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Earning college credits with DSST tests is an amazing way to save money on college. With a few resources to help you study, you can be earning credits in no time!
I was compensated for my time in writing this review. Opinions are always my own.
$30,000. That’s my estimate of how much we’ve saved on our boys’ college through earning credits by exam. Thirty-thousand-dollars!
Credits by exam is exactly what it sounds like. A person takes a test and if they pass, they are awarded college credits. If you’ve heard of this amazing money-saver, you’ve likely heard of CLEP. CLEP tests are the most commonly known college credit granting tests.
We love CLEP tests! But there’s another way to earn these credits by exam that many people miss… DSST tests. (DANTES Subject Standardized Tests).
I think it’s time more people were introduced to this overlooked resource.
Why DSST Tests?
If you’re wondering what the difference is between CLEP and DSST tests, the best answer is: content. While there is some overlap in tests, the two mostly offer different test subjects. And that’s why we utilized both in earning credits by exam!
While CLEP tests cover primarily general education courses with some electives, DSST offers far more elective area studies. Categories include topics in history, science, business, humanities and more. You can visit the DSST test site to see fact sheets on what is covered in each course as well as sample questions.
The first test that both of my boys took to earn college credit was World Religions, which is a DSST test. We had done a semester long study group with other homeschool students and every student took and passed the test. 3 college credits (one class) for around $100.
DSST tests were also the most recent tests we’ve taken. My youngest son is majoring in Business, and took several tests, earning credit for a number of introductory Business courses before he ever enrolled in a college class.
DSST Test Prep
I wrote not too long ago about using Study.com as a resource for preparing for CLEP tests, and I was so excited to hear that they now have DSST prep as well! Please take the time to check out that post as every single benefit applies equally to their DSST test prep.
Over the years that we utilized credit by exam, we prepared for tests in a number of different ways. Study groups, individual semester long courses, and preparing for tests without doing a full course.
We loved using study groups to prepare for exams. When we would meet with our study group, we always watched videos together. I love (LOVE) the Study.com videos! The videos are concise and engaging and would work perfectly to watch with a study group as you dig in to your topic.
(Hint: Videos are a great way for students to practice their note taking skills)
Have you ever wished for a resource that would come alongside your curriculum to really help your kids ‘get’ it? I certainly did! Study.com is an ideal resource for this purpose. The brief videos sum up topics in an easy to understand way. The lessons highlight vocabulary and concepts that students need to remember. And the flashcards provide a means to review.
We didn’t always use a curriculum to prepare for tests. Sometimes, we just did flat out test prep. Study.com is the best resource for doing this that I’ve found.
Topics are mapped out to cover exactly what you need to know to pass the tests. Between videos, readings, quizzes, flashcards, and practice tests…all your bases are covered here.
Sample reading and quiz from World Religions course:
Can I add something here…earning credit by exam is not exclusive to homeschool families! Anyone can rack up credits at minimal cost using this method.
Have a light load of classes this semester? Pick a course and let Study.com map out a plan to prepare for the exam. Save yourself the time and money of taking the class on campus.
Want to maximize your summer? Use Study.com to prepare for a test and you’ve just saved yourself thousands of dollars.
Wish you could graduate college sooner? When you study a subject in high school, add on practice with Study.com and take the exam to earn credit for many of your general education credits before you ever set foot on a college campus.
If you want to save money on college, don’t overlook DSST tests!