Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Natural Sciences CLEP

This was my last test this year! I have earned 33 credits through taking 8 exams in 4 months. I am going to take a break over the holidays and start studying again in January.

I studied for this exam for 4 weeks, but technically I had already been studying for this exam for 5 months, since my last 3 exams were Astronomy, Chemistry, and Biology. Having such a good foundation helped make studying and the test a lot easier; my score was a 73! I still needed to learn about physics, geology, and meteorology for this test, which was still a lot of new material. 

As I was studying, I was wondering how you would start this from scratch. It seemed difficult because of having multiple subjects. I think it would be a lot easier to start by studying just one subject – Biology, pass that CLEP, and then add some knowledge and take this CLEP.

I found that many of the questions were straight-forward and fact-based. Also, many were not covered in my study materials, so life-experience and gathering personal knowledge helped or I just made good and bad guesses.

I forgot to look at a periodic table the day of the exam. That would have helped to refresh my memory. 

Materials I used:

REA General Review book (with review/teaching material for each subject plus drills) 
and SEPARATE REA Preparation book (with 3 practice tests) 

Peterson's CLEP Success free ebook has review/teaching material for each subject and multiple practice tests. 

Peterson’s practice tests – The printable test is different than the online tests, so there are a total of 4 tests available. The printable test was similar to the REA tests and the online tests were much harder; however, the material covered was useful for the real exam. I would recommend working through the CLEP Success materials first. That should help with these more difficult practice tests. 

CLEP Official Study Guide - Practice test 

I struggled with some of the physics and geology questions; I am not sure what resource would have helped. If I had had more time, I would have done more at the Rader's PHYSICS 4 KIDS.COM and related websites.

If this is your first and only science exam, I would recommend some of the resources I used for the previous exams and I don’t know how long it will take to study for this. Biology – REA Biology and Biology Smart, Chemistry – Concepts and Problems and/or CliffNotes, Astronomy – Pass DSST Astronomy, IC, and Sparknotes

Also, be sure to find a very good vocabulary list for each of the subjects.

My best wishes to all taking this exam! It was a great opportunity to add 6 credits to my previous 15 science credits!

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