Service member taking advancement exam

An Explanation of Education Advancement Exams

You’ve been tested before and have the determination it takes to study hard and be prepared. Doing so on education advancement exams, which assess your skills, can help you earn your degree faster. Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support, or DANTES, offers free or discounted tests for military members. By learning which tests to tackle and how best to prepare, you’ll be ready to master exam time and be one step closer to your higher education goals.

Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support exams

Completing particular DANTES-sponsored exams allows you to earn credits toward a college degree so you may be able to get your degree faster. Here are the basics on these tests.

  • ACT. The ACT is designed to assess general educational development and measure performance of intellectual tasks required of a college student. The ACT is composed of four academic tests that measure academic development in English, mathematics, reading and science. Funding eligibility for service members varies based on type of testing location.
  • College-Level Examination Program. The CLEP exam allows you to test out of 33 test titles in subjects where you may have gained knowledge such as from work, education or military experience. Administration and examination fees are DANTES-funded for eligible service members for the first attempt on all titles only.
  • DSST, formerly known as the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests. Prometric's DSST test is a form of prior-learning assessment offered via 38 college-subject exams. This nationally recognized credit-by-exam program grants college credit for learning outside of the classroom like on-the-job training, military experience or independent study. DANTES funds fees for the first attempt on all DSST titles only, for eligible service members.
  • General Education Development Tests. The GED test consists of four content areas designed to measure the high school level of adult learners who are not high school graduates. The content areas are math, science, social studies and language arts. DANTES reimburses the test fee one time for eligible service members.
  • Graduate Management Admission Test. The GMAT is available through some college and university test centers. This computer-adaptive test includes verbal, quantitative and analytical writing questions. The GMAT is reimbursable (one time) for eligible service members.
  • Graduate Record Examinations. The GRE is a computer-based test available through select college and university test centers. DANTES will pay for one GRE General and one GRE Subject exam per lifetime for eligible service members.
  • PRAXIS I and II. The PRAXIS I is a Pre-Professional Skills Test, or PPST, with three separate subject-area tests in reading, math and writing. Some states require students to pass the PPST before starting a teacher education program, or as a teacher-licensing exam. The PRAXIS II is a timed subject assessment focused on principles of learning and teaching. The exam offers more than 100 test subjects. Some states require you to pass this exam before teaching certain subject areas. Both PRAXIS exams are reimbursable one time for eligible service members.
  • SAT. The SAT is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. The SAT assesses critical thinking skills needed for success in college and future career success. The test is based on knowledge developed through coursework in the following areas: reading, writing, language and math. Funding eligibility for service members varies based on type of testing location.

Test prep scams

Protect yourself as you prepare and sign up for these exams. Be careful to avoid scams that could potentially waste your time and money. Keep an eye out for any test prep program that attempts to:

  • Pressure you to buy test prep 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 prep materials, contact your education services specialist. A specialist may be able to guide you to no-cost or low-cost materials through the education center, installation library or local college bookstores.

Your education is a worthwhile investment of both time and money. Save a little of both by taking advantage of the available DANTES-sponsored exams. Get more information on these exams at www.dantes.doded.mil.