Passing a College Level Examination Program exam, or CLEP exam, is a useful way to show your knowledge and understanding of an academic subject and bypass some undergraduate college classes. According to the College Board website, the chemistry exam covers materials that you would learn in a one-year general chemistry college course. To pass the Chemistry CLEP test, you should know what the test covers, and give yourself plenty of to study and take practice tests.

Chemistry CLEP Format

It is a good idea to know the format of the Chemistry CLEP exam before taking the test. The College Board shares that the test contains about 75 multiple-choice questions and you have 90 minutes to complete the test. Instead of noting your answers on a paper test sheet, you’ll most likely take the test on a computer. When you take the Chemistry CLEP exam, you’ll find a periodic table of elements and an online scientific calculator within the testing software that you use.

Chemistry CLEP Topics

The Chemistry CLEP exam tests your understanding of nine chemistry-related topics. If you have a good understanding of these topics and know how to apply them, you’ll have a better chance of passing the exam. The College Board states that 20 percent of the test covers topics surrounding structures of matter like chemical bonding, atomic theories and atomic structures. About 19 percent of the exam tests your knowledge of topics surrounding states of matter, like liquids, solids and gases. Twelve percent of the test covers types of reactions, including the formation of covalent bonds, oxidation-reduction reactions and precipitation reactions. Equations and stoichiometry-related topics make up 10 percent of the exam, and seven percent covers topics surrounding equilibrium and quantitative treatment. The remaining topics that you’ll find on the Chemistry CLEP exam include thermodynamics, experimental chemistry and descriptive chemistry.


If you are in high school, a good way to study for the Chemistry CLEP exam is to take an advanced placement, or AP, chemistry class at your school. The topics covered in this advanced class will help prepare you for the CLEP exam. Depending on your class, your chemistry teacher may offer additional study materials to help you prepare for the CLEP exam. If you are not in an AP class or are a high school graduate, use a chemistry-related CLEP workbook to help you study for the exam. Supplement the workbook with a high school AP chemistry textbook so you can get an in-depth look at topics that give you difficulty. The College Board, which creates the CLEP exams, offers workbooks and study guides that you can purchase or checkout from a public, high school or college library. If you are in the military, you may have access to free Chemistry CLEP materials through your installation’s education center or a Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support, or DANTES, test center.

Practice Tests

Testing centers generally charge you to take the Chemistry CLEP test. If you don’t pass, there is a six-month waiting period and another testing fee to re-take the Chemistry CLEP test. Before you take the official chemistry exam, take a practice exam to test your skills and knowledge, and learn which chemistry topics give you the most difficulty. Continue to study and review the areas that give you the most difficulty until you become proficient. Then, retake the practice CLEP test to see how you’ve improved. Keep in mind that passing scores vary by educational institution, so check with your college or school of interest to learn what it considers a passing score for the Chemistry CLEP exam before you take an official test.

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