Quality Practice Exams
Taking two or more practice exams from a reputable source is essential to preparing for an official exam. Read through this list to find the best resources. Some are online, others printed, some have a cost while others are free (especially if you review the gateways I share). Use only trusted sources to assess if your student is adequately prepared. My rule of thumb: Try to achieve 60% or higher on at least two practice exams before sitting for the official exam.
Petersons.com Website: Three practice exams for each title. Access available 3 different ways.
- Purchase for $19.95 at: Petersons.com Access is available for 90 days and you can not retake the exams like you can when accessing through the other gateways. Three unique practice tests for each exam title for $19.95. Practice tests can not be reset or retaken. You have 90 days to utilize the product (however if you need to extend the expiration date, ask as they “will gladly do that for our clients”).
- Military gateway: Petersons.com has partnered with the Department of Defense and offers free access to CLEP and DSST practice exams for military members, veterans, and their families through the DOD website. Users must first create a free account at www.nelnetsolutions.com/dod/. NOTICE: The list of who qualifies if fairly broad: All service members (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reserve), regardless of activation status (active, retiree, contractor, or civilian) and their families (not just dependents) are eligible for this service. Family includes parents and siblings of those who are serving or who have served in the military as well as their “immediate families” (meaning spouse and children). They indicated that those helping the family of a military member with planning and guidance counseling are also welcome to use the site. ALL DSST and CLEP exams are available.
Update 01/15/2015: Due to DOD budget cuts, the number of exams accessible is limited and varies depending on the branch of service.
Download practice exams from Petersons.com to use even when you don’t have internet access ~ Note: click the link and on the right column, look for “Peterson’s Portable Practice Test Player”.
- Library gateway: No-fee access – A select few exam titles may be available through your public library’s website. Check to see if they subscribe to the online database – Gale Center’s Test and Education Resource (TERC). Or, a link might be on your library’s website if the library subscribes to the online database called INSPIRE. If you don’t find either, consider submitting a request for a subscription. Sometimes a neighboring library system will be a subscriber and you can register your card with them to gain access to their system.
- School gateway: No-fee access – Contact the counselor’s office or career center of your local public high school and ask if they subscribe to Minnesota Career Information System (MCIS). If they do, you are entitled to receive the log on information to access the MCIS website. MCIS is a fee-based subscription available in more than 80 percent of Minnesota schools. A school’s subscription level may include access to the Peterson’s Practice Test Package which includes a select group of exam titles.
- REA CLEP books Each book title has 2-3 practice exams along with “Cliff Notes” for the subject at hand – one book for each CLEP (no DSST) exam title. Answers with Rationales are provided as an additional study tool.
- CLEP Official Study Guide from The College Board – One practice test for each of the 33 subjects. Each year the book cover changes, but the content has minimal updates unless a test has been added or retired, which is rare. I suggest you purchase the latest edition, but there is not a need to purchase updates each year unless you want to.
- Official Guide to Mastering DSST exams by Peterson’s (Vol 1 and II) Each offers a 20-question pre-test, test content review and 60-question post test for 8 featured DSST exams. Exams reviewed are different in Vol I and II. Answers with Rationales are provided as an additional study tool. Available online for FREE through the Military Gateway as noted below. I don’t recommend using these exams as indicators of test readiness.
- DSST Official Test Preparation Guide published by Innovative Academic Solutions LLC ISBN: 9781934529911 Provides full-length practice tests for 10 select DSST exams as well as a 10-page overview for each subject. Answers with Rationales are provided as an additional study tool. Also includes helpful 10-page DSST Study Tips section that helps all students be better test takers. Impressive guide! I don’t recommend using these exams as indicators of test readiness.
DSST Publisher Website
- Prometric has partnered with iStudySmart to offer DSST practice exams http://getcollegecredit.com/testprep/ The fee for each title is $5. You will have up to 2 attempts to complete the practice exam in a 24-hour window.
- Another site that has put together a few practice exams that are excellent: Free Clep Prep
- Justin (Free-Clep-Prep author) also put together an informative FREE E-book: Free-Clep-Prep-Testing-Tips (permission to re-post granted).
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