Thursday, January 26, 2017

Preparing for the CLEP or AP Government Exam

I am reading the book Collins College Outlines: Introduction to American Government.


My daughter has passed several CLEP exams which grant college credit. Soon she will be taking the American Government CLEP exam.  This year has been a very different school year in that it is the first time I feel like I am teaching to the test.

Over the past six years my daughter has learned a lot about many history, art, government and economics topics through reading engaging books and hands-on activities. This year, she is documenting her knowledge by passing CLEP exams. In preparation for each for each exam she has spent approximately six weeks reviewing material and filling in gaps.

After she decides to take an exam she first takes a practice exam from the CLEP Study Guide. Next, we work together to identify any weak areas. Then she reviews previously read materials and we work to find new materials that help with the review.


In helping her find resources to study for the Government exam I came across the book Collins College Outlines: Introduction to American Government and I am really enjoying reading it. The book is part of a series that is marketed as helping students to prepare for AP exams. In general, AP exams and CLEP exams cover the same material, but the university decides which one, if any, or both, to accept. CLEP exams can be taken at any time of year, by anyone, but AP exams are only open to high school students. My daughter is in the unique position to be eligible for both exams.

Getting back to the book, since it is written for the general audience as a review for exam preparation it is mostly unbiased, a little dry, but very informative. It covers the creation of American government, federalism, mass media, interest groups, elections, congress, bureaucracy, civil liberties among other topics. My daughter and I are both familiar with many of the topics in the book but like they way it defines basic terms and explains the roles and interactions between groups. The book is meant for reviewing. It doesn't go too in depth into any topic, but gives enough information that can lead to further research by an interested reader.

Before reading this book we read the Uncle Eric Series by Richard J Maybury, The Five Thousand Year Leap, The Freedom Answer Book and others that can be found on the History Page. This book expands on that knowledge and we are drawing many connections between the book and current events.

I'm confident that after reading this book she will be prepared for yet another CLEP exam. Although this year has been a little less mind expanding than years past, it is really exciting to see how much she has learned by reading interesting books and hands-on activities. Homeschooling really does work!

For more great educational activities check out these blog hops.

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