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Study Guides

Many students don't know that they can earn college credits by testing out of some general education courses. The process is fairly straightforward and cost-effective. You simply pass a standard examination (like a CLEP test) and earn the credits as if you had taken the course. The list below shows currently available study guides. Check back often for updated information. Be sure to check with your college advisor to ensure they accept credit for the courses in which you're interested.


English Composition (ECE)

The study guide prepares you to pass the Excelsior College Examination in English Composition. This examination requires you to demonstrate that you have the knowledge and skills taught in a first-year (i.e., two-semester) English Composition course.

Art & Humanities

American Literature (CLEP)

The American Literature study guide covers material usually taught in a one- or two-semester undergraduate literature course. The student will develop the following skills: 1) To be able to find, recognize, enjoy, and profit from reading the best of American writing, in order to better understand our land and our peoples, and 2) To be able to analyze and understand the various types of writings and the strategies and techniques writers use, in order to apply that understanding to life itself.

Analyzing and Interpreting Literature (CLEP)

Analyzing and Interpreting Literature is a study guide that covers material usually taught in a general two-semester undergraduate literature course. Organized into six units, it provides a student with a strong chronological overview of the various literary periods in British and American literature and illustrates how these national literatures are placed into a world view of literature. This is done, for the most part, through analyses of the primary works of the major writers.

English Literature (CLEP)

The English Literature Study Guide covers subject matter found in a two-semester college-level course in British literature. This guide combines both a "major authors" or "masterworks" course and a historical survey of literary periods approach. The subject matter of an English Literature course is imaginative writing, produced in the British Isles (England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland) between 800 A.D. and the present.

Ethics (ECE)

This study guide in Application of Ethics Theories should provide a broad overview of the theory, concepts, and application of ethics. Ethics is a subdivision of philosophy. Ethics is not science; it is not the study of the physical world. It is the study of the behavior of people.

Ethics in America (DSST)

This study guide for Ethics in America should provide a broad overview of the theory, concepts, and application of ethics for the student who wishes to challenge the DSST test on ethics at the lower baccalaureate level for three semester hours of credit.

Humanities (CLEP)

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.

Social Sciences & History

Abnormal Psychology (ECE)

This study guide discusses the history of the study of Abnormal Psychology and major concepts within the field. It covers research and classification of disorders; symptoms, treatment, and prevention of disorders; disordered conditions of everyday living; substance abuse; and disordered development.

American Government (CLEP)

deeper comprehension of both the many strengths and the notable weaknesses of the American form of government is a natural result of this study, which covers the historical background of American Government, the Constitution, divisions of government, the electoral process, current events, and foreign affairs.

Educational Psychology (CLEP)

The educational psychology unit covers subject matter covered in a one semester introductory course into the field of educational psychology. This study guide considers various theories central to the field of educational psychology including theories of cognitive development; theories of personal, social, and emotional development; theories of learning and interpretations of motivation. In addition, special populations are considered in relation to their learning styles and their classroom experiences including culturally diverse students and students with special challenges. Finally, this study guide covers measurement and evaluation as well as research methods and techniques commonly considered in educational psychology.

Gerontology (ECE)

This Study Guide covers the foundational subject matter necessary to an understanding of gerontology. It introduces the topic including definitions and demographic data; biological, psychological, social, and civic consequences of aging; and dying and bereavement. Successful completion of this Study Guide is requisite to further study of gerontology. Understanding concepts, terms, and definitions presented herein will also support study in other disciplines, particularly in several of the social sciences.

History of the United States I (CLEP)

The History of the United States I study unit covers subject matter that is found in the first semester of a two-semester United States History college course. The period covered includes the time from the Spanish and French colonizations through the Civil War and the end of Reconstruction (1877). Emphasis is placed on the period of nationhood. For the part covering the 17th and 18th centuries, the focus is on the English and the major events shaping the development of the Nation. These events influence the role the United States plays on the world stage today.

History of the United States II (CLEP)

This study guide covers the history of the United States from the end of the Civil War to the present time. This guide will increase your understanding of U.S. political institutions, key public policies, and the effect these have had on American behavior. You will study social and economic developments in the U.S. as well as the flowering of American culture and the nation's intellectual development. This guide will also consider international relations and diplomacy.

Human Growth and Development (CLEP)

The science of human growth and development is an interdisciplinary field. It seeks to understand patterns of continuity and change in individuals over the lifespan. In doing so, it draws broadly upon research findings and theoretical perspectives from both the biological and social sciences. The subject matter of this field is commonly represented in the college curriculum within psychology course offerings entitled "Lifespan Development." It is the goal of this study guide to provide the reader with a concise review of the core concepts, theory and research usually found in such a course.

Life Span Developmental Psychology (ECE)

This study guide considers topics important to the various disciplines that cover the field of developmental psychology. The physical, cognitive and psychosocial changes that occur during each stage in life are presented. In addition, various theoretical considerations are also provided concerning development of the individual over the life span. Research methods relevant to the field of developmental psychology are reviewed; issues crucial to each point in development are explored.

Psychology (CLEP)

This overview of the field is designed to prepare you to pass the College Level Educational Program (CLEP) test in Psychology. It obviously cannot cover every aspect of the entire field, but will define and explain the full range of material that will appear on the CLEP exam. We'll do this by first exploring the broad dimensions of the field – what psychology is and isn't, and some historical background about how it got to where it is today. A survey of three other major sections follows: physiological influences on behavior, internal mental and emotional processes, and external social influences on behavior.

Psychology of Adulthood & Aging (ECE)

The Psychology of Adulthood and Aging is really just one part of the larger field of developmental psychology, or how people's behavior changes as a result of the maturation process. Developmental psychology has long been important and influential among the many sub-fields of psychology. The study of human development attracts a great deal of interest and enrollment to the entire field of psychology. Adulthood and old age have lately become prime areas for research.

Introductory Sociology (CLEP)

This Study Guide covers the foundational subject matter necessary to an understanding of sociology. It introduces the history of sociology, sociological theory, social processes and patterns, social stratification, and sociological study of institutions. Successful completion of this Study Guide is requisite to further study of sociology.

Natural Sciences

Anatomy & Physiology (ECE)

The Anatomy and Physiology study unit covers subject matter that is found in an introductory two-semester course in Anatomy and Physiology. Anatomy of the human body is presented as well as maintenance of physiological function at a system, cellular and molecular level. Besides the eleven major physiological systems of the body, body fluid, and electrolyte balance, the dynamics of motion and development are reviewed.

Biology (CLEP)

This study guide covers three major areas of biology: molecular and cellular biology, organismal biology, and population biology. This overview of the topic is designed to prepare you to pass the CLEP examination titled "General Biology."

Microbiology (ECE)

The Microbiology study guide covers the history of microbiology; laboratory techniques; the structure and function of microbes; the control of microorganisms; immunity; microbial pathogenesis; and food, environmental, and industrial microbiology.


Statistics (ECE)

This study guide covers what is typically seen in a modern introductory statistics course of one semester. It should give you a good understanding of many types of basic statistical analyses that you will encounter. In addition, it should give you a firm basis on which to understand other, more advanced, statistical procedures.