How Hard Is the American History CLEP Test?

The American History CLEP test is a popular option for students who are looking to earn college credit by demonstrating their knowledge of American history. But just how hard is this exam?

What is the American History CLEP Test?

The American History CLEP test is an exam that covers major historical events, figures, and themes in American history. The exam consists of 120 multiple-choice questions that must be answered in 90 minutes. The test is broken down into two sections: 70% of the questions come from the period before 1877, while the remaining 30% come from the period after 1877.

Difficulty Level

Determining the difficulty level of the American History CLEP test can be subjective because it depends on your background knowledge and preparation. However, according to recent data collected by College Board, only about half of all test-takers pass this exam. This suggests that it may be more challenging than some other CLEP exams.

Preparation Tips

To increase your chances of success on this exam, it’s important to prepare thoroughly. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Study major events and figures: Make sure you have a solid understanding of key events and figures in American history, including wars, political movements, and social changes.
  • Review primary sources: The American History CLEP test may include questions based on primary sources such as speeches or documents written by important historical figures.
  • Take practice tests: Practice tests can help you get familiar with the format and types of questions on the exam.
  • Create a study schedule: Set aside dedicated time each day or week to study for the exam and stick to your schedule.


While the American History CLEP test may be challenging, with proper preparation and study, you can increase your chances of success. Remember to review major events and figures, primary sources, and take practice tests. Best of luck on your exam!