CLEP Social Sciences And History Exam

The CLEP: Social Sciences and History examination was developed by the College Board as a way for individuals to demonstrate undergraduate-level knowledge and skills in this field. 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.

To succeed on the Social Sciences and History exam, students will need to master the following topics and skills: significant terminology, facts, conventions, methodology, concepts, principles, generalizations, and theories; understanding, interpreting, and analyzing graphic, pictorial, and written material; and the application of hypotheses, concepts, theories, and principles to given data. The content of the exam is broken down as follows: history (40% of the exam) which includes United States history (17%), Western civilization (15%), world history (8%); government and political science (13%); geography (11%); economics (10%); psychology (10%); sociology (10%); and anthropology (6%). The Social Sciences and History exam consists of 120 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 Social Sciences & History Practice Questions

1. What problem after World War One made Germany susceptible to Nazi propaganda?
A: Jewish immigration
B: invasion by Austria
C: government corruption
D: massive inflation
E: surge in domestic violence

2. In sociology, what is the point of view that emphasizes social competition and change?
A: aggression perspective
B: functional perspective
C: conflict perspective
D: anarchic perspective
E: division perspective

3. In Congress, what is it called when debate is immediately ended and a vote is held?
A: filibuster
B: cloture
C: egress
D: divination
E: motion

4. In which type of society do machines perform the labor previously performed by people?
A: horticultural
B: pastoral
C: agricultural
D: postmodern
E: industrial

5. The economic system in which the means of production are owned by the state is known as _____.
A: democracy
B: nationalism
C: capitalism
D: jingoism
E: socialism

6. The Glorious Revolution in England secured _____ from persecution.
A: Protestants
B: Anglicans
C: Catholics
D: Jews
E: Muslims

7. What is the sociological name for the family into which a person is born?
A: extended family
B: family of procreation
C: family of orientation
D: nuclear family
E: family of man

8. In order to be confirmed, Supreme Court justices must be approved by the _____.
A: House of Representatives
B: President
C: Chief Justice
D: Congress
E: Senate

9. Which branch of sociology maintains that individuals will acquire their prejudices in the same way that they acquire other cultural mores?
A: cultural pluralism
B: institutionalized discrimination
C: symbolic interactionism
D: self-fulfilling prophecy
E: ethnic conformity

10. The French philosophes based their political ideology on the example of _____.
A: Scotland
B: Greece and Rome
C: Austria
D: United States
E: England

CLEP Social Sciences & History Answer Key

1. D. The astronomical rate of inflation made life extremely difficult for the German middle class.
2. C. Conflict perspective suggests that organized sport has become a substitute for open conflict in civilized society.
3. B. The supporters of a bill will often call for cloture to head off any potentially damaging debate.
4. E. Marxist sociologists theorize that industrial societies tend to have alienated citizens.
5. E. The political form of socialism is communism.
6. A. Catholics could still be persecuted for their beliefs after the Glorious Revolution.
7. C. An individual’s family of orientation is his or her primary model for behavior, language, and mores.
8. D. Supreme Court justices are appointed by the President and approved by Congress.
9. C. Symbolic interactionism was largely developed by George Herbert Mead.
10. B. The philosophes of the eighteenth century looked to political philosophers like Aristotle and Plato for guidance.

CLEP Social Sciences and History Exam Practice Questions

CLEP Social Sciences And History Test Breakdown