CLEP Exam in American or English Literature, plus UT Austin Essay

If you already have a passing or failing grade for E 316K, 316L, 316M, 316N, or 316P, you may NOT take this exam.

You can find a test description for the CLEP exam in American Literature or English Literature at the College Board CLEP website. The maximum working time for the entire test is 3 hours. This includes 90 minutes for the computer-based objective portion and 90 minutes for the UT Austin essay portion. You may begin the essay portion after you have completed the 90 minutes allowed for the objective portion; however, if you finish the essay before the end of 90 minutes, you may leave. The UT Austin Essay is explained below under "UT Austin Supplemental Items."

Either Literature CLEP test, with UT Austin essay, is one of the eight CLEP tests accepted by the University of Texas at Austin.

Where and When to Take the Test

On campus: The CLEP exam in either American or English Literature, with UT Austin essay, is offered on the UT Austin campus just before the fall semester, in the middle of the fall semester, just before the spring semester, and in the middle of the spring semester. Please review the ID Requirements, as students arriving without proper ID may not test. Visit the Test Registration System to view and register for upcoming test dates.

Off campus: The CLEP exam in either American or English Literature may be taken at an off-campus testing center; however, before your eligibility for E 316P credit can be determined, you must arrange to take the UT Austin essay portion of the examination, which is offered only on the UT Austin campus. An official copy of your CLEP scores for the American or English Literature Examination must be on file with Student Testing Services before you may take the UT Austin essay portion of the examination. You may make an appointment to take the UT Austin essay portion by registering for the entire test online; only the $25 registration fee will apply.

Supplemental Items: 

The UT essay portion consists of two questions, and is administered on the computer immediately after the CLEP portion of the exam. (The objective and essay portions of the test must be on the same literary tradition–either American or English Literature.) You must demonstrate ability to analyze and explain rather than merely paraphrase or summarize. You must also demonstrate familiarity with literary terms and techniques as well as the history of literature. In addition, the essays must be well organized in terms of both style and content. Frequently, the second question deals with a literary work in a specified genre of your choosing. In this case, it is important that you select a work of generally recognized literary merit, that is, a masterpiece frequently taught in English courses. The essays receive multiple readings by professors and instructors in the Department of English at UT Austin.

E 316P is not merely a course in American or English Literature; it is a historical survey of major works by major writers. Accordingly, you must demonstrate in your essays a thorough and sophisticated familiarity with your selected literary tradition. For the essay to be judged passing in this regard, you must show knowledge about a literary tradition equivalent to what would be learned in a semester of study.


If you already have a passing or failing grade for E 316K, 316L, 316M, 316N, or 316P, you may NOT take this exam.

Registration Fee: 

When you confirm your registration for a test you will be immediately billed a non-refundable test registration fee of $25. In addition, there is a test fee of $93. The $93 CLEP test fee MUST be paid on the CollegeBoard website, Upon registration and payment, you will receive a confirmation from College Board that includes a Ticket ID number that is required in order to start your test on test day.

Test Results Retakes: 

Official score reports are sent to UT Austin from the College Board; students taking the test on- or off-campus must choose to have their scores sent to UT Austin. Results are available within approximately ten business days, in time to register for classes.

Neither the CLEP exam nor the UT Austin essay may be repeated within three months.

UT Austin Courses Score Range Notes
E 316P * The CLEP exams have a score range of 20-80; however, because eligibility for credit is based on the combined CLEP and UT Austin essay score, no minimum satisfactory scores are listed here.