CLEP U.S. History II: 1865 To The Present Exam

The CLEP: U.S. History II 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.

To succeed on the U.S. History II exam, students will need to master the following topics: American expansionism; amendments to the Constitution and their interpretations by the Supreme Court; the changing nature of agricultural life; the development of political parties; regulatory and welfare-state legislation; intellectual and political liberalism and conservatism; long-term demographic trends; economic growth and development; changes in occupational structure, the nature of work and labor organization; immigration and the history of racial and ethnic minorities; urbanization and industrialization; the causes and consequences of the major wars; the movements and figures in American arts and letters; and the history of women and the family. By topic, the content of the exam is broken down as follows: political institutions, behavior, and public policy (35% of the exam); social developments (25%); economic developments (10%); cultural and intellectual developments (15%); and diplomacy and international relations (15%). By era, the content of the exam is broken down as follows: 1865 to 1914 (30%); and 1915 to the present (70%). The U.S. History II 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 U.S. History II Practice Questions

1. What did the Sixteenth Amendment establish?
A: women’s suffrage
B: the Department of Education
C: income tax
D: prohibition
E: direct election of senators

2. Which of the following words characterizes American foreign policy between 1901 and 1920?
A: schizophrenic
B: isolationist
C: apathetic
D: nationalistic
E: disjointed

3. What was the intention of the grandfather clause issued in the 1890s?
A: To prevent non-whites from voting
B: To reduce the voting age to 18
C: To provide health care to senior citizens
D: To avoid conflict between blacks and whites
E: To restrict Native Americans to the reservations.

4. Why were the radio broadcasts of Father Coughlin controversial?
A: They called Franklin Roosevelt a socialist.
B: They were broadcast from Nazi Germany.
C: They used obscene language.
D: They advocated socialism.
E: They were often anti-Semitic.

5. Which of the following statements best expresses the philosophy of Booker T. Washington?
A: African-Americans should acquire their rights by force if necessary.
B: African-Americans should wait and allow rights to be granted them over time.
C: African-Americans do not deserve equal rights.
D: African-Americans should form their own nation in the western United States.
E: African-Americans should help themselves rather than looking for help from others.

6. What was the Democratic response to the oil shortages of the 1970s?
A: an invasion of Iran
B: an emphasis on energy conservation and price controls
C: an embargo against Saudi Arabia
D: a massive shutdown of industry
E: a filibuster on the floor of the Senate

7. What did the Truman Doctrine of 1947 proclaim?
A: The United States would funnel money to anti-royalists in Spain.
B: The United States would help any country struggling for freedom.
C: The United States would abstain from military action.
D: The United States would support the Castro regime in Cuba.
E: The United States would join NATO.

8. What was the name given to the enormous American investment in Western Europe after World War II?
A: Marshall Plan
B: NATO
C: MacArthur Program
D: League of Nations
E: United Nations

9. Which of the following New Deal programs was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court?
A: Federal Emergency Relief Administration
B: Tennessee Valley Authority
C: Works Progress Administration
D: National Recovery Administration
E: Temporary National Economic Committee

10. What was the purpose of the Roosevelt Corollary?
A: To prevent European intervention in Latin America
B: To safeguard American interests in Africa
C: To interrupt trade between India and China
D: To establish American supremacy in the Balkans
E: To prevent Germany from dominating Southeast Asia

CLEP U.S. History II Answer Key

1. C. In Pollock v. Farmer’s Loan (1895), the Supreme Court had ruled the federal income tax unconstitutional.
2. D. During this period, the agenda of the United States was to protect its economic interests and expand its influence.
3. A. After establishing extremely strict voting requirements, states declared that individuals whose relatives had voted before 1867 could automatically vote.
4. E. Father (Charles) Coughlin was one of the more popular right-wing speakers during the 1930s.
5. E. In contrast to W.E.B. DuBois, Washington advocated working for equal rights within the preexisting system.
6. B. The 1973 oil crisis began when the OPEC nations declared they would no longer trade with nations that had supported Israel during the Yom Kippur War.
7. B. The Truman Doctrine was meant as a warning to the Soviet Union.
8. A. The Marshall Plan is so named because it was proposed by Secretary of State George C. Marshall.
9. D. The National Recovery Administration was Roosevelt’s most wide-ranging attempt to revive the American economy.
10. A. The Roosevelt Corollary declared America’s right to defend its interests in Latin America.

CLEP US History 2 Practice Questions

CLEP U.S. History II: 1865 To The Present Test Breakdown