So you’re new to CLEP and DANTES testing and you want to know what it is all about? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We can offer more information, materials and specifics about CLEP and DANTES tests than any other web site out there because we've been around for a long time. There isn’t anything we don’t know about CLEP and DANTES tests and we’d like to share it all with you so you can be as successful as possible.
Step 1 - Don't Get Overwhelmed
There are a lot of different CLEP and DANTES tests that you can take, tests you are qualified for, tests that are interesting to you and let’s be realistic, tests that just sound easy and quick to pass. We'll help you narrow down the field, provide insight into taking the right test and get you the materials that you need to pass, quickly and on the first try.
Step 2 - Find Out Your School's CLEP and DANTES test policy
Generally, it isn’t too hard to find your school's CLEP or DANTES policy online. Most colleges and universities post their CLEP and DANTES policies online. It may be listed under the testing center information. Or, it may be listed under their transferring credit or credit by examination or portfolio category. If you can't find it right away, try typing CLEP and the name of your school into a search enging like Google and you will usually find the page you are looking for.
It’s important to find out what tests your school will accept and how. There are two different ways that colleges apply CLEP and DSST tests as credit. The first way is to assign a specific class to a specific test. For example, a college accepts CLEP credit for College Composition. The school determines that this test covers the same information as a Freshman English 1010 (just an example). This means that you will receive credit for Freshman English 1010 which you may need for graduation or to fill a prerequisite for a higher level English course. If you don’t need this exact class, it will most likely count as an elective credit.
The second way that a school can assign credit for a test is in a category. For example, you’re taking the College Composition CLEP test. The school says that for graduation you need six credits in English. That means you can take this test and any other English test to fill the credits in that category. This is the way that University of Phoenix determines credits, however, they call the category Communication Arts.
There are some standard rules that schools have about CLEP or DANTES tests. These include things like, if you have taken the class in college before you won’t be able to take the CLEP test, or it will count as elective credit and not the category credit. As always, each school makes up its own rules and they are varied for each person so it’s always a good idea to check with your school first.
Also, it’s good to find out how long after you get your passing score does it take to post the credit to your school account. This mainly is important for students you are taking a CLEP or DANTES test in order to make a graduation deadline. Make sure you allow enough time to post the credit or make arrangements with your counselor.
Step 3 - Choose your CLEP or DSST Test
This may be the easiest part of the whole testing process. Browse through the categories and tests until you find the test you are most interested in, or the test you need in order to fulfill graduation requirements. We list each test by subject so you'll know which tests count for which types of credit. Each test has the number of questions on it and the difficulty ranking. You can find that on the individual products page for CLEP and for DANTES.
Next, order the study CLEP or DANTES study guide. You can choose to have the instant download or the hard copy mailed to you. If you select the PDF, download it to your computer. You will not be able to access it again to download it. If your computer crashes or you do need the file again, we would be happy to email it to you. To help you faster, please always include your receipt number, name and email address.
Step 4 - STUDY!!!!
This may seem like an obvious step but is very important to YOUR success. Your amount and quality of study will determine how well you do on the test. We are frequently asked how much you need to study. That depends on you. How fast you read, how familiar you are with the topic from work or school, and the difficulty of the material all play a part in your study time. If you plan on taking the test within 24 hours of purchasing the study guide, make sure you memorize all the key concepts.
Many students study for one to two hours a night for two weeks and then are prepared to take the test. Some guidelines in determining if you are ready to take a CLEP or DSST test are: read the study guide at least three times. You should know the material well enough to be able to teach it to someone else from memory. If you can teach a concept, give examples of it and answer questions about it, you are ready to take the test. Have a family member open the book at random and quiz you. Use the flashcards and if necessary, make additional ones for the areas that are giving you trouble.
Step 5 - Schedule the Test
If you haven’t done so already, schedule the CLEP or DANTES test with your testing center. If you need help locating where you can take your test, click here. Many testing centers will require advanced notice of at least a few days. However, some will let you walk in and take the test. Find out the testing center’s policy about scheduling in advance. The ideal situation is to schedule your test after you feel you are completely ready.
Step 6 - Take the Test
Make sure you are on time for your CLEP test as some schools give them at specific times and may need you to reschedule. This is also a courtesy to the testing center. Bring yourself, your checkbook and/or credit cards to pay for the test and the testing center. The CLEP test is $80 and the DSST test is $80. In addition, the school may charge a testing center fee. This is in addition to the testing fee and is usually about $15. This is paid to the school directly. They should give you this information when you schedule your test. For military members past or present: there are special rules about paying for CLEP and DSST tests. These are free for you to take. However, depending on your status, you will either pay for the test and be reimbursed or you will not have to pay at all. You need to contact your education officer for more information.
Step 7 - Get Your Score
For over 90% of you, you will receive your score instantly. Most CLEP and DSST tests are taken on the computer which will automatically score your test. You do have the option to cancel your score before the score is shown to you or printed. Generally, you only do this if you don’t think you have passed. However, you still won’t be able to retake the test for six months if you cancel the score or if you don’t pass, so it is better to take the risk, you may have passed by one point! It doesn’t affect your GPA or transcript if you don’t pass so you don’t have anything to lose!
If you take the pencil and paper version of the test then you will receive your score by mail in 3-6 weeks.
On your score report it will list your score and the ACE recommended score. This is the score that most colleges and universities use to determine if you got a high enough score to award credit, basically, the passing score. Most schools give a pass on your transcript, they do not assign a letter grade such as “A, B, C”. However, this is only the majority so always check with your school. Also, some schools require a score higher than the ACE recommended score for passing. If this is the case, we will still honor our guarantee for Pass or Don’t Pay. Simply provide us with a copy of your score, the school’s policy (from their web page) and your receipt.
Step 8 - CELEBRATE!
Celebrate passing your first CLEP or DANTES test! Most CLEP tests and all DANTES tests are worth 3 credit hours. Look at how much time you’ve saved driving to, sitting in, and doing homework for class. Think about how much extra money you will have now that you don’t have to pay tuition and books for an extra class.
Step 9 - Repeat
Now that you’ve got the process down, start again! University of Phoenix will let you test out of up to 30 credits. Other schools average around 18 credits. That is a lot of money and time you can save! We’re glad to be here to help you on your way. Let us know your experiences! If you have additional questions, check out our FAQ page here.