All credit by exam tests (AP, CLEP, DSST, etc.) that are evaluated for college credit by The American Council on Education undergo regular exam renewal and review. When an exam is put forward by a company for potential college credit, it gets evaluated for a time frame (about 3 years) and then at the end of that time frame, the exam is technically “expired.” Since companies have to pay a fee for this service, it isn’t surprising that unpopular exam “products” may not be “worth” renewing. As such, every now and then, exams drop out of the catalog. I like to follow these renewal dates because exams that get renewed are often “refreshed” with new content, completely redone, or dropped. Following dates assures that you have the most up to date information about the exam you’re considering. Often, like today, the information I’m posting today is MORE CURRENT than what is on DSST’s own website.
One of the big changes is that The History of the Soviet Union was downgraded. The website still shows as upper level, but you can confirm through the ACE database that this exam is absolutely 100% LOWER LEVEL. This exam was previously evaluated for 3 upper level credits. Unfortunately, we have watched several DSST exams get down graded to lower level credit in the past years, and now we are down to 2 upper level DSST exams. This exam’s evaluation period is from 2/1/2021 – 10/31/2025.
In Limbo… Renew or Discontinue?
This set of exams expired 60 days ago, so I’m hoping we’ll see a renewal ASAP. Typically, when exams are renewed, they will back-date so there isn’t a gap.In other words, if an exam expires on 1/31/2021 and isn’t renewed until 4/1/2021, the new version will have a validity date that starts on 1/31/2021. This assures test-takers that they WILL get college credit for the exam, even if they took it during an expired period. That said, there is NO GUARANTEE that this will happen. Therefore, to be safe, my advice is that you WAIT to take any of these exams until they are fully renewed! If we experience a worst-case-scenario and the gap is not closed, you could potentially take an exam worth ZERO college credit.
I won’t jump to conclusions, but the other possibility is that some of these exams may be fully discontinued or undergo a full rewrite.