Credit-by-exam can save you tens of thousands of dollars. It’s like writing your own scholarship!

Find out how testing for credit is seamlessly integrated with Verity’s innovative approach to college education here. Still in high school? Check out our Dual Enrollment program and maximize your time in school by earning up to 30 credits by the time you graduate!

What are CLEPs and DSSTs?

CLEP and DSST exams are college-level course replacement exams.

The College Board offers CLEP (College Level Examination Program) tests to assess college-level knowledge in 36 subject areas. CLEPs consist of 90-min. multiple-choice questions and costs $80 per test, which if passed, can yield 3-6 credits each.

Similarly, 38 DSSTs (DANTES Subject Standardized Test) are available for both upper and lower-level credit and are approved by the American Council on Education (ACE). DSSTs also consist of a 120-min. multiple-choice questions and costs $80 per test which can yield 3 lower or upper-level credits.

Imagine the cost savings that come from this method of earning credits. Instead of spending $400-$600 for every 3 credits, you can save literally thousands of dollars with this alternative approach. Thousands of colleges now accept both CLEP and DSST tests as substitutes for college-level coursework, thus providing students the opportunity to save both time and money.

Here are some key numbers to keep in mind as you’re thinking about testing for credit:

  • 2,900+ colleges accept CLEP
  • 1,900+ colleges accept DSST
  • 60+ CLEP & DSST exams

How does credit-by-examination work?

1. Choose Subject
There are more than 60 CLEP and DSST tests available that can help you expedite your college track while saving big. With that being said, it’s important to keep your degree program in mind as you choose which subjects to test for credit. Just because there’s a CLEP or DSST test for it, doesn’t mean your school will accept it for your degree.

2. Prepare & Study
You can generally expect to take 40-120 hours to study for each test. TIP: If you or your student is in high school, it can be a good idea to coordinate each test with your high school curriculum. For example, if you’re about to finish Algebra I, you could take the College Algebra CLEP and capitalize on your study time.

3. Test for Credits
This is maybe the simplest step, but also the most nerve wracking. Be sure to look up instructions on how to prepare for your CLEP or DSST test before you schedule an appointment at your local testing center. And relax, take a deep breath, and don’t worry!

4. Transfer Credits to Accredited Institution
Over 2,900 colleges accept CLEPs and DSSTs across the country. Have your transcripts sent to the college of your choice and jump ahead of the game as you save time and money.


Advanced Placement (AP) is a way for students to earn college credit while still in high school. In contrast to credit-by-examination, however, these tests are designed to be studied over long periods of time and are only available to be taken at specific times throughout year. CLEP and DSST are designed for students who have already gained a working knowledge of the subject and are available year round.

Most colleges let you transfer up to 30 credit hours of CLEP and DSST credits. Through Verity, you can transfer over 60 CLEP/DSST credit hours to our fully-accredited partner school AND be eligible for in-state tuition. This can result in tremendous savings of both time and money.

Resources for CLEP / DSST

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