Ready, Set, CLEP!

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jack Sanders
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
The Education Center was off to the races at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey after a four day CLEP-A-Thon Dec. 7 - 10.

The Education Center's CLEP-A-Thon offered DoD card holders the opportunity to participate in a first come first served style college level examination program and DANTES subject standardized tests as opposed to scheduling for the tests.

"The beauty of the CLEP-A-Thon was that you could just walk in," said LaShondria Smith, Chief of Education and Training. "Close out for (Community College of the Air Force) is approaching in February and test score update wait times are up to eight weeks at CCAF. The CLEP-A-Thon gave people time to take the CLEP and DSSTs and get their scores on their CCAF so they can be applied at the end of the graduation close out class. Plus, It's right before the holidays, in a new facility, and it was a good way for people to see where we are."

CLEP and DSSTs allow students to demonstrate their competency in a subject through an electronic test and have credits applied toward their degree for passing. Military members taking their first CLEP or DSST receive a voucher from the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support, or DANTES, covering the cost of the test and administrative fees.

"If you study and you're able to pass your test why wouldn't you do it," asked Laurice Clark, National Test Center coordinator. "It's free education credit... CLEP and DSST are funded through DANTES the first time a military member is going to take the exam. However, let's say you fail the exam. I have people come in and want to retest. At that point you have to pay $80 for the CLEP, and you do that through the registration process on the CLEP website. Then you pay (University of Maryland University College) $20 in order to take the exam here at the National Test Center. So, it's a total of at least $100 for a CLEP, and sometimes some DSSTs are more expensive. It could be $110 or $120 total in order to retake an exam."

Ms. Clark said all of the tests are passable if you study. Study material is available for free to each student applying for the test.

"Typically when people make their reservations I will send them an exam resources paper, which is a just a paper with links to study material online and of course I always refer people to the library downstairs," Ms. Clark said. "The library has plenty of CLEP and DSST study material available. There's no excuse for people not to study."

Anyone who may have missed the CLEP-A-Thon still has time to schedule for testing before the CCAF close out date. Testing is held at the National Test Center in the Education Center every Monday through Thursday.

"People can still come in and take a test any time when the National Test Center is open," Ms. Clark said. "The CLEP-A-Thon was just an event to get people to walk in and hopefully get comfortable with this setting so they can fulfill their educational needs."

To schedule for a CLEP or DSST test contact Ms. Clark at the National Test Center at 676-3060 or send an email to