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Credit by Examination: How to Get Started

Credit by Examination: How to Get Started

You’ve learned a lot during your time in the military – you could probably pass the final exam in some college-level courses without ever going to class. That knowledge is valuable, so don’t waste it! When you use what you know to pass a  DSST or CLEP exam, colleges and universities will award you credit, giving you a head start on your degree. To ensure your success, DANTES will even help you access free test-prep materials. Additionally, for all exams taken at DANTES fully-funded test centers, the cost of your first attempt is reimbursable.

DSST exams are offered in more than 30 subject areas, and many test-takers are active-duty military. More than 1,900 institutions award credit for passing DSST exams; before you register, be sure to verify that your school is one of them. Once you’ve done that, the process is fairly simple:

  1. Go to, review the exams that are offered, and choose the ones you’d like to take.
  2. Use the “Locate an Institution” option to find a DANTES fully funded test center near you.
  3. Contact your chosen test center to register for the exams of your choice.
  4. Take advantage of the free test-preparation materials available to Service members.


The CLEP program also offers more than 30 exams; just choose the ones you want to take. Before you register, be sure to verify that your school is one of the more than 2,900 institutions that award credit for passing scores. Once you’re ready to get started, go to to view a step-by-step registration guide.

The following tips can help you through the process:

  • Check on required passing scores at your preferred institution.
  • Identify your military status during registration.
  • Request your transcript through military channels.
  • Obtain free study materials from DANTES and your education center.
  • Bring your CAC card to the testing center.

Visit the DANTES website for more details.

Watch this video to learn more.

Register for CLEP or DSST.


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Michelle Alexander

Michelle Alexander

Michelle Alexander is a native of Alabama and a retired Air Force Master Sergeant with 24 years of dedicated service. She is responsible for the DANTES Information Bulletin (DIB) monthly newsletter and all other Communication Division visuals. ROLL TIDE!