Study Guide Specifications
CLEP exams are administered at colleges and universities
Humanities is a study guide that covers material usually taught in a two-semester undergraduate humanities course. Organized into seven units, it provides a student with a strong chronological overview of the poetry, drama, prose, art, architecture, music, film, and philosophy of western culture. This is done, for the most part, through analyses of the primary works of the major writers and artists.
The study guide has a two-fold purpose: 1) To enable a student to pass the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) General Examination in Humanities, and 2) To provide an experience similar to taking an undergraduate survey of humanities course by increasing a student's ability to experience philosophy and the arts with understanding and critical ability.
To accomplish these goals, the following procedure is recommended:
- Carefully read a single unit in the study guide, paying special attention to the names of the major authors and artists, which are in boldface. (For anonymous works, the title of the work is boldfaced.)
- If possible, read a short selection of works by each of the major authors. This is the best way to understand the major literary themes, the use of rhetorical devices, and the concerns of the different literary periods. This need not be an expensive proposition; the standard anthologies of World, English, and American literature should contain an ample number of selections. The Norton anthologies are highly recommended.
- A similar procedure should be followed for art. Included at the back of this study guide is a list of works that you should view. You can view these works on the Internet with links found in the Client Services section of our web site. You will also find many of these illustrations in any good history of Western art textbook from your library. The suggested reference is History of Art by H. W. Janson.
- Write out answers to the short answer review questions at the end of the unit and, if necessary, verify the answers by referring to the text.
- As the final step toward understanding a unit, take the multiple-choice quiz at the end of the unit.
- After all seven units have been studied in this manner, take ninety minutes to complete the Comprehensive Final Exam at the end of the book. This practice exam is formatted like the CLEP test. Taking this practice exam will reinforce key concepts from the study guide, identify areas for further review, provide a gauge for managing testing time appropriately, and verify that the material has been mastered.