Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DSST Exams)

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DANTES is the U.S. Department of Defense program that oversees DoD voluntary education for all U.S. military personnel. It pays for both CLEP exams and DSST tests (see section below) for military service members.

The DANTES mission is to support the off-duty, voluntary education programs of the Department of Defense and to conduct special projects and development activities in support of education-related functions of the Department.
Source: DANTES website

DSST Tests[edit]

The primary reference to DANTES among the Big 3 students is the slightly incorrect use of the acronym "DANTES" to refer to the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST). DANTES is the program that oversees testing for credit for military service members; DSSTs are the actual tests.

DSSTs are available for anyone to take -- you do not need to be in the military to take a DSST exam. DSST tests are accepted by the Big 3 just as CLEP tests are, and are worth 3 semester hours per test. Each DSST has a recommended passing score; it is up to the individual school to determine the actual minimum passing score acceptable for credit.

DSST exams generally cost about $85 + proctoring fees. Military personnel are eligible to get their first attempt at the test for free.

Study Materials[edit]

In general, students should feel free to use any study resource that matches the subject of the DSST exam in question. For instance, any textbook on Astronomy or on Vietnam War history should suffice. However, students who are having difficulty locating appropriate resources should check out the list of study recommendations.

Ordering Transcripts (as Military Personnel)[edit]

The DSST transcript process doesn't always go smoothly and students may sometimes be informed that there are no records to send to the school or that the school never received any records. The first thing a student needs to do in this case is to double-check and confirm that their SSN and other relevant information matches across all accounts.

It is sometimes possible to have signed up for a DSST or even for university itself with a mistyped SSN. If your SSN is 123-45-6789 and you accidentally typed 123-45-6788 when signing up for either DSSTs or the university, records will not match and your DSSTs will never reach your school transcript.

Similar things may cause issues if the SSNs match but the names do not. If, for instance, you have told the school that your name is Johnny Doe and they receive DSST records for John A. Doe, they may get confused and be unable to match the record to your account - even if the SSN matches.

Military-Specific Information[edit]

If you are military and have done the above troubleshooting but you still are still unable to send DSST records to your school, all hope is not lost. Thanks to GameSlinger on the forum for figuring this out.

To order DSST transcripts as active Military or Veteran, you must follow these steps.

  1. Go to
  2. Log In or Create a new account
  3. Once at Dashboard, click Add School/Organization
  4. For name of school, enter Prometric
  5. Fill in all relevant data, but make sure you select that you are ordering as Military (this includes Veterans)

If you accidently add Prometric as a Civilian, you will need to remove it from your list of schools in order to proceed.

  1. From your Dashboard, click Profile then Account Settings
  2. Click Transcripts tab at the top of page
  3. Scroll down to Prometric
  4. On far right of screen, click Remove School
  5. Once removed from list of active schools, follow process outlined above to correctly add Prometric as Military