Why More Service and Military Personnel Don’t Take the DSST or CLEP* Exams

The DSST and CLEP exams are free for military and service personnel, so it is a bit surprising that more soldiers do not take advantage of this benefit. According to Wikipedia, there are nearly 3 million military personnel eligible to take free DSST and CLEP tests. And yet, of these, less than 100,000 took advantage of this opportunity.

Why is this?

Most soldiers agree that the number one factor preventing them from even trying a few CLEP or DSST tests is their lack of confidence. Soldiers believe that they are not smart enough to pass the tests, that the tests will be too hard, and that they don’t have what it takes to earn a college degree. Most service personnel join the military straight out of high school while still in their teens or early twenties. Many do not have much transferable work or life experience. Since they feel that a university degree is out of their grasp, they feel little motivation to study for and take tests that could end up being for “useless” credits.

Another factor preventing military personnel from taking the DSST and CLEP tests is that they do not believe that the credits they earn from the tests will be recognized as legitimate credits by post-secondary institutions.

The soldiers’ lack of confidence in themselves and in the transferability and worth of the tests are misconceptions that need to be changed. In fact, there are numerous examples of military personnel who have gone on to earn more than one degree in large part due to the credits they earned from taking CLEP and DSST tests.

The benefits of the DANTES exams should not be overlooked. ReadDSST / DANTES Exams: Benefits for Military and Service Personnel to find out the benefits of the CLEP and DSST exams to US military personnel.

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