Skip to main content
Blog Menu

Clep Spanish Study Guide: What It Is & How to Use It

March 29, 2023

Clep Spanish Study Guide: What It Is & How to Use It

Bloggers, journalists, and even business people are always looking for an edge. Something that will help them learn new information more quickly or retain information longer. If you’re studying Spanish and want to get a CLEP Spanish test score, a study guide may be the answer. 

What is a CLEP Spanish test? How do I use a study guide to prepare for the exam? Keep reading to find out.

How Do I Prepare for Spanish CLEP?

Spanish CLEP is a great way to earn college credit without taking a traditional Spanish class. However, before you can take the CLEP exam, you need to prepare. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Start by reviewing the topics that will be covered on the exam. The College Board website provides a detailed overview of what material will be tested.
  • Once you know what topics will be covered, begin studying by using textbooks, online resources, and/or apps specifically designed for Spanish CLEP prep.
  • As you study, make sure to focus on grammar, vocabulary, and conversation skills. These are all areas that will be tested on the exam.
  • In addition to studying the material, it’s also important to familiarize yourself with the format of the exam. Practice tests are a great way to do this.
  • Finally, don’t forget to register for the exam! You can do so through the College Board website.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to success on Spanish CLEP!

Of course, preparing for the Spanish CLEP starts with a good understanding of the essentials. Familiarize yourself with the basics by signing up for Spanish lessons – and check out the many benefits of doing so by watching the video below:

Is the Spanish CLEP Test Hard?

Whether or not the Spanish CLEP test is hard depends on a variety of factors, including your level of Spanish proficiency and your ability to study effectively. 

The test covers a wide range of topics, from grammar to vocabulary to culture, so it’s important to be familiar with all aspects of the language before taking the exam. If you’re a native speaker or have advanced proficiency in Spanish, you may find the test relatively easy. 

However, if your Spanish skills are basic or intermediate, you may find the test more challenging. In addition, your ability to study effectively can also make a big difference. 

If you can focus and retain information well, you may have an easier time than someone who struggles with focus and concentration.

CLEP Spanish Study Guides Free Options

According to the College Board, about 33% of all colleges and universities in the United States offer credit for passing a CLEP exam. This can save you a lot of money and time, since you can earn up to 12 credits by passing just one exam. 

The Spanish Language CLEP is a great option for anyone who wants to save time and money on their college degree. But where can you find free study guides? 

Here are a few options:

  • The College Board website offers a free downloadable study guide, as well as practice questions and sample essays.
  • offers a CLEP Spanish Language course that includes video lessons, quizzes and a practice exam.
  • Passport Language offers a free online Spanish course that covers all of the material on theCLEP Spanish Language exam.
  • Military members can access free study materials through the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center website.
  • The Open Educational Resources Library offers a variety of free textbooks that can be used to prepare for the CLEP Spanish Language exam.

With so many free resources available, there’s no excuse not to earn college credit for your proficient level of Spanish! Be sure to take advantage of these resources and ACE your next CLEP exam!

Best Spanish CLEP Study Guide Free Tips: What You Need to Know

With all the different types of exams out there to test and evaluate foreign language proficiency, we can get lost in the different acronyms: ACTFL, AP, SAT II, etc. It’s hard to know which types of tests will be most useful to you. And which ones best align with your education goals. For those of you who are considering college, the CLEP is something to consider. You will need to choose between the Spanish Language CLEP, or the Spanish with Writing CLEP, both offered by the College Board.

1) What is this exam, and what does CLEP mean?

C-L-E-P is short for College Level Examination Program.

This exam is offered by the College Board. And it’s open to students of differing ages, including high school aged students. 

It covers Level 1 and Level 2 Spanish, evaluating if the test taker has achieved a proficiency equivalent to taking 1 year of college-level courses (Level 1) or two years (Level 2). 

You can take a version of the exam with writing, or one without. For the Spanish Language CLEP, there are three sections to this exam which take a total of 90 minutes. The first two cover different aspects of Listening Comprehension: short conversations, dialogues, and narratives. The third section is Reading Comprehension. This tests your understanding and language skills as they apply to correctly completing sentences and analyzing the themes. 

If you are taking the Spanish with Writing CLEP, there are 2 listening sections, 1 reading section, and 2 writing tasks, which take a total of 110 minutes. Listening activities can encompass anything from ads to radio shows, and the practical use of Spanish in everyday life. Accents can be from any Spanish-speaking country. And your listening comprehension will be tested in the questions included in each section. Writing topics can be random and are meant to gauge your written fluency in the Spanish language. 

Check with your college in question if you are not sure which of the two is best suited to you.

2) Why should I take it?

CLEP exams help students who already have a foundation in the subject save money while earning their degree. If you are already experienced in Spanish and planning to continue it at a college level, scoring well on the Spanish CLEP can earn you college credit. CLEP exams are especially valuable for high school students who are seeking to boost their college applications. Demonstrating proficiency in Spanish and backing it up with the CLEP Spanish test results can enhance your application. Especially in a competitive college environment. 

This may also help you to reach more advanced courses, more quickly. To have an idea of what the test would cover, and how to target your test preparation, reviewing a college course book for Spanish 1 and 2 can give you an idea of the type of materials covered and be a valuable resource in your studies. 

Make sure you are also checking with your target college. Each institution can evaluate the Spanish CLEP results differently.

3) How do I prepare for it?

The important thing to remember about the Spanish CLEP exam is that it does not follow a corresponding year-long course in the way that an AP Spanish exam would. It might seem like a challenge. But there are ways to prepare for it on your own and create your own Spanish CLEP study guide. Or use resources available online. 

You can start preparing by reading publications in Spanish. Go online and access great resources that are posted every day by different news sources! El Universal, El Pais, and others are available. It is good to set aside 15-20 minutes a day to practice reading. Identify the words that are new to you, and look them up. 

Building a strong vocabulary foundation is fundamental to the reading comprehension and writing sections of the Spanish CLEP. 

If you are also taking the Spanish CLEP with writing, use these articles to practice your writing. Write responses or summaries; one of the best ways to improve your writing skills is to keep practicing. 

Also, practice listening to Spanish, and not just your preferred accent. Maybe you studied in Mexico, but make sure to incorporate different accents to familiarize yourself not just with the way of speaking, but also the vocabulary that varies between countries.

Make it fun! Netflix has amazing series available in Spanish that cover a diverse range of Spanish variations. There are also Spanish CLEP study guide online resources posted by College Board to help you prepare, or, you can find free resources online

Remember, as long as you’re working with determined goals, and focusing on practical vocabulary, and reading and listening comprehension or writing in line with the resources mentioned, you’re on your way to success in your personalized study guide.

4) What is a passing grade?

The exam is scored from 30-80. The tricky thing about the Spanish CLEP is that each college can set the credits assigned based on the scores received, so make sure that you check with the college you have in mind! 

However, the College Board posts recommendations on how to evaluate the scores received on both the Spanish Language and Spanish with Writing CLEP exams, available here.  

Make sure that you confirm with your college regarding their individual requirements for credit and/or meeting any specific requirements for a particular course, and keep in mind that a Level 1 recommended score is 56 for the Spanish Language CLEP, and 58 for the Spanish with Writing.

5) What can I do with my results?

You can use these scores to demonstrate your proficiency in Spanish or to gain early access to college courses that require a certain demonstrated Spanish-language proficiency. 

The Spanish CLEP exam will also not affect your GPA in any way. If you study hard and prepare well, you’re on your way to earning more credits and possibly fast tracking any education plans you have past high school, which can save you time and money!

Is the Spanish CLEP Test Multiple Choice?

The CLEP test for Spanish consists of 38 questions that assess your proficiency in the language. 

The questions are divided into four sections: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. The listening and reading sections are multiple choice, while the writing and speaking sections are essay format. 

You will have 20 minutes to complete the listening section, 30 minutes for the reading section, and 45 minutes each for the writing and speaking sections. While the essay sections may seem daunting, keep in mind that you will be able to use a dictionary during the test. 

In addition, you will be given prompts to help you get started. Overall, the CLEP test is a great way to demonstrate your proficiency in Spanish and earn college credit.

Choose Whether the CLEP is Right for You

This article should help you determine whether the CLEP is worth investing your time and energy into. Need help studying for the CLEP or creating a CLEP Spanish study guide? Browse our Spanish teachers to get an expert instructor.

I am a multilingual translator and educator from California living in Paris. Having grown up in a bilingual household in the San Francisco Bay Area, my interest in foreign languages and cultures is integral to defining who I am. After graduating with a dual bachelors in Spanish Language and Literature and Global Cultures, I have traveled extensively, studying new languages, and have worked as a translator for global brands. In tandem with my linguistic work, I have also completed a Master in Education, and teach English and Spanish to students of various ages and linguistic backgrounds.

Catherine Donnelly