Examinations are often the first step toward advancing your education. You may need to take academic exams before entering the next phase of your educational career, or, if you are already knowledgeable in a subject area, you may be able to take an exam for college credit. In order to help you move forward with your education, the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) sponsors many frequently requested exams to help you, the service member, meet your goals.
The following DANTES-sponsored exams are available to military personnel on or near over 470 military installations worldwide:
- ACT. The ACT is commonly used as a college entrance exam for the fields of education and workforce development.
- College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). CLEP tests offer you the ability to test out of thirty-three test titles that you may already have knowledge about from your own work, military experience, or education experiences.
- DSST (formally known as the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests). The DSST program is an extensive series of thirty-eight examinations in college subjects. This nationally recognized program allows you to receive college credit for learning acquired in areas outside the conventional classroom, like on-the-job training, military experience or independent study. The DSST program can save you valuable time and money by earning you credit for what you already know.
- General Education Development Tests (GEDTS). The GEDTS is used to measure the high school level of military personnel who are not high school graduates. It is a five-subject area test including Mathematics, Language Arts Reading, Language Arts Writing (including essay), Science, and Social Studies.
- Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). The GMAT is available through Pearson VUE test sites and some college and university test centers. This computer-adaptive test includes verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing questions. The GMAT is funded on a reimbursable basis one-time only for eligible service members.
- Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). This computer-based test is available through Prometric and select college and university test centers. DANTES will fund one administration of GRE General and GRE Subject exams per lifetime for eligible service members, but GRE Subject exams taken at national test centers are not reimbursable.
- PRAXIS. There are two exams in the PRAXIS series, PRAXIS I and II.
- PRAXIS I is a Pre-Professional Skills Tests (PPST) consisting of three separate subject area tests, including reading, mathematics, and writing. In some states, the PPST must be passed before beginning a teacher education program; in other states the PPST is used as a teacher licensing exam.
- PRAXIS II is a timed Subject Assessment/Specialty Test focused on principles of learning and teaching. The exam is offered in over 100 test subjects and specialties. Some states require the passage of this exam before a teacher can teach in a certain subject area.
- SAT Reasoning Test. The SAT is a globally recognized college admissions exam that most colleges and universities use as a college admissions requirement and for student placement. Subject areas tested on the SAT include Critical Reading, Problem-solving, Writing, and Mathematics.
- SAT Subject Tests. The SAT Subject Tests are offered in five general subject areas including English, Language, History and Social Studies, Mathematics, and Science. Some universities may recommend or require that students take a specific SAT Subject Test before entering certain courses or degree plans.
Test prep scams
As you prepare and sign up for one or several of these exams, be careful to avoid scams that could potentially waste your time and money. Steer clear of promises that sound too good to be true and keep an eye out for any test preparation programs that attempt to:
- Pressure you to buy test preparation materials for exams you don't plan to take.
- Give you purchasing credit with a third party vendor.
- Contact you at home with direct sales.
- Promise college credit without enrolling in a college or university.
- Include dictionaries or encyclopedias on book lists.
Before you spend your hard earned money on any test preparation materials, contact your Education Services Officer or Navy College Education Specialist. He or she may be able to offer you free or low-cost test preparation materials through the education center, installation library, or local college textbook stores.
Your continued education is a worthwhile investment of both time and money. Save a little of both by taking advantage of the DANTES-sponsored exams that are available.