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  • DTP Success Team

3 Ways Military Members Benefit From The DSST Credit by Exam Program

Updated: Dec 26, 2022



You're in the military and want to get a college degree.


But you need more time to take regular college courses.


With all the demands of deployment or work in a field that requires a lot of commitment, earning a degree may be challenging.


DSST (formerly DANTES Subject Standardized Tests) are among the most popular placement tests available to active-duty personnel.


College-level placement exams permit you to skip some beginning college courses if you can demonstrate a firm grasp of the topics.


You must take a standardized test to show that you have enough knowledge.


DSST exams are the answer. DSST exams allow you to demonstrate that you already know the material.


How Military Members Benefit From DSST Exams

  1. The Department of Defense pays for your first attempt for each DSST exam as a military member.

  2. DSST exams apply to your CCAF degree.

  3. DSST is an approved VA National Testing Program.

  4. Conclusion

  5. Student Resources


1. The Department of Defense pays for your first attempt for each DSST exam as a military member.


 The Department of Defense pays for your first attempt for each DSST exam as a military member.
The Department of Defense pays for your first attempt for each DSST exam as a military member.

Here's the catch.


If you don't pass your exam on the first attempt, you're responsible for paying the $100.00 exam fee on your second try.


For example, let's say you take DSST Introduction to World Religions.


Since it's your first attempt, DANTES covers the $100.00 fee.


If you don't pass and decide to retake the exam, you're responsible for the DSST exam fee.


You can take each DSST exam for free - only once.


DANTES will not fund additional attempts at a failed exam.


If you fail your exam, you must wait 30 days to retest.


For these reasons, it's essential to create a study plan and try to pass your DSST exam on the first try.


2. DSST exams apply to your CCAF degree.


DSST exams apply to your CCAF degree.
DSST exams apply to your CCAF degree.

To acquire a CCAF (Community College of the Air Force) degree, you'll have to complete around 34 credits in the following subjects: oral and written communication, mathematics, social science, humanities, program electives, and military studies.


Military members typically receive 15 credits from basic training and technical school (combined).


Airman leadership school and skill level advancements can earn you another 8-12 units depending on your branch.


So it's safe to say that some military members already have around 25 units after their first year of service.


DSST exams can help you earn additional college credit for knowledge you've acquired through military experience.


For example, if your military occupational specialty (MOS) code is law enforcement, you might consider taking the DSST Introduction to Law Enforcement and the DSST Criminal Justice exams.


If your MOS is related to the healthcare industry, then DSST Health and Human Development and DSST Substance Abuse would be excellent exams to attempt to pass.


If you pass your DSST test, the time saved from not taking an 8-week college class can help you receive your CCAF degree faster.


Additionally, the money saved from tuition won't dwindle into your tuition assistance benefits.


So technically, you could use your tuition assistance (TA) benefits for your upper-level units and take DSST exams to meet your lower unit requirements.


Degree requirements may vary depending on your MOS and degree major.


Some technological specialties give more credits than others, so you must speak with your education officer about your options.


Please meet with your base education officer and see what DSST exams you qualify for.


3. DSST is an approved VA national testing program.


DSST is an approved VA national testing program under the post 911 G.I. Bill.
DSST is an approved VA national testing program.

DSST is an approved VA National Testing Program under the Post 911 G.I Bill (Chapter 33).


If you decide to test out later and separate from the military, your Post 911 G.I Bill will cover your DSST exam fees.


The G.I Bill covers a wide range of education costs - including DSST exams.


You may use part of your benefits to pay for tests required to obtain a professional or certified license and apply for college or training courses.


The VA will reimburse the DSST exam fee ($100) and the testing center administrative fee (amount varies per location).


Visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for more information.


4. Conclusion


DSST exams are free the first time you take them, they count towards your CCAF degree, and the VA National Testing Program approves them.


DANTES will not fund additional attempts at a failed exam.


If you fail your exam, you must wait 30 days to retest.


Taking the DSST exams at on-base and community-based test centers is possible.


Testing facilities are found worldwide, mainly in the United States.


Active duty military personnel can take the test in person or online across more than 500 locations worldwide that are offered to you with internet access, so it's easier for active members to get credit and credentials even if they're already deployed.


So, now what? Which tests should you take?


It is debatable.


What degree program are you interested in, and how many credits will it require?


Because the answers to these questions differ considerably, the first step should be to visit your local education center, where a counselor can assist you in determining the appropriate answers.


Good luck, and please get in touch with us if you need help.


5. Student Resources


U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

https://www.va.gov/


Post 911 G.I Bill Benefits

https://www.va.gov/education/about-gi-bill-benefits/post-9-11/


DANTES Website

https://www.dantes.doded.mil/


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