Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
Excellent CLEP American Literature study tool
on March 14, 2015
American Literature was my 10th CLEP test and was in a way one of the most challenging so far due to the enormously broad amount of material that one is required to be familiar with Just In Case a particular passage from that material is on the exam. The difficulty with the American Literature Clep is that it isn't simply knowing the titles of of the main pieces of work by around 3 dozen different authors but you may also be asked about specific events or characters in those works, you will also be provided an excerpt from various pieces of work and be expected to recognize its author.
I see some reviews say this is the only book you need to pass the Clep (I'm guessing they mean a 50 or higher though some schools might require as high as 65) but its not worth risking it considering the cost of the exam & proctoring and having to wait 6 months if you do not score high enough. Also people that took Honors & AP English classes in school are likely to be in a much better position starting out
I found this book to be a more fleshed out version of REA's old 2009 study guide / though there was some topics covered in one that wasn't in the other & vice versa. I'm not sure how this would compare to REAs new 2014 edition. The humor of the book is ok, but definitely becoming very dated with some old jokes in there. Actually for the first half of the book or so the humor sometimes is more distracting than helpful but seems to become much more subtle through the later half. Still the read is about as easy it can get.
Ultimately for preparing for the test I recommend this book, REAs online practice test, Peterson's online practice test, & using Spark Notes (google it, its free). For Spark Notes I think the only part that really is needed is reading the Context, Character, & Questions section and skipping the chapter breakdowns. This really helps cement the works and characters with the authors in your mind.