CLEP College Algebra Exam

The CLEP: College Algebra examination was developed by the College Board as a way for individuals to demonstrate undergraduate-level knowledge and skills in this subject. Almost three thousand American colleges give credit to students who pass a CLEP exam; for this reason, many college-bound students take a CLEP exam in order to skip over introductory courses.

The content of the exam is broken down as follows: algebraic operations (25% of the exam); equations and inequalities (25%); functions and their properties (30%); and number systems and operations (20%). The algebraic operations subsection covers the following topics: factoring and expanding polynomials; operations with algebraic expressions; operations with exponents; and the properties of logarithms. The equations and inequalities subsection covers the following topics: linear equations and inequalities; quadratic equations and inequalities; absolute value equations and inequalities; systems of equations and inequalities; and exponential and logarithmic equations. The functions subsection covers the following topics: definition and interpretation; graphical, numerical, symbolic, and verbal representations; domain and range; algebra of functions; graphs and their properties; and inverse functions. Finally, the number systems and operations subsection covers the following topics: real numbers; complex numbers; sequences and series; factorials and the binomial theorem; and determinants of 2-by-2 matrices. The College Algebra exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within 90 minutes.


After the exam is complete, an unofficial score report will be made available. This score report will include the total score on a scale of 20 to 80; the American Council on Education recommends that students get credit if they score 50 or above. The total score is the raw score (number of correct answers) adjusted according to the difficulty of the exam version. The College Board does not distinguish between unanswered questions and questions answered incorrectly, so test-takers are encouraged to respond to every question. Some of the questions on the exam are pre-test questions, which are used to develop future versions of the exam and do not contribute to the raw score. It is impossible for test-takers to determine which questions are pre-test questions. The CLEP exams are administered in both computer and paper formats at over a thousand locations throughout the world. To register for an exam, visit the College Board website.

CLEP College Algebra Practice Questions

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CLEP College Algebra Answer Key

1. A. Isolate the values for y and y2, and determine the values that make the equation true for these variables.
2. C. This problem can be solved in reverse by mentally applying FOIL to the answer choices.
3. B. Distribute the 8 across the parentheses before moving on.
4. D. Determine the value for P and factor in the given subscripts.
5. E. This problem can be simplified to 11 x 4 = 44.
6. D. X-intercepts are the places where the parabola passes through the x-axis.
7. A. This problem can be solved in reverse by mentally applying FOIL to the answer choices.
8. C. Distribute the 2 across the parentheses before joining the two variables on the same side of the equation.
9. B. Remember that the multiplicative inverse is the number that when multiplied by the given number results in 1.
10. E. The range of a function is all of the values that can be produced by that function.

CLEP College Algebra Test Breakdown