What Are The DSST / Dantes Exams?

DSST exams are one of the best ways for students to save time and money while working toward college degrees. Also known as DANTES exams, the DSSTs are tests you can take to earn college credits for the things you learn outside of the lecture hall – through on-the-job training, work experience, and independent study. Passing a DSST / DANTES test not only demonstrates your mastery of a subject, but also earns you transferable credit so that you don’t have to enroll in redundant, time consuming courses.

DSST stands for DANTES Subject Standardized Tests. The acronym reflects the tests’ relationship to the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) program run by the US Department of Defense.

DSST tests let students test out of college classes by giving them the option of proving that they already have the knowledge needed to pass a course on the tested subject. Passing a test can mean earning three credits toward your degree, as long as you make sure that the college you would like to enroll in (or are already enrolled in) accepts the credits.

The DSST program is recognized by almost 2,000 colleges and universities, so you have a good chance of finding a college that will accept your passing test scores and award you with college credits. Colleges and universities in the United States and other countries around the world offer the tests year-round, so that you can take them whenever you are ready.

There are more than 38 DSST tests available in the areas of Business, Social Science, Humanities, Mathematics, Applied Technology, and Physical Science. This means that you can take the DANTES tests that match your strengths, or study harder so that you can test for credits rather than sit through a semester of a class you don’t want to take.

Unlike the CLEP exams, which are only available for lower level subjects, DANTES tests are offered for both lower and upper level courses, so that you can take certain DSSTs to help you fulfill your upper level university requirements.

Each exam costs only $80 (plus a small administration fee) to take. This makes DSST / DANTES exams a great money-saver if you are able to pass them. You will have to wait six months to retake a DSST test if you fail it on your first try, but you will still being saving hundreds of dollars by retaking the tests rather than taking actual college courses.

We are working on getting some free DSST / DANTES study guides up, so be sure to check back here for them. In the meantime, check out some other great resources we recommend to help you prepare for the exams effectively.