Last Call for the HS4CC Class “Getting Started with CLEP”

Are you looking for a fast and easy tool to help you learn about CLEP? In this class, you’ll learn how to save thousands of dollars by testing out of college classes using your own high school curriculum and CLEP exams. This self-paced class is open NOW- complete it on your own schedule.

Continue reading “Last Call for the HS4CC Class “Getting Started with CLEP””

Testing out of College with DSST

http://www.getcollegecredit.com

Credit by exam programs are standardized tests written and administered by a company (not college) that assess college-level knowledge in various subjects. Credit by exam tests are not “textbook specific” so you can prepare using any material you like. Credit earned by exam is considered “potential” college credit until it is accepted by a college.

The DSST exams (DANTES Subject Standardized Tests) used to go by “DANTES” and used to only permit military test takers, so your college may still use that term or put their DSST acceptance policy inside the “military section” of their website. Since 2006, however, they were acquired by Prometric and are available to everyone. Knowing that these exams used to have restrictions explains why DSST info can be a bit harder to find, and why they still lag behind CLEP in popularity and acceptance.

It’s very likely that a college will accept DSST without publishing the policy on its website. As a rule of thumb, if a college accepts CLEP and AP, there is a strong chance they also accept DSST, but fewer colleges accept DSST than accept CLEP and AP.

A DSST exam is essentially just like a CLEP exam. If you like CLEP, you’ll like DSST. It’s a multiple-choice exam taken on computer that provides an instant score and potential college credit. Like most credit by exam, you can prepare using regular homeschool curriculum followed by test prep.

BREAKING NEWS: October 2022 DSST exams now available with remote proctoring

Exam cost:  $100

Credit: 3 potential college credits

There are several exams offered through DSST that are not offered through CLEP or AP (e.g., The Civil War and Reconstruction), so if you’re trying to bring more credit by exam opportunities into your homeschool, DSST is worth looking at.

DSST vs CLEP vs AP

Credit level: CLEP and AP only award lower level (100-200) credit while 2 DSST exams are evaluated for upper level (300-400) credit. If you’re sending the credit to a community college, it will automatically come in as lower level, but some universities will award upper-level credit.

Duplication of credit: If an exam covers the same content as another course or exam, a college won’t award credit twice.

Credit award: all exams are evaluated as 3 college credits

Format: AP exams are “free response” with pencil and paper while CLEP and DSST are multiple choice taken on a computer. In all practical terms, you won’t notice much difference between a DSST or CLEP test, but the popular opinion argues that since the DSST questions only offer 4 possible answers (compared to CLEP’s 5 answer choices), your odds of guessing are better with DSST. My personal opinion is that the aesthetics of DSST exams are more attractive and easier to read due to a nice use of fonts and whitespace.

Exam administration: official testing center or home-proctoring

Revision dates: like all credit by exam brands, exams can be revised as often as the vendor wants. CLEP and AP exams are rarely updated, but DSST exams have all underwent significant revision since 2018. Unofficially, I track exam revisions by watching the American Council on Education national database. When an exam is significantly revised, the old exam is replaced or removed.

Choosing prep materials: Look for publication dates of July 30, 2018 or newer for all prep materials or practice tests you’re considering.

Exam List

  • A History of the Vietnam War
  • Art of the Western World
  • Astronomy
  • Business Ethics and Society
  • Business Mathematics
  • Computing Information & Technology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Environmental Science
  • Ethics in America
  • Ethics in Technology (potential revision in 2023)
  • Foundations of Education
  • Fundamentals of College Algebra (may duplicate CLEP)
  • Fundamentals of Counseling
  • Fundamentals of Cybersecurity
  • General Anthropology
  • Health and Human Development
  • History of the Soviet Union
  • Human Resource Management
  • Introduction to Business
  • Introduction to Geography
  • Introduction to Geology
  • Introduction to Law Enforcement
  • Introduction to World Religions
  • Lifespan Developmental Psychology (may duplicate CLEP)
  • Management Information Systems
  • Math for Liberal Arts (may duplicate CLEP)
  • Money and Banking
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Personal Finance
  • Principles of Advanced English Composition (may duplicate CLEP)
  • Principles of Finance
  • Principles of Public Speaking (not readily available)
  • Principles of Statistics
  • Principles of Supervision
  • Substance Abuse
  • Technical Writing
  • The Civil War and Reconstruction

Exam Preparation

Preparing to take a DSST is easy to do when your teen has already taken a high school course in the subject. If that’s the case with your teen, simply use any of the exam prep products recommended below. Exam prep shouldn’t take more than a few weeks in this case.

If your teen is starting from scratch, then you’ll need to build a course. You can do this by layering your favorite high school curriculum with other resources and build exam prep into the course. When learned from scratch, it is reasonable that your course and exam prep will take a full semester.

How much high school credit?

If your teen learns the subject, award high school credit. Generally 0.5 credits are awarded for 1 semester and 1 credit is awarded for 1 school year. Whether or not they pass the DSST, they have still earned high school credit!

Official Study Materials

These are exam preparation materials written by or endorsed by DSST / Prometric and should be considered very reliable.

Access free practice tests here

Peterson’s Subscription (prep material and practice tests, pay monthly) “Petersons.com Peterson’s is an official DSST prep provider and provides monthly, unlimited access to test preparation for over 150 exams. Students get unlimited test prep for all of the exams they plan on taking, including 30+ DSST subject tests.”

DSST Prep Subscription (prep material and practice tests, pay monthly)

Take a DSST Practice Tests (official practice exams by Prometric) No cost.

Let’s Test Out

I love a good testing-out story! If your teen has tested out of a college level class using CLEP, DSST, Advanced Placement, or another testing product, I’d love for you to share your story for an upcoming post. Most parents who first hear about testing out think it’s too hard, too intimidating, and what “other people do” but my experience here says otherwise. Thousands of students in the Homeschooling for College Credit community have earned college credit this way. If you’re open to share your story, drop me a note below.

DIY Statistics Course for those who HATE Math

I’ve only met a few people in real life who’ve taken Statistics, and of those who did, most told me that hated it. When I found out I needed 3 college credits in statistics to get into grad school, I was very nervous. I ended up DIYing a “course” for myself that prepared me to test out of Statistics and Probability using the DSST standardized exam, and it wasn’t even terrible. I’ll share that plan with you in this post.

Continue reading “DIY Statistics Course for those who HATE Math”

Parent Question: Does College Board ever change the passing score needed?

“Hello. I understand that colleges can change which CLEP exams they will accept every year. I was wondering if the College Board updates/changes the passing score for the CLEP exams?” What a wonderful question – I like where your thoughts are taking you, and I can’t wait to dig into this answer.

Continue reading “Parent Question: Does College Board ever change the passing score needed?”

My Top 10 CLEP Prep Tips for PARENTS

Before I ever started homeschooling my own teens for college credit, I wanted to know more about CLEP, and how it worked. The super-short version is that I took one exam “just to see” what it would be like….but I ended up testing out of an Associate’s Degree (60 credits) in 6 months! I didn’t need that degree; I worked as a chef and had my culinary credentials in place, but it was loads of fun and a little addictive once I got rolling. Continue reading “My Top 10 CLEP Prep Tips for PARENTS”

CLEP Expiration / Revision Dates

ACE is the third-party review organization that colleges use to decide if a class or exam is “worth” college credit or not. In other words, CLEP exams are worth college credit because they have undergone review by ACE.

When ACE reviews an exam, they always assign a date range for that review. At the ending date, the exam must be reviewed again or removed. The exam can be renewed and extended when there isn’t a significant change in content. As an example, we’ve watched the Biology exam renew unchanged since 2001. As such, we can feel confident that the exam has not changed that much since 2001 because the date simply keeps getting extended for another 3-year cycle (indicating no change).

If an exam is revised, it must be assigned a new date range. For instance, United States History 1 has remained unchanged since 2001, but just received a new date range renewal  “12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023” which tells us that the exam was revised this time (indicating significant content change).

It’s an imperfect system, but one that we can use to watch what the College Board is doing behind the scenes. They don’t usually announce exam revisions, but we can figure it out if we watch the dates in the ACE database.

Some exam revisions are significant (when Social Science and History completely changed their content in 2016) or slight. We don’t know what is coming, but we can report what we learn as a group. This kind of feedback loop helps all parents help each other.

All date ranges and the history of date ranges are available by searching the ACE Database.

Currently, 34 CLEP exams are evaluated for college credit.  


American Government 7/1/01- 11/30/18 –> REVISED EXAM  12/01/2018 -11/30/23

American Literature 3/1/15 – 12/31/22

Analyzing and Interpreting Literature  3/1/15-12/31/22

Biology 7/1/01- 12/31/22

Calculus 10/1/12 – 11/30/18  –> REVISED EXAM 12/01/2018 -11/30/23

Chemistry 7/1/01- 11/30/18  –> REVISED EXAM 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

College Algebra 1/1/07 – 12/31/22

College Composition (essay) 7/1/10 – 11/30/18 –> REVISED EXAM 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

College Modular (no essay) 3/1/15 – 11/30/ 18 –>REVISED EXAM 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

College Math 3/1/15 – 12/31/22

English Literature 3/1/15 – 11/30/18  –> REVISED EXAM 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

Financial Accounting 1/1/07 – 12/31/22

French Language 3/1/15 – 11/30/18–> REVISED EXAM 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

German Language 3/1/15 – 12/31/22

History of the United States I 7/1/01- 11/30/18 –> REVISED EXAM 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

History of the United States II 7/1/01- 11/30/18 –> REVISED 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

Human Growth and Development 11/1/06 – 11/30/18  –>  REVISED 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

Humanities 3/1/15 – 11/30/18 –> REVISED 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

Information Systems 10/1/12 – 12/31/22

Intro. Educational Psychology 10/1/12 – 11/30/18 –> REVISED 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

Intro. Business Law 5/1/02 – 11/30/18 –> REVISED 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

Intro. Psychology 10/1/12 – 11/30/18 –> REVISED 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

Intro. Sociology 10/1/12 – 11/30/18 –> REVISED 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

Natural Sciences 7/1/01- 11/30/18 –> REVISED 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023

Precalculus 10/1/12 – 12/31/22

Princ. of Macroeconomics 10/1/12 – 12/31/22

Princ. of Microeconomics 10/1/12 – 13/31/22

Princ. of Management 3/1/15 – 12/31/22

Princ. of Marketing 10/1/12 – 12/31/22

Social Science and History 3/1/16 – 12/31/23

Spanish Language 3/1/15 – 12/31/22

Spanish with Writing 6/1/19 – 5/31/24

Western Civ. I 7/1/01- 12/31/22

Western Civ. II 7/1/01- 12/31/22

My Top 10 CLEP Prep Tips for PARENTS

Before I ever started homeschooling my own teens for college credit,  I wanted to know more about CLEP, and how it worked.  The super-short version is that I took one exam “just to see” what it would be like….but I ended up testing out of an Associate’s Degree (60 credits) in 6 months!  I didn’t need that degree; I worked as a chef and had my culinary credentials in place, but it was loads of fun and a little addictive once I got rolling. Continue reading “My Top 10 CLEP Prep Tips for PARENTS”