Which CLEP and DSST Tests are Military Members Most Likely to Pass?

filling out paperwork

College-level placement examinations can allow you to skip some entry-level college courses if you demonstrate a thorough enough knowledge of the subjects. To prove that you know enough, you must take a standardized examination. The major types of placement examinations available to active-duty members are the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) and DSST (formerly DANTES Subject Standardized Tests).

These tests are free for active-duty members.

CLEP and DSST exams help you earn college credit for knowledge you've acquired through your military experience, independent study, prior course work, on-the-job training, professional development, cultural pursuits or internships. They save you time and money not spent taking a college class. Taking placement examinations allows you to stretch your tuition assistance (TA), GI Bill, Federal Student Aid, and/or scholarship dollars while you achieve your education goals.

Now what? Which exams should you take? Well, it depends. What degree program are you interested in, what credits do you need, and what is your school’s transfer policy concerning accepting alternative sources of credit? Since the answers to these questions vary widely, the first place to begin is your local education center, where a counselor can help you find the answers that are just right for you.

To help you get started, take a look at the exams with the highest military student pass rates for fiscal 2023, according to the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support:

RankTest TypeTest TitlePass Rate
1CLEPSpanish With Writing93%
2CLEPSpanish Language88%
3DSSTBusiness Ethics and Society87%
4CLEPFrench Language82%
5CLEPIntroduction to Business81%
6DSSTTechnical Writing79%
7DSSTEthics in Technology78%
8DSSTHealth & Human Development78%
9CLEPCollege Composition77%
10DSSTCriminal Justice77%
11DSSTIntroduction to Law Enforcement77%
12CLEPIntroductory Sociology76%
13DSSTComputing and Information Technology75%
14CLEPAnalyzing and Interpreting Literature73%
15DSSTEnvironmental Science71%
16DSSTMoney & Banking67%
17DSSTPersonal Finance70%
18DSSTSubstance Abuse70%
19DSSTLifespan Developmental Psychology69%
20CLEPGerman Language68%

Keep Up With Your Education Benefits 

Whether you need a guide on how to use your GI Bill, want to take advantage of tuition assistance and scholarships, or get the lowdown on education benefits available for your family, Military.com can help. Subscribe to Military.com to have education tips and benefits updates delivered directly to your inbox.

Story Continues
GI Bill Benefits