What are DSST and CLEP exams? DSST and CLEP are two testing organizations we use to award credit through standardized exams. Their websites are:
What is the format of testing? CLEP and DSST exams are usually multiple choice, timed, and administered at a computer terminal. A score of 70% or better is considered passing and the results are not included in your GPA. If you do not post a score of 70% or better, you do not earn credit for the exam.
If you are considering exams as part of your strategy to complete degree requirements, you need to review the exam list for titles that interest you and that do not overlap in content in an area for which you have already received credit or will receive credit. There are many titles to choose from that will address core (general eds) and titles that will address electives only. You are strongly advised to review all exam titles with your academic advisor before completing an exam especially if you are testing to earn credit in a core (general ed) area.
What is the cost of exams? Exams cost around $120, which includes a $25 CLEP or DSST non-refundable site fee to cover the administrative costs of testing, payable at the time you register for an exam. The balance of fees is $80 for either DSST or CLEP and is due the day of your exam payable with a credit card.
How do I find study materials? Study materials are available and listed at the CLEP and DSST websites. You can track these down through your library or purchase study guides through CLEP and DSST.
What are the pros and cons of testing? Exams are a great strategy to earn credit if you are comfortable with standardized exams and have prior knowledge in the exam subject area. If you have any measure of test anxiety, this is not a good option for you. There is some risk—you will need to post a passing score and be self-disciplined to map out study time to prepare, schedule the exam through the ADP dashboard and follow up to make sure the official transcript posts. You also need to pay for the exams—either out of pocket or by saving your excess funds and using those to cover the site fee and exam fee. All exams must be completed at least 60 days prior to graduation to allow time for us to receive official scores.
Where do I test? The testing location is our C205 campus in SE Portland. The testing calendar is available at the ADP dashboard.
What are my next steps if I am interested? If you are interested in adding exams, your first step is to research the titles that interest you and visit the website for CLEP and DSST. Then, connect with your advisor about the titles you are considering and she/he will talk you through the exam process and update titles to your DP.