While the DSST program offers a total of 37 examinations in unique subject matter, the 10 examination titles releasing with new material are: Substance Abuse, Introduction to Computing, Ethics in America, Criminal Justice, Personal Finance, Management Information Systems, Here’s to Your Health, Fundamentals of College Algebra, Principles of Statistics and Introduction to World Religions. A rejuvenated practice examination is also available for each title.
Regular material up-dates keep the DSST examinations certified with the extensive requirements of the American Council on Education (ACE), which suggests the examinations for credit, as well as appropriate to applicants and arranged university classes. It also increases the security and reliability of the examinations through protection of item overexposure.
“The universities that agree to DSST credits do so based on the capability of the examinations to coordinate up with certain course specifications, and this positioning is crucial to the success of the DSST program,” said Jean Steinke, DSST Senior Product Planner at Prometric. “College directors, giving programs and learners should be confident that the topic and material of all DSST examinations are indicative of course material and representative of a progressed level of information in any of the topic.”
Almost any adult who has gone back to school is familiar with credit by exam programs that allow them to earn college credit for life experience. The DSST program is Prometric’s exclusive program of 37 examinations while attending college subject matter such as Social Sciences, Math, Applied Technology, Business, Physical Sciences and Humanities. Learners who take and pass a DSST examination are given college credit applied toward their degree. DSST examinations are applied by more than 1,200 universities, colleges and military facilities globally and are recommended for school credit by the American Council on Education (ACE). Close to 2000 universities offer course credit for a passing grade on the DSSTs. Providing a simple and fast way for current or future students of any age to “short cut” their degree program by saving them the time of having to sit in a class and the money of having to pay for it by taking the credit by exam route.
Too many students are targeted on the classes they need to take. English, Psychology, Chemistry, Accounting etc. It’s simple to see why. Choose a college course book and you will see that degree programs are set out as series of classes to take. Successfully pass them all and you graduate with the degree you desired. Yet, this is actually a superficial way to look at higher education. As it turns out, credits are the real foundations of degrees, not classes.
Take a closer look at your college’s course book. What you will see is that you actually need a certain variety of credits to graduate, usually 60 for an associate degree and 120 for a bachelor’s. This is a key understanding, because once you move your focus from classes to credit, you can begin researching methods to buy them for less. The costly classes your university provides are just one way of getting those credits, even though most learners thoughtlessly believe it’s the only way.
In reality, there are three methods to generate higher education credit:
- Classes at four year public colleges/private universities
- Classes at community colleges
- Credit by examination
Most students are acquainted with the first two choices. But hardly anyone knows about credit by examination and even less understand its full potential. Credit by examination represents college-level subject assessments like CLEP and DSST. With this strategy, you take a large test covering an entire subject (say, English) rather than a semester-long course. Successfully pass the examination and you get credit just as if you had taken the class. What this implies is that you can possibly cut lots of money off the price of graduating by replacing as many of these examinations for classes as your college will allow. Unfortunately, many colleges and universities have tight “residency requirements” restricting how many attributes you can get this way.
DANTES, CLEP and Excelsior examinations are Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) Financed for active duty, Nationwide Guard members and Reserves which means they are generally free. The DANTES credit by examination is a nationally-recognized credit-by-examination program that most universities agree to for credit towards a degree plan. One tremendous benefit is to soldiers who may be separated from army bases such as recruiters who can still take these examinations for free at private analyze facilities. Any army college student with an accepted degree plan should be able to use these examinations towards their degree. There are 38 DANTES credit by examinations and these can be taken at a base education center or at an approved off base computer examining center.
There are steps to taking and passing a DANTES credit by examination:
Step 1. Find and Schedule – Once a testing center is located, they must be approached to confirm testing procedures and scheduling for army learners. DANTES credit by examinations are developed to analyze proficiency in various college-level course materials. The evaluation is similar to the final evaluation given in lower degree college programs.
Step 2. Get a Fact Sheet – There a few strategies to successfully passing a DANTES that utilize the actual test development to ensure a passing grade. The examinations are developed based on and summary from subject experts and the questions are examined for stability based on a subject’s knowledge of that particular topic. Basically each fact sheet has a content summary that describes the content and the exact percentages of that content on the evaluation.
Step 3. Get Books – The next phase in using the fact sheet is to test the area known as sources for study material, because this is where the guides used to design the test question originate from. Generally, an evaluation details several books for an evaluation however there is usually a seminal written text. The best way to purchase lessons is to search Amazon.com for the book. In most cases, the most recent version need not be bought, as the explanations and concepts in the guide do not change that considerably over time.
What is “credit by exam,” such as CLEP, DSST, and AP? It represents a test one can take and earn college credits at participating universities. Some examinations can be taken at any age, while others have some age limitations. Here’s why credit by exam should be the focus on a high school?
Reduce College debt – This is the #1 reason we are concentrating on getting college credit without taking college classes! If we can pay $100 per examination, each being worth either three or six credits, it significantly reduces down the cost of a university education.
Pose a challenge – Since an honor student generally has done quite well in school, she is used to placing in 50% effort. This is a risky habit to pick up and giving her the task of passing a college level examination helps her step up her game.
Reduce the period of time in college – The earlier he or she can get started in “real life,” the more experience he or she can have as he or she gets to her primary adulthood. As a 30 year old, he or she could have ten years experience in a given field rather than six or eight. Decreasing the period of time in college also decreases some of the contact with the insane college lifestyle, in which many teenagers leave their principles for what seems fun and interesting in the moment.
Take a course once – There are many programs that a student would rather not do, such as Literature. Some students dislike literature with a passion and it’s definitely the topic in which they nag the most about things getting done. Now, does the student want to do literature once in high school, or have to do it again in college? If the student passes the examination, then he or she will not have to finish that same course in college. It’s a win-win situation!
A credit is frequently recognized as standing for a reliable enterprise officially guaranteeing the value of an educational experience. Officially, a credit symbolizes how long is spent in a particular course. Initially, the credit was an administrative input measure to assure equivalency of team amount of work. Features are gathered and “rolled up” into qualifications such as accreditation or degrees. Prior learning assessment and credit by exam are useful in this perspective to enable casual studying to be associated with credit. Credentials signify a package of information, abilities and skills; not just time spent, but also the accomplishment of desired studying outcomes, usually at the unit, program and institutional level (such as graduate skills) and getting skill sets, knowledge and capabilities.
The value and worth of credit, and especially qualifications, are dependent on the reputation of the conferring organization and its relationships with stakeholders. For example, a community trusts the popularity of a university and ascribes a value (usually economic) to this connection. Your credit or certification is recognized as being a de facto ‘letter of introduction’ from the school to a third party (most commonly an employer or another university) in which the popularity of the school performs a purposeful role.
The contextual sizing of the credit and the certification is implied in the reliable connection between the credentialing organization and the areas in which it is appropriate. Informal studying experiences, like their official alternatives, are most significant in the perspective in which the student is engaging with the encounter.
For example, local colleges often act as financial points of interest, hiring students and faculty who definitely give rise to the financial, social and perceptive investment of the region. For these institutions, the future of credits, credit by exam and credentialing could well lie in creating locally-valued studying experiences. A certification benefits value through localized, contextualized, genuine tests which build a connection of trust between the school and local industry. The connection is fully noticed when businesses are active stakeholders in the creation of units of study.
When Erick Dillard made the decision to get his online bachelors degree from Excelsior College back in 2002, he was working and raising two children. He didn’t have the luxury of going to school full-time, and he wanted to get his degree on his schedule. The 48-year-old Army veteran made the decision to test out of some of his online course specifications. By the time he completed it, he would save lots of money and obtained credit for 15 courses in his strategic communications degree, all without getting the formal classes. “I would come home and study all night and all evening,” says Dillard, who sometimes completed two courses a month through credit by exam.
Earning a degree doesn’t always have to be a huge time or investment decision. Progressively, older students like Dillard are speeding up their education and cutting expenses by using programs that award credit for past learning, says Pam Tate, chief executive and CEO of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning. Earning credit by exam can be a great choice for adults who have already learned the course material through previous jobs or military experience, experts say. And it can be a particularly eye-catching choice for online students, who enjoy versatility and who are acquainted to a regimented, self-guided approach to learning.
“It’s popular” among online students, says Bill Stewart, associate vice chairman for Institutional Advancement at Excelsior College, which allows students to test out of class. “And some individuals use them to a significant degree and some individuals use them to complete holes in their specifications to meet their degree.” The idea of examining out of school courses is not a new idea. The College Level Examination Program, applied through the College Board, started giving students the choice to get credit for a range of programs in the late Sixties. When students take one of the 33 CLEP assessments, such as chemistry or American literary works, they are first provided a list of information they should understand before the evaluation. It’s up to the student to track down research materials and prepare for the analyze, which expenses about $80 plus a examining fee.
“We are realizing that some of the biggest on the internet colleges, like Thomas Edison State College, have a very strong cohort of exam-takers,” says Suzanne McGurk, senior assessment administrator at the College Board. “I think that really resonates with online students who are used to doing things at their own speed.”
While going to college is now standard, in the past, you were blessed to be able to go to a university. Today, however, most kids are expected to at least study at a college or university. Even grownups are feeling the pressure to acquire higher education and return to college. Unfortunately, traditional college is not an option for everyone, especially for the military servicemen. Great college tuition, work plans, and family lifestyle often make it hard to start or continue college. Fortunately, there are alternatives! Dantes Credit by examination is one alternative that many teenagers and grownups are starting to take seriously.
Credit by examination means that you can get credit for some of the things you already know. Adult scholars, especially, have obtained knowledge outside of the academic setting from the office and life experience. For example, if you show that you already understand college arithmetic, you can test out of that class and claim three credits. This method of earning college credit has been around for the last three decades and is becoming more extensive. Although credit by examination assessments like College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) were initially designed toward army employees, both are now open to civilians.
Nearly 3,000 schools accept credits earned from the assessments, but not all schools do. To be prepared, check your college’s policy to make sure credits will transfer. College credit exams are widely approved by institutions. By passing these exams, you may earn one-third or more of the attributes required for a degree. These exams are available in more than 150 subjects and are similar to end-of-course assessments offered by colleges. The American Council on Education (ACE) suggests college credit for the following credit-by-examination programs. In most cases your examination results are sent to the appropriate army academic records system (i.e., SMART, CCAF, AARTS, Coast Guard Institute). This will make simpler the transcript request procedure when you start the college registration process.
Consider the effort to advertise value through advanced placement courses. For many, reformers tried to use the system as a handle for giving under-served learners an excellent acceptance edge. After all, in the last years of the last millennium, institutions seemed positive on learners with AP programs on their transcripts. But most AP programs were administered at private and suburban academic institutions. Consequently, reformers desired to improve their advanced placement course programs, knowing they could level the playing field by offering equivalent access to an elite product. Yet, the development of the AP Program did not advertise real equality between the academic haves and have-nots. Because once the AP Program achieved critical mass, it lost its performance as a sign of difference. Soon, ratings of institutions (Dartmouth being the latest) improved their guidelines around giving credit for AP training or favoring it in acceptance opinions. And eventually, top level suburban and private academic institutions started to drop the system, saying it’s obsolete, overly-restrictive, and too focused toward multiple choice assessments.
Consider now the recent move by the College Board to recover curricular importance and rigor to the AP product. Taking seriously the charge that advanced placement courses were no longer in line with educating methods in higher education, the College Board has redeveloped the system. The new program will motivate more work in technology laboratories and less parroting back of treatments, more work on traditional thinking and less recall skills of traditional details. That all appears to be very good. But it will do little to improve learning and educating, especially at academic institutions with low-levels of educational and management potential.
To be clear, these are excellent improvements and programs like advanced placement courses should continue to be enhanced and improved. But they will not take care of the further issues that impact academic quality and opportunity in the United States.