Introductory Psychology CLEP Exam Free Study Guide

Many testers consider the Introductory Psychology CLEP one of the easier tests, but that is only if you have the right study resources and schedule. We are here to help with that!


The Questions You Are Asking

HOW HARD IS THE Introductory Psychology CLEP EXAM?

It is easy. On InstanCert's website, 98% of reporting users passed the test, other test-takers rank it as a 2 out of 5 for difficulty, and I got a fairly high score on that CLEP myself.

This does not mean the Introductory Psychology CLEP exam is so easy that you do not have to study. It just means that you may have to study less for it than you did for other tests. Of course, if you are a high school student, you likely have not taken a psychology course, so there is quite a bit of information that you need to learn to be ready.


Yes, there are. Peterson's offers the best practice tests we know of. And REA has dependable practice tests you can use too. 


Very possibly, but it depends on your college. Our MyCollege Online Workshop will train you in how to know which exams you can use.


  • We recommend College Board's study guide because they will show you exactly what the test is about ($10). 
  • Peterson's practice tests will help you to assess your readiness to take the test and show you specific subject areas you need to study more ($19.95).
  • The REA Introductory Psychology book and practice tests will give you a broad overview of the subject and more opportunities to assess your knowledge of specific subject areas ($34.95).
  • We recommend SpeedyPrep's flashcards to you because they 100% guarantee that you will pass your CLEP test, and they are very easy to use ($19.95/month). SpeedyPrep also includes comprehensive video lectures on most of the topics their flashcards cover. Plus, we have a $10 off discount code for your first month: MYCOLLEGE.

Total Cost: $74.85


 If you are on a tight budget, we recommend three study resources: College Board's free informationSpeedyPrep with a MYCOLLEGE discount code, and Google. College Board will give you general information about the test, SpeedyPrep will guarantee that you pass, and Google will help you to research things you need to learn more about. 

Total Cost: $ 9.95

My Experience with the Introductory Psychology CLEP

When I began studying for the Introductory Psychology CLEP exam, I was just about to graduate high school and had never come close to studying psychology before. Despite that, it only took me seventeen days to study for and pass this exam.

My first Peterson's practice test score was 57. I read the REA book and used online flashcards while reading about it on the DegreeForum message boards, and brought my next practice test score up to a 60. My last practice test score was a 58 and was enough for me to decide to take the CLEP exam itself.

I passed with a 68.


  1. I learned that even if you have not taken a class for a specific CLEP exam, you can still pass that exam with the right study resources. I recommend REA, Peterson's, and SpeedyPrep. With those three, you will be well prepared to pass Introductory Psychology yourself. 
  2. I learned that the Introductory Psychology CLEP is rather easy. It is not impossible to fail, but with only 98% of InstantCert users failing, I think that this test, among a few others, should not cause test-takers any extra stress or worry.
  3. It is possible to study for and take a CLEP exam in under three weeks. Passing this CLEP exam took me seventeen days, and I am sure there are others out there who can do it in even less time.


Introductory Psychology CLEP Exam Details 

This exam will test your knowledge of the history of psychology, the human brain, cognition, personality, social psychology, and more. Chances are that psychology is more complicated than you think it is and that, as you study for this test, you are going to learn quite a bit about the way the human mind works. This test relies heavily on your knowledge of psychological developments and on your ability to use data given to answer other questions. Because much of the material is inter-related, studying for one sub-topic of this test will also likely help you in learning about other sub-topics.

Length: 95 questions

Time90 minutes

ACE Recommended Score: 50

ACE Recommended Credit: 3


(Move your mouse over the charts below to see what's required for the exam.)

Introductory Psychology CLEP Skills

Introductory Psychology CLEP Subject Matter

(Go to College Board's website for more detail.)

College Acceptance Examples

  • Thomas Edison State University requires a score of 50 and accepts it as PSY-110, a 3 credit class.
  • Liberty University requires a score of 50 and accepts it as PSYC 101, a 3 credit class. 
  • University of Phoenix requires a score of 50 and accepts it for 3 credits

Example Questions

1. What is the name of the basic cells that make up the human brain?

2. What branch of psychological study focuses on the changes in a person's lifespan?

3. What branch of psychology focuses on a person's outward actions, rather than on his or her thoughts and emotions?

4. What phenomena was Pavlov demonstrating in his experiment that involved dogs and a bell?

5. At what age does a child first develop a sense of object permanence according to Jean Piaget's findings?


(Answers below)

Other Top Study Resources You Can Use

  • DegreeForum - Free - This is the best discussion board out there for MyCollege students. The board members give helpful advice on planning one's degree and passing specific CLEP and DSST exams.
  • InstantCert - $20/month - When you sign up for InstantCert using our discount code 48990, you save money and get access to flashcards for 55 CLEP and DSST exams as well as locked portions of the DegreeForum message boards. 
  • Cliff's Notes: Psychology - free - The Cliff's Notes website includes a broad overview of psychology. While not focused directly on the CLEP test, it is inexpensive and very thorough. We recommend reading through the materials on psychology, but you can also look up specific topics that you are curious about there. 
  • Textbooks - varies - College Board recommends and so do we that you study with the textbooks you will find on their website. The CLEP tests are often written with certain textbooks in mind or by professors who have written some of the suggested textbooks.
  • Free-CLEP-Prep - $15.99 and Free - Free-CLEP-Prep is run by Justin Orgeron and contains helpful study guides for MyCollege students. Justin's study resources include personal advice about the test, links to important topics in the test, a free practice test, and sometimes a study package sold for $15.99 that includes two more practice tests and a well-researched prep sheet that covers "every topic that our visitors had told us that they had a question about."

Overlap with Other CLEP and DSST Exams

The Introductory Psychology CLEP shares overlap with three other tests:

  1. Social Sciences and History is 10% about psychology as a general topic, so the entire Introductory Psychology CLEP is relevant to it.
  2. Human Growth and Development is approximately 60% material that may be similar to what will be on the Introductory Psychology CLEP exam, but the material on Human Growth and Development will be more specific. Nine percent of what is on Introductory Psychology CLEP exam is directly related to Human Growth and Development, but much of the rest of it is also indirectly related.
  3. Introduction to Educational Psychology is approximately 20% material that may be similar to what will be on the Introductory Psychology CLEP exam, but the material on Introduction to Educational Psychology will be more specific. Eleven percent of what is on the Introductory Psychology CLEP exam is directly related to Introduction to Educational Psychology, but much of the rest of it is also indirectly related.
  4. DSST Fundamentals of Counseling is 28% material that may be similar to what you will find in the Introductory Psychology CLEP exam. Approximately 15% of the Introductory Psychology CLEP will be relevant to the DSST test.
  5. DSST Lifespan Developmental Psychology is 60% material that may be similar to what will be on the Introductory Psychology CLEP exam. Nine percent of what is on the Introductory Psychology CLEP exam is directly related to the DSST.

If you need to pass the Introductory Psychology CLEP exam and any of these other tests, we recommend you take them in this order (removing tests you do not wish to take):

  1. Introductory Psychology CLEP
  2. Human Growth and Development CLEP
  3. Lifespan Developmental Psychology DSST
  4. Fundamentals of Counseling DSST
  5. Introduction to Educational Psychology CLEP
  6. Social Sciences and History CLEP

Generally, we recommend that students take the most specific tests first because that will ensure excellence on a portion of future broader tests and because much information will not apply when transitioning from a broad to a specific exam. In this case, however, since many students will not have taken any psychology classes, we think it best to take the Introductory Psychology CLEP exam early because it will lay a groundwork for other knowledge to be learned for other CLEP and DSST exams.

The MyCollege Study Plan

  1. Begin by taking the first Peterson's practice test and studying the answers. If you score 80%, skip to step 5. If 70%, skip to step 4.
  2. Read the REA study book and other textbooks you are using. 
  3. Take your second Peterson's practice test, studying the answers. If 80%, skip to step 5.
  4. Use SpeedyPrep flashcards.
  5. Take your third Peterson's practice test, studying the answers. If you score less than 80%, return to step 4.
  6. Take your test.

*We cannot guarantee that you will pass if you follow this study guide, but it will increase your chances greatly and help you to thoroughly learn the material. If you want a guarantee of passing, SpeedyPrep's flashcards and video lectures can help you.

Example Questions Answers

  1. Neurons are the type of cell that the brain is made of.
  2. Developmental Psychology is a branch of psychology that shows how humans grow and change as they age. 
  3. Behavioral Psychology focuses on human actions and responses.
  4. Classical Conditioning was demonstrated in an experiment by Pavlov when he taught dogs to salivate at the ringing of a bell.
  5. Eight Months is when Piaget showed that infants begin to understand that despite something not being visible it still exists. 

How Do I Take It in High School?

If you attempt to take the Introductory Psychology CLEP exam in high school, you will likely find that you do not have a similar high school-level course that you can pair it with. If you can pair it with a high school course, then do so, and study for and take this CLEP exam afterwards. If you cannot pair it with a high school course, you should still be able to study for and pass this CLEP exam when you are not distracted by other tests, perhaps during the summer or another break.

If you are able to take a high school psychology course, we suggest you take this CLEP exam right after you pass your high school class or (if your teacher will let you) as a final exam for that class. After all, if you can pass a college level exam, you can pass a high school one, right? 

There are two ways you can study for this CLEP while you are in a high school psychology course. Either finish the high school course first and then begin using the study guide we describe above, or incorporate those study resources throughout your school year, following along at the college level with resources like REA or SpeedyPrep while you learn similar material in your high school textbooks. Likely, you will find that your high school grades improve dramatically, and you will be prepared to take the CLEP exam when you are ready to take your final exam for your high school course.



The Introductory Psychology CLEP exam is a refreshing experience for most CLEP testers. The exam covers a wide variety of valuable information, but it is not extremely difficult. Studying for it will likely provide learners with new and interesting information too. Whatever your difficulty level with this exam, if you use the resources and strategies we mention in this free study guide, you will find yourself more than ready to take your CLEP exam.