Recently, I had a chance to review a 3-month subscription for the CLEP and DSST prep materials from Study.com.
You might be familiar with Study.com, but did you know that they have extensive prep materials for CLEP tests and DSST programs? If you aren’t familiar for any of the acronyms I just named…let me fill you in. Both tests allow for college credit without taking a particular course. CLEP stands for College Level Examination Program. The DSST stands for DANTES Subjects Standardized Tests (DANTES is Defensive Activity for Non-Traditional Support). This test is generally associated with the military, but has now been opened up for everyone to use.
Study.com allows the user to take a placement test or immediately begin working through the review material. A course is made up of basically videos and a quiz. There are supplemental materials such as flashcards, transcripts or worksheets.
A course can take up to 15 to 20 hours of lesson time. Which, by my estimation, is quite a bit of time shaved from a traditional college course.
How We Used It
To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure where to begin. Or where I thought we needed to begin. My son is a Junior in High School and, while I know there are some problem areas he needs to work on, I also wanted him to be able to use the product during this review period mostly in a frustration-free zone. If that’s possible.
Basically, I wanted to see what was what. However, when I started looking over it I was fairly suspicious we were really going to like it.
Josiah started with the CLEP test materials and I chose to let him focus on History. I am going to show you his latest placement test and screenshots from CLEP History of the United States 1.
You can see the layout of the overview screen is easily accessible and gives you all the info.
The placement test gives the student approximately 30 questions and adjusts to the student's knowledge.
The videos are fairly short. They have a practice test, a worksheet, flashcards, and a quiz. There is even a spot to take notes. The videos are engaging and keep the student's attention.
Here is a little shot of the practice test.
Now on to my experience with the DSST materials.
After poking around the DSST material I thought it would be interesting to take a placement test myself. The DSST does have some different courses to explore. And I was particularly interested in one.
DSST Foundations of Education: Study Guide & Test Prep Final Exam.
Full disclosure. I did take this course. In college. Waay back in the day. And while it does seem counterproductive to work through material you already have college credit for, I wanted to see how it compared with what I remember learning in college. I also need to admit that my degree was in Education.
Nearly 25 years is plenty of time to change the way things are taught.
I noticed right away that the test was a smart one. It took into account the answers I was getting right and focused on material I wasn’t so familiar with or had forgotten. Some of the questions were fairly specific.
While I am a bit ashamed I didn't score perfectly on the placement test, I can see how the course takes advantage of what you do know and helps you bolster up what material is lacking.
And though I have no intention of taking this college class again, I'm intrigued by some of the other classes offered...I have a desire to go back to school and Study.com makes it easy to see that goal in front of me.
What We Thought
My suspicions were confirmed. This is an excellent program. In fact, I think it is more than excellent. I do need to tell you a few more things. It is a self-paced program. You can whiz straight through or take a break. You can move around or return to something that needs addressing.
It can also be accessed by multiple devices. We only used it on the computer, but some of you will enjoy the easy access.
This one is a keeper!
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