Are you NEW?
So you’re new to CLEP and DANTES testing and you want to know what it is all about? There is a lot of information that can make this seem overwhelming. Don't worry about knowing it all. You don't have to - because WE DO. We can offer more information, materials and specifics about CLEP and DANTES tests than any other website 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. Isn't that part of the idea? To get as many credits as quickly, cheaply and easily as possible? We'll help you narrow down the field, help you find out which is the right test to take 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. YOu can look for your school's under the testing center information, the credit transfer policy or graduation requirements. It can also be listed as credit by examination or portfolio credit.
The best thing that you can do early on is to find out what CLEP and DANTES tests your school accepts. You want to do this before you buy our study guide and CERTAINLY before you start studying. Nothing is worse than being ready to take a test that doesn't count for your school, your major or your degree. That's why it’s so important to find out what tests your school will accept and how. There are two different ways that colleges apply CLEP and DANTES 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 Modular. The school determines that this test covers the same information as a Freshman English 1050 (just an example). This means that you will receive credit for Freshman English 1050 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 Modular 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 most schools have about CLEP or DANTES tests. Usually, if you have taken the class in college before, you won't be able to get the credit for the CLEP test. Sometimes they will let you take the test for elective credit. Again, you want to check with your school because each school makes up its own rules and they are varied for each person and what classes they have taken and need to take.
Also, it’s good to find out how long after you get your passing score before they post it to your account. It doesn't do you a lot of good to take a test for graduation, if it takes the school three months to apply the credit to your transcript. Find out from your academic advisor or counselor what their policy is.
Step 3 - Choose your CLEP or DANTES 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. You are in charge of yourself and your schedule. The amount and quality of your study will determine how you do on the test and how long it takes you to study. How long does it take to prepare for a CLEP test? This is the most commonly asked CLEP test question. The answer? It totally depends. It depends on you. The amount of time that you take every day to drill the material will be a factor. If you already know a lot about a subject, of course you're not going to need to study as much. Are you a good student? Do you read fast? Are you determined to pass on the first try? 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 DANTES 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 or have dates lined up that they give tests. However, some will let you walk in and take the test with no notice at all. It depends on how busy the testing center is. We've found that University of Phoenix testing centers are easy to get into with short notice. 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. In fact, make SURE you bring a credit card since you may have to pay the testing center separately from the CLEP or DANTES test. You may need to enter your credit card information online at the testing center.
The CLEP test is $80 and the DANTES 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 DANTES 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 DANTES 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. You also won't know your score for 3-6 weeks if you take any test with a written essay or if you take the Public Speaking DANTES test. This test requires you to give a speech into a tape recorder, which is then graded offsite.
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. Or give us an email. There is a lot to know about CLEP and DSST - but we've done our best to make this page both comprehensive AND manageable.