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 a college admissions exam for the education and workforce development fields.
  • College-Level Examination Program. The CLEP 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.
  • The DSST, formerly known as the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests. The DSST program offers 38 college-subject exams. This nationally recognized program grants college credit for learning outside of the classroom like on-the-job training, military experience or independent study.
  • General Education Development Tests. The GED measures the high school level of military personnel who aren't high school graduates. This five-subject test includes math, language arts in reading, language arts in writing — including essay — science and social studies.
  • 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. This computer-based test is available through select college and university test centers. Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support will pay for one GRE General and one GRE Subject exam per lifetime for eligible service members. Any GRE Subject exams taken at national test centers are not reimbursable.
  • 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.
  • SAT Reasoning Test. The SAT Reasoning Tests assess skills in subjects such as critical reading, problem solving, writing and math.
  • SAT Subject Tests. The SAT Subject Tests offer testing in English, language, math, science, and history and social studies. Some universities may recommend or require that students take a specific subject test before entering certain courses or degree plans.

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.