Western Civilization I & II CLEP Exam Free Study Guide

The Western Civilization I & II CLEP exams are good tests to take together because one draws heavily upon the background given in the first, and both require similar studying techniques and resources. These tests are fundamental for an understanding of the history of western civilization, and both will not only help you to earn your degree, but will also teach you more than you expect.


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The Questions You Are Asking

HOW HARD are the Western Civilization I & II CLEP exams?

The two tests are average and slightly above average difficulty respectively. On InstantCert's website, 95% of reporting users for Western Civilization I passed the test, while only 90% of reporting users for Western Civilization II passed the test. Another test-taker ranks them each as 3 out of 5 for difficulty, and I got a good score on each CLEP myself, but studied for at least a month before passing each.

The Western Civilization I & II CLEP exams will challenge you, but they are very passable. I think most students will find that they need to take some time to study so that they can internalize the large number of facts, but thankfully the facts begin to build onto one another as different elements connect each-to-each and eventually help to give hardy-studying students a big-picture perspective of Western Civilization

ARE THERE PRACTICE TESTS? 

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

WILL THIS EXAM FIT INTO MY DEGREE PLAN?

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

WHAT ARE THE EASIEST STUDY RESOURCES TO USE FOR THE Western Civilization I & II CLEP EXAMs?

  • We recommend College Board's study guides because they will show you exactly what each test is about ($10 apiece). 
  • 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 apiece).
  • The REA Western Civ I & II 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 apiece).
  • 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 apiece (or $159.7 for study resources for both including two months of SpeedyPrep)

HOW CAN I SAVE MONEY ON STUDY RESOURCES FOR MY CLEP EXAM?

 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 Western Civilization I & II CLEP Exams

I had taken world history in high school the year before, and I was two months into my 11th grade year. Western Civilization I took me one month of flashcards, the REA book, and practice tests to study for and pass. But halfway through the next CLEP exam we found out my mom had cancer, and we relocated to Iowa for the winter so she could get treatments. 

She was eventually cured, and I passed the Western Civilization II CLEP exam after about seven weeks of study. I used the same tactics I had been using--flashcards, REA book, practice tests, and researching anything I had never heard of. 

I passed Western Civilization I with a 67.

I passed Western Civilization II with a 71.

THINGS I LEARNED

  1. This is more of a personal lesson, but I learned that it was possible to study for CLEP exams while terrible things were happening in my life. The tests even helped to distract me from what was happening with my mother's treatments. 
  2. I learned that you should take Western Civilization I first and then Western Civilization II second, preferably close to each other. Wester Civ II builds on Western Civ I--things you learned in the first one will help you to learn the second more quickly. 
  3. I learned that my faithful study strategy--Peterson's practice tests, flashcards, REA, and Google--still worked for a test that I knew only a little about. The practice schedule I had created helped me to be successful. 

YOU WILL HEAR ALL ABOUT THE BEST CLEP STUDY RESOURCES AND WAYS TO SAVE MONEY ON COLLEGE. YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY. WE PROMISE.


Western Civilization I & II CLEP Exam Details 

Together, the Western Civ I & II CLEP exams deal with information usually covered in a freshman western civilization introduction seminar course. The information is not often deep because there is so much to cover, and while students will need to have comprehensive knowledge of the information covered, they are not usually called on to have strong opinions on the subject matter. The focus is on knowledge, rather than formation of arguments. Likewise, in the CLEP exams, the focus will be on information retention and one's ability to understand how different events caused other events. 

The details below apply to both CLEP exams. 

Length: 120 questions

Time90 minutes

ACE Recommended Score: 50

ACE Recommended Credit: 3

 

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

Western Civilization I & II CLEP Skills

Western Civilization I CLEP Subject Matter

Western Civilization II CLEP Subject Matter

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


College Acceptance Examples

  • Thomas Edison State University requires a score of 50 each and accepts them as HIS-101 and HIS-102, two 3 credit classes.
  • Liberty University requires a score of 50 each and accepts them as HIEU 201 and 202, two 3 credit classes. 
  • University of Phoenix requires a score of 50 and accepts them for 3 credits each

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. 
  •  Textbooks for Western Civ I and Western Civ II - 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 Western Civilization I & II CLEP exams share overlap with several other tests:

  1. Social Sciences and History CLEP contains 15% that matches 100% of what is covered in the two Western Civilization CLEP exams.
  2. US History I CLEP contains 15% that may match 10% of Western Civilization I and approximately 20% that may match 25% of Western Civilization II.
  3. US History II CLEP contains approximately 15% that may match 15% of Western Civilization II.
  4. Art of the Western World DSST contains 100% that may match 5% of each of the Western Civilization I and II exams.
  5. Introduction to World World Religions DSST contains 88% that may match 30% of Western Civilization I and 5% of Western Civilization II. 
  6. Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union DSST contains 100% that may match 5% of the Western Civilization II exam.
  7. The Civil War and Reconstruction DSST contains 10% that may match 5% of the Western Civilization II exam.

If you need to pass the Western Civilization I and II exams and any of these other tests, we recommend you take them in this order (barring tests you do not wish to take):

  1. The Civil War and Reconstruction DSST
  2. US History I CLEP
  3. US History II CLEP 
  4. Art of the Western World DSST
  5. Introduction to World Religions DSST
  6. Western Civilization I CLEP
  7. Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union DSST
  8. Western Civilization II CLEP
  9. Social Sciences and History CLEP

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, we recommend you take Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union DSST between the two Western Civ CLEP exams because it has information that will apply to the latter but not the former. Tests 2-5, though, will may applicable to both.


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.


How Do I Take It in High School?

If you attempt to take the Western Civilization I & II CLEP exams in high school, you will likely be able to pair them with a tenth grade history class that most students take. However, while this class will give you a brief overview of western civilization, you may find that your knowledge will not be enough to pass this test.

In deciding how to plan for this test in high school, make sure that you take the high school level class first--it will give you the grounding you need to start adding the facts you learn studying for the CLEP exams. Of course, you could also study for both at the same time by looking more deeply into the subjects you learn about in your high school course. This will help you to improve your high school grades and to be ready for the CLEP exam.

You will likely come to a point in your high school course where you pass the year 1648, at which point Western Civilization I gives way to Western Civilization II. If this time comes near your Christmas break, we recommend you study for and take Western Civilization I over Christmas holiday and save the second Western Civilization CLEP for the summer--perhaps your teacher will even let you use it as your final exam. 


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Conclusion

The Western Civilization I and II CLEP exams are common tests for students, but they may provide a small challenge for students who want to pass them. However, with the proper application of study resources, a strong study schedule, and integration with other CLEP and DSST exams, these two tests should be very passable for test-takers.