Center for Careers and Transfer
CLEP and DSST Information

Desk with test and pencilThere are several methods of achieving degree credit through examinations. The Center for Careers and Transfer administers two programs:

  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP) a College Board program
  • DSST, an ETS program

Hudson Valley Community College is an open test center for both CLEP and DSST. This means that registration for either of these exams is open to the public, as well as currently registered Hudson Valley Community College students. While there are many similarities between CLEP and DSST, there are also considerable differences. Individuals interested in either of these programs are advised to review the more detailed information that follows. You may also contact the Center for Careers and Transfer, if you have any questions.

Overview of CLEP and DSST
CLEP and DSST are based on the premise that some individuals enrolling in college have already learned part of what is taught there. These programs allow individuals to demonstrate their college level learning by taking examinations that assess the knowledge and skills taught in college courses. Prior learning could be through their job and life experiences, independent reading and study, or non-credit courses.

There are no prerequisites to take a CLEP or DSST exam; no age restriction, and no degree requirements. These programs save time and money! The cost to take a CLEP or DSST exam is considerably less expensive than the cost of registering for a college course. Students save time as they are able to earn credit by demonstrating their knowledge on the exam, without the need to attend classes. If a student does not pass the exam, it is as if he/she never took it. No credit of failure will appear on the transcript. The student can repeat the exam in six months.

Most CLEP and DSST exams use a multiple choice format, although a select few include an essay component. CLEP and DSST differ in that CLEP exams are timed (90 minutes), while DSST exams have no time limit. Another difference is that CLEP uses computer based testing, while DSST uses a paper/pencil format. Since we have a set number of computers available for CLEP, we are limited in the number of test-takers we can accommodate each month. Therefore, students interested in CLEP are advised to register early, as we often fill our available seats months in advance.

Aside from these differences in test format, CLEP and DSST differ in the subject exams each program offers, their registration process (forms, fees, deadlines), and their accepted payment methods. Therefore, individuals interested in CLEP and/or DSST are advised to read the specific information pertaining to each of these programs, included below.

Transfer of CLEP or DSST Credit
Nearly all American colleges have a policy for awarding credit through CLEP or DSST. Students who intend to transfer should contact their transfer college of choice for information on their policy. Hudson Valley Community College students need to contact their advisor prior to registering for CLEP or DSST, since departments vary in their acceptance.

CLEP Information
DSST Information