credit-by-exam testing

Testing Questions? No Worries!

How do I CLEP a DANTES?
Where can I test and who pays for testing?
How do I know if my school accepts alternative credit for my degree program?

If you are taking advantage of your time in the service to pursue a college degree, you may already face several challenges. Balancing the demands of a career, finding time to study, and searching for helpful education resources can take time. Navigating these challenges are why education counselors and advisors play a key role in the voluntary education support community. By helping military students overcome barriers, counselors can help guide you toward academic success. We know you have questions and we want to help you prepare.

You have questions. We have answers.

This article is the fifth in a series on FAQs, or frequently asked questions, that strives to help you succeed in your pursuit of education goals and professional development.

1st – FAQs on preparing for online learning with DLRSA, the Distance Learning Readiness Self-Assessment
2nd – FAQs on the Kuder Journey program, a free college and career planning tool
3rd – FAQs on the Joint Services Transcript or JST; your FREE military transcript
4th – FAQs on the GED Transcript

This article focuses on questions regarding the credit-by-exam program, one of the DANTES programs known for saving time and money.

FAQs for the Credit by Exams Program

Q1: How do I CLEP a DANTES?

A: Regrettably, you can’t CLEP a DANTES. — CLEP is not an action and DANTES is not a test. Understanding the difference between the CLEP and DSST programs is important. Although they may be similar, they are not the same. By mistaking the two, you might miss an opportunity to study and earn credit for an exam in a required subject area. Doing some homework on available testing opportunities can be helpful.

CLEP – The College Board’s lower-level credit exams measure achievement in five subject areas. These are “general” or “liberal” education requirements comparable to instruction a student might receive during the first two years of college.

DSST – Prometric’s upper and lower-level credit exams are a series of 30 plus examinations in college subject areas comparable to the final examinations in undergraduate college courses.

Q2: How do I know if my school will give me credit for my exam?

A: Individual colleges and universities determine their own credit awarding policies for the CLEP and DSST tests. There is no guarantee that credit will be awarded for taking an exam. If a student is enrolled and has a degree plan, he/she should contact a school advisor to ask if their school accepts credit for these non-traditional exams, in lieu of their course requirements. The member should check with an advisor before taking an exam. The member’s advisor should in turn provide a list of exams that they can take.

Q3: I heard that DANTES pays for the exam. How do I know if I am eligible for funding?

A: DANTES funds the first administration of each CLEP and DSST title for military members who hold a valid Uniformed Services Common Access Card (CAC) ID at the time of testing. DANTES funds both the test fee and administration fee at locations that are listed as “Fully-Funded.” However, DANTES will only fund the test fee when a test center is not identified as “Fully-Funded”.

Q4: Where do I test?

A: Both the College Board and Prometric partner with colleges and universities who deliver the CLEP and DSST exams world-wide.

CLEP – The College Board offers online registration that allows the member to identify their DANTES-funded eligibility, select a test center to schedule a test administration, choose an institution where they would like to send their score, and prior to testing, receive free test prep materials.

DSST – Prometric offers an additional option for military members who are located overseas. The 10 most popular DSST exams can be taken on a “Fully-Funded” basis at a professional Prometric test center, when a DSST test center is not available in certain geographic areas.

After locating a DSST test center, the member can call the test center directly to schedule a test administration. Registration may only be completed at the test center on the day of testing. Overseas examinees who choose the option of testing at a professional Prometric test center will complete registration and scheduling online through Prometric. Test prep materials for these exams are available on Prometric’s DSST website.

Q5: How is credit transferred to my current/future school?

A: Before testing, the military member must always verify that their school agrees to accept credits for CLEP and/or DSST exams. Both the College Board and Prometric allow examinees to identify a single academic institution to receive a one-time free score report at the time of registration and/or testing. The Joint Services Transcript (JST) program and Community College Air Force automatically receive scores for DANTES-funded CLEP and DSST test administrations. Military members are responsible for costs associated with additional transcripts, if more than one score is needed at the time of testing or if scores are being transferred to a new school at a later date. Remember, it is essential to note the 4-digit institution codes that are assigned to schools that administer the CLEP and DSST exams. The military member that the score report and transcripts are not inter-changeable.

CLEP – The College Board issues CLEP-specific institution codes to their test centers and the academic institutions who receive CLEP scores. The member should visit the College Board’s website to get more information.

DSST – Prometric also issues DSST-specific institution codes to their test centers and the academic institutions who receive DSST scores. The member should visit Prometric’s website to find out more information.

Note: Prometric is the official record holder for scores of DANTES-funded CLEP and DSST exams. You should visit the Prometric website for score reporting and transcript information.

Learn more about the credit-by-exam program. 

Other DANTES Program Resources

Other tools and resources to help you in your education journey include:

Websites: www.dantes.doded.mil and www.myvoled.com
Mobile App: www.myvoledpath.com
Service member blog: www.dantes4military.com
DoD Live/Pulse: http://dantespulse.dodlive.mil/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DANTES.DoD/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DANTES_DOD
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/dantes—defense-activity-for-non-traditional-education-support/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+DoDDANTES
YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCAD8yGhGBeDAtIPMW7Eu-sA/

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Kirstin Savage

Kirstin Savage

Kirstin Savage serves as the command customer service specialist for the Communications Division and develops and delivers multimedia outreach products. With more than 20 years of service in the DANTES Examinations Program and Troops to Teachers, she was awarded the CCME William E. Kennedy Award in 2012 for her superior efforts. From Washington State, she is a cooking enthusiast and enjoys family, friends and traveling.