/American Literature
American Literature 2018-02-06T01:37:23+00:00


The American Literature CLEP exam tests individuals on material that is taught in a survey course at the college level. It deals with the prose and poetry written in the United States from colonial times to the present. It is primarily a test of knowledge about literary works—their content, background, and authors—but also requires an ability to interpret poetry, fiction and nonfiction prose, as well as a familiarity with the terminology used by literary critics and historians.

Fiction and poetry are emphasized on the examination and the exam assumes that the test taker has a wide appreciation for American Literature.

This test contains approximately 100 questions to be answered in 90 minutes.

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Knowledge and Skills Required

Questions on the American Literature exam require test takers to demonstrate one or more of the following abilities in the approximate proportions indicated.

  • Knowledge of particular literary works—their authors, characters, plots, style, setting, themes, etc. (about 45 to 60 percent of the exam)
  • Ability to understand and interpret short poems or excerpts from long poems and prose works presented in the test (about 25 to 40 percent of the exam)
  • Knowledge of the historical and social settings of specific works, their relations to other literary works and to literary traditions, and the influences on their authors (about 10 to 15 percent of the exam)
  • Familiarity with critical terms, verse forms, and literary devices (about 5 to 10 percent of the exam)

Exam Breakdown

The subject matter of the American Literature exam is drawn from the following chronological periods. The percentages indicate the approximate percentage of exam questions from each period.

  • 15% The Colonial and Early National Period (Beginnings-1830)
  • 25% The Romantic Period (1830-1870)
  • 20% The Period of Realism and Naturalism (1870-1910)
  • 25% The Modernist Period (1910-1945)
  • 15% The Contemporary Period (1945-Present)
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User Test Results for the American Literature CLEP Exam

223 users have submitted their test results to us since March 2016

215 (96.2%) of those users have reported an ACE recommended passing score

The table below represents our users most recent test results for the American Literature CLEP exam after using Credits4Less.

Note: The date shown below represents the date that they reported their score to us.

Feb 19, 2018Pass56
Feb 17, 2018Pass65
Feb 14, 2018Pass75
Feb 13, 2018Pass64
Feb 3, 2018Pass52

Our Study Guide

Credits4Less’ American Literature study guide will leave you fully prepared to pass your American Literature CLEP exam. Our study guide is broken down to match the exact make up of the actual CLEP exam with each unit containing a set of cheat sheet notes and dozens of practice questions.

1. Study guides that match the actual exam’s breakdown

2. Units that contain cheat sheet notes and practice questions

3. Hundreds of practice questions

4. Review your answers and learn from your mistakes

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