Why Should You Take CLEP Precalculus?
Depending on your institution's policy, a passing score on the exam can:
Description of the Examination
 Show your college math professors that you're ready for a Calculus class
 Allow you to opt out of a math proficiency core requirement
 Earn you three college credits
The Precalculus examination assesses student mastery of skills and concepts required for success in a firstsemester calculus course. A large portion of the exam is devoted to testing a student's understanding of functions and their properties. Many of the questions test a student's knowledge of specific properties of the following types of functions: linear, quadratic, absolute value, square root, polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric, inverse trigonometric, and piecewisedefined. Questions on the exam will present these types of functions symbolically, graphically, verbally, or in tabular form. A solid understanding of these types of functions is at the core of all precalculus courses, and it is a prerequisite for enrolling in calculus and other collegelevel mathematics courses.
The examination contains approximately 48 questions, in two sections, to be answered in 90 minutes. Any time candidates spend on tutorials and providing personal information is in addition to the actual testing time.
Although most of the questions on the exam are multiplechoice, there are some questions that require students to enter a numerical answer.
 Section 1: 25 questions, 50 minutes.
The use of an online graphing calculator (nonCAS) is allowed for this section. Only some of the questions will require the use of the calculator. Section 2: 23 questions, 40 minutes.
No calculator is allowed for this section.
Graphing Calculator
A graphing calculator is integrated into the exam software, and it is available to students during Section 1 of the exam.
Only some of the questions actually require the graphing calculator. Students are expected to know how and when to make appropriate use of the calculator. The graphing calculator, together with brief video tutorials, is available to students as a free download for a 30day trial period. Students are expected to download the calculator and become familiar with its functionality prior to taking the exam.
Get more information about the calculator and download a trial version.
In order to answer some of the questions in the calculator section of the exam, students may be required to use the online graphing calculator in the following ways:
Knowledge and Skills Required
 Perform calculations (e.g., exponents, roots, trigonometric values, logarithms)
 Graph functions and analyze the graphs
 Find zeros of functions
 Find points of intersection of graphs of functions
 Find minima/maxima of functions
 Find numerical solutions to equations
 Generate a table of values for a function
Questions on the examination require candidates to demonstrate the following abilities in the approximate proportions indicated.
The subject matter of the Precalculus examination is drawn from the following topics. The percentages next to the topics indicate the approximate percentage of exam questions on that topic.
 Recalling factual knowledge and/or performing routine mathematical manipulation
 Solving problems that demonstrate comprehension of mathematical ideas and/or concepts
 Solving nonroutine problems or problems that require insight, ingenuity, or higher mental processes
20%  Algebraic Expressions, Equations, and Inequalities
15%  Functions: Concept, Properties, and Operations
 Ability to perform operations on algebraic expressions
 Ability to solve equations and inequalities, including linear, quadratic, absolute value, polynomial, rational, radical, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric
 Ability to solve systems of equations, including linear and nonlinear
30%  Representations of Functions: Symbolic, Graphical, and Tabular
 Ability to demonstrate an understanding of the concept of a function, the general properties of functions (e.g., domain, range), function notation, and to perform symbolic operations with functions (e.g., evaluation, inverse functions)
10%  Analytic Geometry
 Ability to recognize and perform operations and transformations on functions presented symbolically, graphically, or in tabular form
 Ability to demonstrate an understanding of basic properties of functions and to recognize elementary functions (linear, quadratic, absolute value, square root, polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric, inverse trigonometric, and piecewisedefined functions) that are presented symbolically, graphically, or in tabular form
15%  Trigonometry and its Applications*
 Ability to demonstrate an understanding of the analytic geometry of lines, circles, parabolas, ellipses, and hyperbolas
10%  Functions as Models
 Ability to demonstrate an understanding of the basic trigonometric functions and their inverses and to apply the basic trigonometric ratios and identities (in right triangles and on the unit circle)
 Ability to apply trigonometry in various problemsolving contexts
* Note that trigonometry permeates most of the major topics and accounts for more than 15 percent of the exam. The actual proportion of exam questions that requires knowledge of either right triangle trigonometry or the properties of the trigonometric functions is approximately 3040 percent.
 Ability to interpret and construct functions as models and to translate ideas among symbolic, graphical, tabular, and verbal representations of functions

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