This CLEP is a bit more difficult than people might expect. Professors grade by essays and on specific content they teach in class, but the CLEP exam could contain anything on it. Most people presume that it’ll be easy because they learned it in high school and they remembered a lot, but then I give them the practice exam and they get a ~55 on it. For this exam, it’s important to expand your knowledge of early to mid American history beyond the obvious information learned in grammar school.
Of course, you need to know about the following: Declaration of Independence, Continental Congress, U.S. Constitution, early Amendments, the first 20 presidents, when each war/conflict started/ended, the names of major treaties, the names of landmark SCOTUS decisions, causes of conflicts.
But the CLEP also adds other perspectives to history. You’ll need to know about Native Americans, the migration of different races, notable women in history, notable abolition activists and the extent of slavery. I think it’s also important to understand the policy platform of the Federalist Party, Anti-Federalist Party, the 1800’s Democrat Party and the 1800’s Republican Party.