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Principles of Management CLEP
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Principles of Management CLEP Study Guide

Name of Exam: Principles of Management CLEP

Number of Questions: 100

Time Limit: 90 Minutes

ACE Recommended Passing Score: 50

Practice Test Available?: Yes - Click here

Quick Prep Package 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 : 1
(One being the easiest, and five being the hardest)

Exam Description:

The Principles of Management CLEP covers the material normally learned in an Introduction to Management and Organization college class. You will be tested on your general knowledge of human resources and the operational and functional aspects of management.

Personal Thoughts:

The Principles of Management CLEP is one of the easier exams. Normally a day or two of study is enough to pass since most test takers already have an understanding of the majority of material covered.

That being said, you still need to give it that day or two worth of study. While most of it will come pretty easily, you should spend some time learning the different kinds of authority, theories of management, as well as who proposed them.

I'd also highly suggest taking the Peterson Practice test for this which you can find the link for up above. Once you're scoring around 65+ on the practice exam you should be able to pass the real thing with no problem.

A word about the theorists and theories. You probably won't get asked that many questions about them on the Principles of Management CLEP, yet I put a lot of emphasis on learning them throughout this free study guide. The method behind my madness is two-fold. First, you will probably get at least four or five questions on the subject, so you'll need to know it. Secondly, there are more exams out there that use this same knowledge in one way or the other. Learn it well now and you can skim over it later on.

Exam breakdown:

According to the College Board website, the Principles of Management CLEP exam is broken down as follows:

45%-55%Functional Aspects of Management
15%-25%Organization and Human Resources
10%-20%Operational Aspects of Management
10%-20%International Management and Contemporary Issues

Areas of Study

I'm going to break down the percentages above with the topics that fall under each category. This should allow you to decide what you need help with, and only study those areas in which you feel a little weak. Less wading through masses of resources, and more targeted studying.

Please read the comments next to each link. I include them to target what exactly in the link you need to study. For the ones without a comment, I feel it's pretty self explanatory.

Functional Aspects of Management
(45-55% of the Principles of Management CLEP)

  • Management - Let's get it out of the way right now. Just read the entire page and zone in on the key words. You'll see quite a bit of it later on down the list, but a little reinforcement won't kill you.
  • Planning - Just know the basics of what it is. Also pay attention to the terminology on this page. Know that a goal needs to be attainable (or realistic).
  • Organizing - Scroll down a bit and read up on the Delegation of Authority. Pay attention to Span of Control and the other terminology.
  • Leading - A good breakdown of terms though it's not very reader-friendly. I'd personally read through the entire page at least once. It has a good listing of the theorists and some of the more mainstream leadership types. Not an all-inclusive list, but enough to get you started.
  • Controlling - Just a quick read over should do it. Pay particular attention to the Process of Controlling.
  • Authority - Quick and to the point. Know the different types of authority listed here.
  • Decision making - Never got asked about this on my own Principles of Management CLEP, but here's a decent read through on the subject.
  • Organization charts - Don't read too deeply. Most should already be familiar with an Org Chart, but for those who aren't this provides a good explanation of what they are and why they're used.
  • Leadership - Not a bad summation of such a broad topic.
  • Organizational structure - An important resource. Read the entire page and pay attention to the Structures listed (Functional, Divisional, Matrix).
  • Budgeting - I never was asked anything having to do with budgets, but since it's on the CollegeBoard list I'm also including it here. I'd note the Budget Types, but otherwise just skim this section.
  • Problem solving - Once again, it's not something that you'll get quizzed on too deeply, but a brief skim should suffice.
  • Group dynamics and team functions - This is all project management knowledge, but I'd pay attention to Tuckman's theory and the five stages. If you haven't heard of it yet, it's good information to have for real life application.
  • Conflict resolution - Just know the different types of resolution (Confronting, Smoothing, Avoiding, etc)
  • Communication Management - Not really happy with this explanation of communication in management since it doesn't give examples, but it's the best I can find. Another, better, explanation of communication is here: Communication.
  • Change - I didn't get asked about this on my own exam, but just in case here's a brief overview of managing change. Keep in mind this is different from Change Management which is a formalized process. There are many ways of doing that, but here's a quick overview of the reasoning behind that process.
  • Organizational theory - I would pay attention to the section of "Theories and models of organizational studies". Dedicate some time to reading each of those links. Probably overkill, but you may get a question or two on the Principles of Management CLEP about these topics.
  • Historical aspects - A good timeline though I wouldn't bother memorizing dates. I would however remember the theorists and the theories like Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, Theory X and Theory Y, and the Hawthorne Studies.

Organization and Human Resources
(15-25% of the Principles of Management CLEP)

  • Personnel administration
  • Human relations and motivation - Skim it now and learn the major players. We'll touch on it again later on.
  • Training and development - Another one that I didn't get tested on in my Principles of Management CLEP though this is on the list from CollegeBoard.
  • Performance appraisal
  • Organizational development - A brief read should suffice. Just know that it deals with improving the entire organization.
  • Legal concerns - Know what you can and can't ask during an interview. I had one or two questions quizzing me on this during my own Principles of Management CLEP.
  • Work force diversity - Understand what it is, as well as have a basic understanding of US anti-discrimination laws. The link above should have covered most of this for you.
  • Recruiting and selecting - This touches on the legal concerns again, but also gives you a rough idea of the hiring process. I didn't get any direct questions about this topic, so I'd read through it enough to have a basic understanding. Should be pretty intuitive for most people.
  • Compensation and benefits - Pretty simple stuff here for most people, but you may want to pay attention to the Compensation link. If you scroll down a bit you'll see a list of definitions including Job Descriptions, Analysis, etc. Good information to know.
  • Collective bargaining - A very nice write-up to include the relevant laws.

International Management and Contemporary Issues
(10-20% of the Principles of Management CLEP)

  • Value dimensions - Best I could find on this particular subject. Just know that one of the challenges in managing internationally is that your employees come from different cultures.
  • Regional economic integration - Another topic that you need only a basic understanding of. It's an interesting read if you have the time, but I wouldn't expect to see too many questions about it on the Principles of Management CLEP.
  • Trading alliances - Hooray for colorful explanations!
  • Global environment - Blasted impossible to find a description of so here's mine, "A business environment encompassing many geographic and economic regions to include nation states." Eat your heart out Mr. Webster.
  • Social responsibilities of business - Brief skim of the first two paragraphs will work.
  • Ethics
  • Systems - One of the challenges in building a study guide using CollegeBoard's list. What does "Systems" mean? International Management Systems? I don't remember anything on my exam touching this, nor on the practice exams. So we're going to do the best we can. Check out the Organizational Theory section and skip the rest.
  • Environment - Always an issue with international business in less regulated countries.
  • Government regulation - Nice article, especially considering the current debate on Wall Street at the time of this writing.
  • Management theory and theorists - We've already seen this list of theories and the people behind them. Give them another quick read to make it stick. Don't miss the second page on this link.
  • E-business
  • Creativity and Innovation - Another annoyingly vague term, courtesy of CollegeBoard. Here's an article about Creativity as it applies to management. Not sure how this is supposed to apply to International Management, but who knows?

Operational Aspects of Management
(10-20% of the Principles of Management CLEP)

  • Operations planning and control
  • Work scheduling - More vague terms which I've never seen on the Principles of Management CLEP. I'm taking this to mean project management's idea of scheduling since nothing else makes a lot of sense to study for. I'd know what a WBS is. Good knowledge to have anyway.
  • Pert - Know what it stands for along with it's uses. You may get quizzed on this which is why I added it even though it's not on the CollegeBoard list.
  • Critical Path - Just know that it's the longest possible duration (path) in a project without the planned completion being delayed.
  • Total Quality Management - Great explanation. Not touched on too deeply on the exam, but I'd at least know what the letters "TQM" stand for and what the premise is.
  • Information processing and management - I didn't get asked about this at all, but here you go. Touches on a few of the other things we've already covered if you read down a bit.
  • Strategic planning and analysis - Self-explanatory
  • Productivity

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.

Principles of Management CLEP Quick Prep Package - Our own study package for the Principles of Management 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.

Review for the CLEP Principles of Management - I rarely suggest the official CLEP study material only because most of it I've found to be almost useless. This one though seems to do it well. I don't know if that's because the exam is one of the easiest out there, but the book does cover much of the same material I saw on the exam.

Principles of Management (Cliffs Quick Review) - If you're the type that likes to be 100% certain when walking into the testing center, then I'd pick this along with the above books or InstantCert. Between the two of them you'll be covered for study materials.

InstantCert Academy - Principles of Management Specific Exam Feedback - Four pages of study notes, specific topics of study, and after action reports. Also don't forget to check out the Instantcert Flashcards for the Principles of Management CLEP

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 let this exam give you too much worry. As long as you dedicate a few days worth of study to the material above then you should have little problems. Make sure you study up on the theories and theorists and can apply the knowledge needed. The exam does like to test you on those. If you're in a hurry, pick up our Quick Prep Package for this exam to really hit the info you'll need.

Best of luck!

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