions, Equations, and Inequalities; Functions: Concept, Properties, and Operations; Representations of Functions: Symbolic, Graphical, and Tabular; Analytic Geometry; Trigonometry and its Applications; and Functions as Models. Test questions are either multiple-choice or require number entry, and test takers have 90 minutes to complete the exam.
Algebraic Expressions, Equations, and Inequalities
This knowledge and skill area of the Precalculus CLEP test is worth 20% of the total score and covers topics such as algebraic expressions (including how to simplify, add, and complete other operations with them) and various types of equations (e.g., linear). Test takers must be able to work through both inequalities and systems of equations (e.g., quadratic).
Functions: Concept, Properties, and Operations
The next knowledge and skill area for the Precalculus CLEP is worth about 15% of the overall exam and focuses on functions. Questions require knowledge of their characteristics and attributes, such as the range, along with how to write functions. Examinees will also have to know how to evaluate function equations and find inverses.
Representations of Functions: Symbolic, Graphical, and Tabular
This area of knowledge and skills is worth around 30% of the CLEP Pre Calc test. Questions cover the topic of functions demonstrated in different ways, including with symbols (i.e., algebraically) and graphs. Examinees must also know properties, like a function's extrema and intervals. Exam questions test students on their ability to identify and transform a variety of functions such as trigonometric (e.g., sine and cosine) or quadratic.
This knowledge and skill area of the CLEP Pre Calc test contributes around 10% to the overall exam score. Test takers must show their ability to understand and use principles of coordinate geometry when solving certain problems. Questions include demonstrating knowledge of algebraic and geometrical concepts with different shapes, objects, and curves.
Trigonometry and its Applications
The following knowledge and skill area of the CLEP exam Precalculus test contributes about 15% to the exam's score. Questions include topics on the trigonometric functions (e.g., tangent), the corresponding inverse functions (e.g., arctangent), respective ratios to solve right-angled triangles, and common identities/formulas (e.g., Pythagorean identity). Trigonometry concepts are not limited to a single section of the exam, as they are necessary for problems in other sections.
Functions as Models
This next knowledge and skill area of the CLEP Precalculus test is worth around 10% of the total examination score. Test takers must have knowledge of the wider applications of functions and what they can represent and indicate. Questions also require test takers to understand and analyze functions that are modeled in various ways, such as through written rules or with a graph.
Frequently asked Questions
How hard is the CLEP Precalculus test?
The Precalculus CLEP exam covers content of introductory college-level calculus courses. Test takers must have extensive knowledge of the subject to receive a high score. Test preparation material is available to aid students.
How long is the Precalculus CLEP exam?
The Pre Calc CLEP gives students a total of 90 minutes to complete the exam. Exam sections are divided into a 40- and 50-minute block.
What is a passing score for the Precalculus CLEP exam?
The CLEP Precalculus exam is often used as a way to bypass taking introductory calculus in college. The American Council on Education recommends that a score of 50 be the equivalent of three credit hours, but each individual institution will determine the correlation between CLEP scores and course credit.
Can I retake the Precalculus CLEP test?
The CLEP Precalculus test can be retaken, but students must abide by a three-month waiting period between attempts. Exams retaken before the three-month mark will not be counted as valid.
How much does the CLEP Precalculus test cost?
Registration for the Precalculus CLEP costs $90. The exam can be paid for with credit or debit cards, and funding is available for active military personnel, Coast Guard spouses, and DoD civilian personnel.
Can I use a calculator on the CLEP Pre Calc test?
The Precalculus CLEP allows the use of a graphing calculator for the first section of the exam only. Testing software will include an on-screen graphing calculator. Personal calculators will not be allowed.
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