Monday, January 31, 2011

Biology CLEP

I studied for 4 weeks. It is a lot to learn in that amount of time. I was surprised to get a 77! It was the kind of test where you don't wonder which questions you missed, but which questions you got right! I am always surprised by my score, but this was a little higher than my practice tests and I thought the actual test was harder. The wording of the questions and answers was tricky. Knowing lots of facts and vocabulary does help to narrow down the possibilities. It covers a lot of material and I did not get more than 2 questions on any one topic. I did not have any trouble finishing the practice tests on time, but I did have trouble finishing the real test. I left the multiple question chart problems for last. There were about 15-20 of that type of question and I was not sure I left enough time for that many.

I used:

REA Biology – These have always been helpful and I love having practice tests.

Biology Smart – This is an awesome book. It makes a lot of topics simple and easy to learn. It is great to use with the REA book. Biology Smart (Smart Series) (9780679769088): Deborah Guest: Books

Cliff’s Notes online – I used their glossary and “cheat sheet”.

Tools & Resources: Biology Glossary - CliffsNotes

Tools & Resources: Biology Cheat Sheet - CliffsNotes

Peterson’s practice exams – These were great for preparing for the real test. The third one is extra difficult, but it is worth at least reading through because some of the new material is on the real exam. (There might be AP exams to use for practice also.)

Official CLEP Study Guide - for exam topics and practice questions 

I have also read that IC has over 800 flashcards to study for this exam. I did not have time to try them, but I am sure they would be an excellent resource to add.

Since I just started studying for the Natural Science exam, I have found that the REA study guide for General Exams, which includes Natural Science, has a Biology section which would have been a good starting point. It also has several items that would have helped on the test.

Note: Before you go to all of the work of studying for and taking this exam, be sure that your college will accept it for the credit that you need for your major and make sure that any lab requirements can be earned separately.

This exam covers the following;

Applied bacteriology
Cell biology
Cell physiology
Diagnostic bacteriology
Infectious diseases
Medical microbiology
Microbial aerosols
Microbial genetics
Microbial physiology
Microbial toxins
Molecular biology
Recombinant DNA
Tissue culture
Courses with the word “microbiology” in the title (e.g., dairy microbiology, applied microbiology, diagnostic microbiology, industrial microbiology, and soil microbiology)

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