Monday, January 31, 2011

Analyzing & Interpreting Literature CLEP

I relied heavily on my experience with taking many reading comprehension tests and reading literature in English class during my public school education and that came through for me. Since this is not my favorite subject, I was trying to be happy with a passing score, so I was shocked (as usual) by matching my highest score of 78! 

Study materials:

Literary Terms - I should have looked at examples of the main terms better and not just the definitions. It would have helped me to recognize them more quickly and saved some time.

Literary Devices

Literary Terms : SparkCharts - I looked up just a few items here.

CLEP Official Study Guide – practice test

If you need more practice with this type of test, I have seen the REA book and the Petersons practice exams recommended. (A lot of people have decided to take this exam without studying. At least, learn more about this exam and decide based on your own background how much study time and materials you will need.)

My exam had 78 questions about 12-15 reading passages, which were 20-50 three-inch lines long. Each had about 5 questions but a couple had 8-10 questions. 

The passages are visible for reference on the page of each question. (You don’t need to go back and forth between the pages/questions to look up the answer.)

During the official practice test, I tried different methods of taking the exam, like reading the questions first and then reading the passage. The methods did not change my results, but I felt more comfortable with reading the passage first and then answering the questions. 

On the exam, I decided to read each passage and question as it came for better concentration and felt more settled to answer the questions. I consider myself to be a slow reader. I read each passage once and tried not to get hung up on any one detail, since they might not ask about it. I did try to work quickly and kept a pace of about 1 minute per question. That is not enough time to think about things too deeply, which may have been good so that I did not over-think anything. 

This is always the type of exam that I have no idea how I am doing. If I had used the other exam technique (read questions first), I would not have had a funny experience. I read a poem and thought I understood it. Then one of the questions told me an important fact about the author. It turns out that fact was what the whole poem was about, which I had completely missed!

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