Anicia wrote: "I recently took the Spanish CLEP, and passed with a score of 62! Thank you for all your hard work in teaching me during high school.
I wrote down some info about the CLEP structure and test-taking tips, in case they could be helpful:
I highly recommend using the provided paper and pencils. A significant portion of the test was listening only, with only one chance to listen to the material. Writing down keywords as I listened helped me to follow the dialogue in the voice clip, and have something to reference when selecting my answers.
The first portion of the test had 18 questions. A clip of dialogue was spoken, as well as four options for a response. I was given ten seconds to select an answer. Before I began the first section, I wrote down sets of a, b, c, and d bullet points so that I had less to write during the test. I used the bullet points to write a keyword or two, and 'x'ed out obviously incorrect options.
The second portion had closer to 30 questions with longer audio clips. The time limit was about 20 minutes for the whole section. The multiple-choice answer options were displayed on the screen rather than spoken. I still wrote keywords when listening, but kept them simple so I didn't miss any dialogue.
The third portion of the test was reading. There were 70-75 questions to be answered in 60 minutes. If there was a section/question I didn't understand, I made an educated guess, marked it for review, and moved on. When I had answered all questions with time remaining, I went back to those sections/questions to read more carefully and change answers as needed.
As part of my studying, I subscribed to www.spanishhour.com to take their three full-length practice tests, which helped simulate the environment of the CLEP test. Furthermore, the tests were used to analyze my weaknesses, and I was directed to the corresponding lessons in the Spanish Hour online course to review the material.
I hope this information is helpful!
The REA book: http://store.rea.com/0738610895.html
The Peterson's book: www.petersons.com/college-search/clep-practice-test.aspxhttp://www.petersons.com/college-search/clep-practice-test.aspx
Grammar: Recommended: Schaum's Outline of Spanish Grammar
College CLEP Search Tool: http://clep.collegeboard.org/search/colleges
I took the CLEP today and passed with a score high enough to receive all 12 colledge credits! I know this is all due to your hard work as a teacher, so I'd like to thank you SO MUCH!
For future CLEP-takers, here are some things I recommend:
Schaum's Outline of Spanish Grammar was a book that I found to be slightly more helpful than REA's CLEP study guide. After each new concept is introduced, you do 5 or so exercises on it. Also, I found this book slightly easier to understand in introducing concepts.
However, the REA study book has strengths in the practice tests. The CLEP exam turned out to be slightly easier than the practice exams (in my opinion) which is good because it pushes you further. And the practice exams are a little longer.
Here are a few tips to think about on the day of the CLEP exam:
-Bring two pencils in case one breaks (the test is computer-based, but you will need to take notes)
-Do not bring scrap paper. This is provided at the test center.
-Basically, try not to bring anything else, as they won't allow hats, bags, devices, etc. in the testing room. The facility I used had lockers, but other test centers may not, so I would not recommend bringing unnecessary things.
Here are some tips to think about during the CLEP exam:
-Before each section, the computer instructs you, basically, on how to use a computer and what you'll see. I would recommend looking this over, and NOT skipping it, as important information can be easily missed without reading the instructions.
-Try not to take too much time on one question. The computer allows you to "mark" a question for further reference, and at the end of the section you have the option to move on or review. In review, you can see answered, unanswered, and marked questions.
-Do not leave any answers blank. You will not lose points for this; however, a guess is better than nothing.
Here are the basics of each section:
Section I Listening
-Here you will hear a sentence and four answers/responses. Choose the best one.
-It can be tricky remembering what the question was at the end. Write down the basics of the question as you hear it.
-Write a, b, c, d on your paper. This way, you can mark off crazy answers that you know are wrong as you hear them. It's pretty much impossible to remember all the answers after hearing them.
-Listen closely. The speakers do not speak ultra-fast like I thought they would, but there are cases where you may not understand a word. Both listening sections require FULL attention.
Section II Listening
-Here you will hear a longer dialogue/narrative/story. Then you will see a list of answers. Choose the answer to each question.
-The exam asks for obscure details, so take AS MANY NOTES AS POSSIBLE.
-Listen for specific indications of when something will happen, lists, and names.
-Don't write the story out word for word. This takes too long and the speaker can speak faster than you can write.
-I found this to be the most difficult section, so I would recommend practicing with the REA book a lot.
Section III Reading
-Here the exam will show you paragraphs, advertisements, or stories. You will either fill in the blanks or answer a question.
-The good thing about this section is you can look at the stories and answers over and over.
-Read the entire story. Sometimes the exam will ask a question that seems like it matches one part of the story, but really match another. If you don't read the entire story, you may miss a hidden link.
I am from Sr. Riegg's Spanish 4 class and I'm signing up to take the CLEP; however, there is a Spanish I level and Spanish II. Which exam am I supposed to take?
Answer from Tami W: Yes, it's confusing! I remember thinking the CollegeBoard website was unclear on that. They're actually both the same test-- it just depends on the score you earn. If you earn 50-62, ACE recommends that colleges award 6 credit hours. However, if you earn 63+, you get two years (12 credits). (The minimum CLEP score is 20, and the maximum 80. Strange, I know.) At Thomas Edison State College, a 12-credit score showed up on my transcript as both Spanish I and Spanish II.
Here's one of my favorite reference sites: http://www.free-clep-prep.com/Spanish-Language-CLEP.html
Hope that helps! Feel free to ask if you have any more questions.... =)
Extra Thought: So the best strategy would be to sign up for CLEP Spanish 2, and see if your score is high enough to get the full 2 years of credit.
Hola Sr. Riegg,
This morning I took the Spanish CLEP and passed with a high enough score to receive all 12 credits. I know a lot of that was due to your help these past 3 years... thank you so much.
The Spanish Language CLEP test in comprised of three parts:
1) Audio: remark and response In this first section, all that appears on the screen are 4 answer bubbles, labeled A-D. You put on headphones, are given an opportunity to adjust the volume of the headphones (I had no trouble with this), and listen to the test. You'll hear one person make a comment, such as (the hypothetical) "¿Qué vas a hacer en la mañana?" Then you'll hear 4 response choices: "A. 'Vas a comer.' B. 'Mañana es jueves.' C. 'Nadie va.' D. 'Voy a correr.'" Then you have ten seconds to click on the bubble that corresponds with the correct answer choice. In my opinion, the hardest part about this section was getting used to the format- it took me a couple tries with the REA (see resources, below) practice tests before I could remember what the original comment was at the end of all the answers. (This section has about 18 questions.)
2) Audio: longer speaking, several written questions During this section, you'll hear some longer dialogues/speeches/essays, and then have to answer questions about them (written in Spanish on the screen) once the audio has ended. The hardest thing about this one is remember all the details of the passage. I suggest you make use of the scratch paper the testing center provides- take shorthand notes while listening to the audio, because you can only listen to it once. I've heard of some people who could speak Spanish very well who had trouble with this section because the questions asked for such obscure details. Listen especially for lists- lists of places someone has been, ingredients to a recipe, etc. In the questions, they like to give you a list of items and ask you to select everything that was on the list in the audio. Also take notice of the overall plot, and the location(s) of the story or event. As for timing, you'll have 12 minutes, not counting the listening time. Every time the audio stops for you to answer questions, your time starts counting down again. (This section has around 30 questions.)
3) Written: grammar This section is comprised of 3 smaller sections, totaling at about 73 questions:
a) Supply missing word in single sentence You'll be given a sentence with one word missing, and a list of four word choices to fill in the blank. If you have done a lot of Spanish reading, this section shouldn't be too hard. The Schaum's Outline (see resources) is also a big help for this section. (This part includes pronouns, comparisons, verb forms, etc.)
b) Supply missing word in passage Here you'll be given a reading passage with several blanks and asked to select the correct word to fill in the blank. This deals with verb tenses quite a bit- which form goes in which kind of clause, and the kind of stuff you can pick up by doing a lot of Spanish reading. It also has a fair amount of pronouns (be able to identify a pronoun's antecedent- Schaum's Outline has a great section on pronouns, which really helps with that).
c) Reading passages In this section, the test gives you passages in Spanish, and then asks you questions (in Spanish) about the passages. Sometimes the "passages" are advertisements or announcements. This part stresses overall comprehension and vocabulary.
Schaum's Outline of Spanish Grammar was my favorite book for this exam. It typically introduces the grammatical concepts in a clear manner unlike the REA (Research & Education Association) book, which is slightly more ambiguous. Schaum's Outline was very helpful, because it has exercises after each new grammatical concept is introduced, letting you immediately practice what you just read about. It helped me start to "feel" the grammatical rules more, instead of just being able to recite them. Many of the concepts discussed in Schaum's Outline were covered on the test, so this book is definitely a good thing to know well before taking the exam.
REA's CLEP Spanish Language-- Its strength is in the practice audio portions of the test. It comes with 2 audio CD's, containing three practice tests. The audios were a fairly accurate representation of the actual test. Of course the real CLEP test uses a variety of speakers- it doesn't repeat the same ones as the REA audio does. But if you're used to listening to a variety of speakers this shouldn't be a problem.
Also, Multnomah University is a great place to take CLEP exams.
Espero que Ud. y su familia tengan un buen verano,
I copied this from the College Board CLEP website: http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/clep/ex_cls.html
"Most colleges that award credit for the Spanish Language exam award either two or four semesters of credit, depending on the candidate's test scores."
I take that to mean that even if you don't get all 12 credits possible for the Spanish CLEP, you might get 6 credits. Everybody takes the same test, but some people score higher and get 12 credits, some score lower and get 6 credits--and, of course, it is possible to get no credits (which would be really disappointing). My guess is that the lady at Multnomah meant it is really hard to get all 12 credits. But it might be worth trying for 6 credits.
I am sure it is a really hard test, and I don't plan to take it myself. :-) And I'm certainly not trying to talk anybody else into taking it. I do not want to make light of the study and work that should go into preparing for the test. I just wanted to make sure people are seeing this odd way of doing the test--of having the same test, with different scores, count for different amounts of college credit. Luke may have looked at the test and thought it was 12 credits or nothing, which could be a daunting way of looking at the test.
One CLEP test website Tami uses (not the College Board one) says that anybody with even one year of high school Spanish should at least attempt the Spanish CLEP. This may be a bit optimistic (he was in the military, where CLEPs are free), but his comments may be worth reading. The link is http://www.free-clep-prep.com/Spanish-Language-CLEP.html
I was hoping that one of the things Brad could do in the special CLEP tutoring session was "administer" the aural part of the practice test. In the CLEP prep book it is laid out as another reading assignment, but in the real test the student listens (and can only hear it one time!) instead of reads it and then selects the correct answer from several written answers. Apparently 2 out of 3 sections involve a lot of listening. However, the total score is 40% listening and 60% reading.
So many things to consider. May God lead each of us.And, Brad, we have the CLEP test prep book, so we aren't expecting you to go buy anything. We actually have two copies of the book right now, one from the library. They are different editions, but close enough we can work with it.
P.S. Tami helped me find more information on line about the Spanish CLEP. These are things people who took the test and wrote about it on some forum said.
Study the Schaum's Spanish Outline
- The vocal accents on the practice exams through Peterson's are very clear. However, there are a wider variety of vocal tones/inflections/accents in the actual exam -- and some of the conversations are more rapid and less clear. Because of this, I highly recommend interacting with Spanish speakers, watching Spanish language news (you already know what's going on in the world, so it's a little easier to translate in your head), or finding alternative audio material on the 'net.
- In the second audio portion, you only get to hear the audio once and you have to answer multiple questions about that audio. The Peterson's practice exam allows you to replay the audio for every question. Keep this in mind during study time and try to answer all of the questions for each scenario the "real" way.
- Vocabulary is definitely important.
.. Clothing/shopping terminology
.. Giving directions
.. Family members
.. Time and date
.. Por vs Para
.. Llegar vs Llevar
.. Ser vs Estar
- Verb tenses and reflexive pronouns come into play big time in the 3rd section. You can probably scrape by sections 1 & 2 without a detailed knowledge of these, simply by being strong in vocabulary. However, you will struggle in the 3rd section without a good grasp of tenses and reflexives.
All in all, I thought it was somewhat harder than the Peterson's practice exams. The great thing about using the practice exams, though, is getting through the 3 different sections of the test. It is set up differently than other CLEPs so it's worth it to have the exposure prior to going in.