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Introductory Sociology CLEP
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Introductory Sociology CLEP Study Guide

Name of Exam: Introductory Sociology CLEP

Number of Questions: 100

Time Limit: 90 Minutes

ACE Recommended Passing Score: 50

Practice Test Available?: Yes - Click here

Quick Prep Sheet Available?: Yes - Click here

Cost: $80 + Sitting Fee (Usually no more than $20) at your testing site. Military can take CLEPs for free with Tuition Assistance. Check with your Educational Officer!

Difficulty 1-5 : 2
(One being the easiest, and five being the hardest)


Exam Description:

Sociology could be described as the study of society, and the behavior of individuals which make up that society. The Introductory Sociology CLEP tests your knowledge of how sociologists conduct their studies, and the basic concepts, methods, and terminology used in the Sociology field. They may ask you to read a few charts and graphs, but most are intuitive and should pose little challenge.

Personal Thoughts:

This is an introductory test, and as such doesn't go into any great detail. While studying is of course recommended, this should be looked upon as one of the easier CLEP's. There are plenty of free resources out there, which I've listed the best ones I've come across below. If you don't want to take any chances, there are some cheap resources like our Quick Prep Sheet also found below that will see you through this exam.

Exam breakdown:

According to the College Board website, the Introductory Sociology CLEP exam is broken down as follows:

30%Social Stratification (process and structure)
20%Institutions
20%Social Processes
15%Social Patterns
15%The Social Perspective

Areas of Study

A few of the topics that you will need to know are:

  • History of Sociology
  • Social Interaction
  • Human Ecology
  • Community
  • Collective Behavior and Social Movements
  • Social Interaction
  • Sex and Gender Roles
  • Power and Social Inequality
  • Demography
  • Political Institutions
  • Family Institutions
  • Sociological Theory
  • Deviance and Social Control
  • Methods
  • Rural/Urban Patterns
  • Religious Institutions
  • Groups and Organizations
  • Social Mobility
  • Educational Institutions
  • Race and Ethnic Relations
  • Aging

Free Study Resources

Click on the titles to go to the study resource.

DelMar College Sociology Site - A professor's study notes gives a brief, but detailed description of sociology.

Sociology Terminology - A great listing of terms for sociology. I don't see quite a few of the terms you'll need to know for the CLEP, but they do have some on here that you'll need like Conflict Theory, Caste System, and Folkway. We go into much more detail on our Quick Prep Sheet, but in a pinch this will probably be enough to get you by for terminology if you supplement it with something else like the link below.

Introduction to Sociology - An outstanding site for the Introductory Sociology CLEP exam that's basically a digital textbook. Though it doesn't have the complete text, it has Chapter overviews, quizzes, crossword puzzles, and true or false exams.

Free Exchange - A set of flashcards made by a student studying Sociology. There's some good info in here, but I wouldn't study only these and expect to pass.

Wikipedia - Sociology - Wikipedia isn't a bad resource when it comes almost any CLEP ending in "ology". The Introduction to Sociology CLEP is no exception. As long as you're armed with a list of topics, you can find the background info to that sociology topic on Wikipedia. Used in conjunction with the InstantCert forum, you'll cover everything you need for this exam.

Famous People in Sociology - A list of the famous folks in the field of Sociology. Pay attention to the heavy hitters like Weber, Marx, and Durkheim, but don't neglect the others like Mead and Du Bois, either.

Different Types of Societies - A list of the different types of societies and what makes them different. You'll likely get asked about a few of these on the exam, so I'd learn them well.

Feminist Sociology - You'll likely see quite a few questions on the exam discussing gender inequality, wage disparity, and feminist theory in general. I'd read through this article and follow the links to other sociology-related subjects.

Research Methodology - I know it's a lot to read, but I'd highly suggest going through the links found in this article. Read up on each of the methodologies until you feel confident you'd be able to identify them if just given a description. The Introductory Sociology CLEP has been known to give you a scenario-type question or two dealing with research methods.

Recommended bargain-priced study resources

Always check your library first! You may be able to find some of these for free. You don't have to buy the officially recommended resources all the time. If you're the type of person that prefers to study from a textbook source however, then please see below.

Introductory Sociology CLEP Quick Prep Package - Our own study package for the Introductory Sociology CLEP exam. Need those credits fast and don't have time to do all the research? We've done the work for you right here. Get our Quick Prep Sheet for this exam, two additional full-length practice tests, and even a mp3 file to study from. It's quick, it's cheap, and it's guaranteed to help you pass.

CLEP Introductory Sociology w/CD (REA) - The Best Test Prep for the CLEP Exam (Test Preps) - This is another CLEP that REA actually covers the material required. That's not always the case, but for the Introductory Sociology CLEP it is.

Sociology: The Essentials [Third Edition] - 3rd edition is currently going for $6.78 on up though third parties As always, make sure the seller has good feedback if you go the used route. If the edition, or speed of shipping matters to you, and price is no object (you lucky person!) then you can get the newest edition here - Sociology: The Essentials

InstantCert Academy - Introductory Sociology Specific Exam Feedback - Seven pages of study notes, specific topics of study, and after action reports. Be sure to check out the Flashcards as well.

If you don't know what InstantCert is, then click here for the scoop as well as a discount code: **InstantCert Academy**

You'll find an InstantCert link for every exam here if that gives you an idea of the amount of information they have available. It's an outstanding resource.

Closing Thoughts

Don't get worked up over this exam. Besides one or two others, the Introductory Sociology CLEP is probably the easiest CLEP there is. This covers the very basics of Sociology and therefore isn't meant to strain your brain.

Do a solid review of the material, and if you're still not confident in your chances, pick up the Quick Prep Sheet and hit the InstantCert flashcards. I have never heard of anyone failing this exam that used those resources together. You can do it!

Best of luck!

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