CLEP Exams for Excellence in Literature Honors Option

In the Honors Option for Excellence in Literature, students have the option of taking a CLEP (College Level Exam Program) test at the end of the year. There are a number of exams related to literature and composition; the CLEP website offers detailed information for each one, including an overview of what is included in the test and suggested study resources. I recommend using a study resource that has practice tests, so that you will be comfortable with both form and content when you go to the testing center on test day.

Available exams

You would take only one of these first two courses, as they are similar.

College Composition

This exam assesses skills taught in most first-year college writing courses.

College Composition Modular

This exam assesses skills taught in most first-year college writing courses.

American Literature

This exam covers American literature from colonial time to the present. This would be the test to take when you finish E3, American Literature.

English Literature

This exam is concerned with major British authors and literary works. This is the test to take when you finish E4, British Literature.

Analyzing and Interpreting Literature

This exam includes questions on passages from American and British literature. This is the first CLEP exam I ever took, and it’s a good general exam you can take after doing 3-4 years of EIL.


This exam assesses knowledge of literature, art, and music and other performing arts. This is a multi-discipline exam that is best taken after several years of EIL. When I took it, I reviewed the history of both art and music.

Taking a CLEP exam is optional. If you have a student who will be studying several levels of EIL, I recommend waiting until he or she has completed at least two levels before taking any of the essay-based CLEPs. More practice is always better, because writing is a skill that improves with use.

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