The CLEP and DSST exams offer a good opportunity for independent learners to gain college credit for much less than attending college courses would cost. However, it still costs $72 to take one shot at a CLEP exam, and a similar amount for a DSST. It's a good idea to be sure of your knowledge of the subject and a feel for the test before you go to the test center. There's a website which offers practice tests for most of the CLEP exams, and some of the DSSTs. The website requires registration, but once you've registered, you can try any of the exams three times each. The exams are timed, just like in real life, but you can stop the clock and start again another time if necessary. I've tried these online tests in biology, humanities, and English composition. For me, it was the biology test that was the most satisfying. The CLEP exam in biology is worth 6 credit hours representing a year long course for college freshmen. I got a passing grade, even though I've never taken a formal course in biology and my only preparation had been reading the online biology book listed in the free textbooks section of this blog. This proved to me that learning at home is possible and effective. The only downside to these practice tests is that only 5 of the 30 or so DSSTs are available. Still, if you're planning on doing either credit-by-exam program, it might be worth visiting here for the CLEPs and here for the DSSTs.
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