Today, our fourteen-year-old homeschooled daughter passed the Chemistry CLEP with a score of 57/80, which is good for up to eight college credit hours at many universities. As with the previous Biology CLEP, this win is made even nicer by the fact that some of those credit hours include lab segments. As you know, lab courses can represent an inordinate amount of time, effort and schedule juggling. For those lab courses which are off the primary degree track, this additional time and effort can detract from the major focus.
Both she and her brother, who passed the same test about five years ago, prepared by studying a chemistry text and an older version of the REA CLEP study guide, the latter of which came with a supplemental CD. The newer version of the REA CLEP guide is available from Amazon here. This new version appears to be very similar to the older version we have. We encountered many errors in the older version, and reviewers for the new version report errors also.
Our chemistry text is from the seventies, and has different terminology than is currently tested on the CLEP. Because of this difference, and considering the relatively thin coverage of various topics in the REA guide, our daughter wanted additional study resources. First, she made heavy use of the Khan Academy chemistry material. Next, she selected and used the Sterling CLEP Chemistry Practice Questions book, and focused on the areas where she felt she needed additional work. She also took all the Sterling diagnostic tests, which were fairly well indicative of her final score.
As always, we highly recommend that every college-bound student take advantage of the CLEP program to knock out as many lower-level courses as possible, if for no other reason than to cut down on the amount of student debt that might otherwise be incurred. And remember, each CLEP passed means fewer hours trapped in a classroom with psychotic professors and easily triggered classmates.