There are several methods of achieving degree credit through examinations.
The Center for Careers and Transfer administers two programs:
- College Level Examination Program (CLEP) a College Board program
- DSST, an ETS program
Hudson Valley Community College is an open test center for both CLEP
and DSST. This means that registration for either of these exams is
open to the public, as well as currently registered Hudson Valley Community
College students. While there are many similarities between CLEP and
DSST, there are
differences. Individuals interested in either of these programs are advised
to review the more detailed information that follows. You may also contact
the Center for Careers and Transfer, if you have any questions.
Overview of CLEP and DSST
CLEP and DSST are based on the premise that some individuals enrolling
in college have already learned part of what is taught there. These
programs allow individuals to demonstrate their college level learning
by taking examinations that assess the knowledge and skills taught
in college courses. Prior learning could be through their job and
life experiences, independent reading and study, or non-credit courses.
There are no prerequisites to take a CLEP or DSST exam; no age restriction,
and no degree requirements. These programs save time and money! The cost
to take a CLEP or DSST exam is considerably less expensive than the
cost of registering for a college course. Students save time as they
are able to earn credit by demonstrating their knowledge on the exam,
without the need to attend classes. If a student does not pass the exam,
it is as if he/she never took it. No credit of failure will appear on
the transcript. The student can repeat the exam in six months.
Most CLEP and DSST exams use a multiple choice format, although a
select few include an essay component. CLEP and DSST differ in that
CLEP exams are timed (90 minutes), while DSST exams have no time limit.
Another difference is that CLEP uses computer based testing, while DSST
uses a paper/pencil format. Since we have a set number of computers available
for CLEP, we are limited in the number of test-takers we can accommodate
each month. Therefore, students interested in CLEP are advised to register
early, as we often fill our available seats months in advance.
Aside from these differences in test format, CLEP and DSST differ
in the subject exams each program offers, their registration process
(forms, fees, deadlines), and their accepted payment methods. Therefore,
individuals interested in CLEP and/or DSST are advised to read the
specific information pertaining to each of these programs, included below.
Transfer of CLEP or DSST Credit
Nearly all American colleges have a policy for awarding credit through CLEP or DSST. Students who intend to transfer should contact their transfer college of choice for information on their policy. Hudson Valley Community College students need to contact their advisor prior to registering for CLEP or DSST, since departments vary in their acceptance.