Review of CLEP college board study guides – for Great CLEP scores!

There are a number of study resources for CLEP, some are free and others cost very little. But the main objective here is to ensure that you are prepared for your CLEP College Board exams in the shortest time and are able to score well in the exams.

With this in mind, I will go over a number of CLEP study resources and then share with you an overall test preparation strategy.

CLEP Official Guide 2020

Summary: The Official Guide from the creators of CLEP tests at College Board.
< $25
Pros: Inexpensive and covers details of all the CLEP exams from the source.
: This is not a complete study guide but covers a broad overview of CLEP testing and individual subjects.
(YES, NO, n/a): n/a

Overall Rank: 4 (Out of total 5)

This is the official guide from the creators of CLEP College Board examinations. In addition to providing an overview of each of the CLEP subject exams, this guide also has testing tips and practice questions for all the CLEP exams. The guide is updated yearly and the next year’s guide is available from a last few months of the prior year. It is therefore a great place to start getting familiar with taking the CLEP.

Summary: Free site with lots of information on CLEP subjects, test taking tips and practice tests
Pros: Free, written in simple layman terms, quite comprehensive and written by an expert CLEP test taker.
: Does not cover all the lessons, refers to many outside sources such as textbooks and other tutorials.
(YES, NO, n/a): n/a

Overall Rank: 4 (Out of total 5)

This is a site created by Justin who used to be in the Marine Corps. What I like the most about his site is how simple and user-friendly it is. Even his study tips and guides are written in a friendly and layman terms, so that literally anyone going through his site will become comfortable taking the CLEP exams!

Upon signing for his email newsletter, you will first receive his free study tips and strategies guide. It is certainly a must-read and thoroughly enjoyable! There is also a thorough description/ guide on most of the CLEP exams here, along with practice questions to test your readiness for the CLEP.


Summary: Monthly subscription-based study guides and exclusive community
$20 per month
Pros: Question and answer flashcards for easy studying, and a helpful student community of CLEP test takers.

Cons: Cost recurs monthly on a subscription basis
(YES, NO, n/a): 30-day money back guarantee

Overall Rank: 5 (Out of total 5)

InstantCert is a monthly subscription-based study guide and an online CLEP test-taking student community. The study guide itself is in the form of flashcards which are very helpful for memorization and retention before the exams! InstantCert carefully prepares the flashcards to cover the subject matter of the test curriculum. Many students have certified that the InstantCert materials have helped them pass and to get good scores in the CLEP exams.

Additionally, there is a student forum with an Exam Feedback discussion that is reserved for all active subscribers of InstantCert. Here, students share their scores, how easy or difficult they found the test to be, the study resources used by the student and so much more. I’ve used this forum in the past and this a very helpful community of CLEP test takers who are guaranteed to bring you greater success with your CLEP exams.

Khan Academy

Summary: Online courses, videos and quizzes for many school and college subjects

Pros: Very user-friendly and interactive, quizzes to test progress
Cons: Not specific to CLEP curriculum but broad subject courses
(YES, NO, n/a): n/a

Overall Rank: 3.5 (Out of total 5)


Many CLEP test takers use Khan Academy courses to familiarize themselves with the knowledge and concepts behind the CLEP subject exams. Khan Academy does not provide any guides or courses for taking the CLEP but the overall subjects are well covered with many tutorial videos and quizzes to really understand the material. So starting with these courses will help solidify your foundation on the overall concepts.

Overall Strategy

Using all the above resources, I would like to suggest a strategy for your CLEP College Board test preparation:

  1. Start with CLEP Official Guide 2020 for an overview of all the CLEP exams.
  2. Then go to (FCP) and get the free Study tips
  3. Then go over the Exam Difficulty List on and then decide on which exams you want to take
  4. Then for your CLEP Exam Choices, see the CLEP Exam Study Guides on FCP for a detailed write-up on each exam
  5. Though not specifically designed for CLEP exams, you can still take the Khan Academy Courses for your subjects to get an understanding of the overall subject matter
  6. Signup to InstantCert and go over the forum discussions in Specific Exam Feedback – InstantCert Subscribers ONLY
  7. Gather your Study Resources – using the Study feedback in the InstantCert Forum and FCP guide’s reference textbooks and resources
  8. A few weeks before the exams:
    1. Study the InstantCert Flashcards
    2. Write all Practice tests from CLEP Official Guide 2020
    3. Write Practice Tests from
    4. In case you want further practice, get the CLEP Official Subject Guides for your test. Many students have noted that the practice questions in the CLEP Official Subject Guides are much harder than the actual test.
  9. Review and revise again the InstantCert flash cards a few days before your CLEP exams
  10. On the day before the CLEP exam, re-read the free FCP Study Tips for overall test-taking readiness 

Though the steps above are many, they will all appear quite simple when you actually start implementing them. Being well organized and prepared for your exams will give you peace of mind and maximize your scores on your CLEP tests. If you would like to modify or adjust the above test strategy to something more suitable to you, please go ahead and make the changes in your notes or workbook. What I’ve provided above is just a broad overview of what I’ve found to work well for me.

I hope you enjoyed this product review, and if you have any questions about the CLEP study guides or the product review, please leave your questions or comments below.

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10 thoughts on “Review of CLEP college board study guides – for Great CLEP scores!”

  1. What a great idea – a site gearing towards helping students to pass their exams. There is no better feeling than going into an exam confident and prepared, and they say it is always better to know a bit more than you are supposed to in any given subject.

    Your study tips make for a great checklist to go through for any exams and I am going to make of copy of these for my daughter, so she can get some ideas on the preparation that it takes to get ready for an exam.

    • Thank you Michel, I’m glad I could be of help :))

      My best wishes to both of you and may your daughter make both you and herself proud!!

  2. Thanks for sharing this post on the review of the CLEP COLLEGE board study guides, my kid is planning on going for a CLEP college exam so he wants to get so prepared well for the exam am gonna get the guide for him,it’s very affordable and I know it will really help him during the examination, thanks 

  3. thanks for  sharing this post on the how-to solve the CLEP college examinations and the study guides, am planning on writing the CLEP examination very soon so I need a guide on how they set their questions and answers with this post I think am gonna get it since the registration is very affordable , thanks 

    • Registering for the CLEP is the most cost-effective way to earn college credits. Go for it! And let me know in one of the posts if you have any questions.

  4. I enjoyed reading this review- what a great overview of some of the best places to prep for college board exams. I’ve been out of school for almost six years now. Had I been aware of these places beforehand, I certainly would have tried one of them to prep for the CLEP.

    I’ve heard of a couple of them in the last year or so. My favorite one is Khan Academy- I know some people who are enrolled in Khan Academy, and they like the prep materials.

    Thanks for posting an excellent review- keep it up!

  5. Great review

    I always used study guides during my high school years and they helped a lot with improving my grades because they had practice questions just like the CLEP Official Guide 2020.
    I do not like the one like InstaCert where you have to pay a monthly subscription. This could be costly for some students.

    • That’s good to know Thabo. I can see why a monthly subscription, even if it is a small one, may not work for someone.

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