Embracing a Healthy Family: Study.com's CLEP and DSST Prep Materials Review

Study.com's CLEP and DSST Prep Materials Review

Online learning programs have been a great resource for me in the past in picking up knowledge whether to help me in the business world or for personal enrichment. One of the things I have neglected to think about is how I could utilize that knowledge or new knowledge and exchange that for college credit. This is why after checking out Study.com and seeing all they had to offer for online courses, I was eager to try it out with my 9th grader. They have CLEP and DSST Prep Materials, in addition to many other courses, which is a great way to save some money by testing out of subjects. The CLEP and DSST programs, available through Study.com, can provide a path in earning college credit. The online courses are also versatile to use either as a full program or on an as-needed basis to improve knowledge or gain a new skill. In addition to earning college credit, they would be beneficial to the homeschooler as well as an adult wanting to learn different subjects. Other great features I found were the ability to learn whenever and wherever one wants either with a desktop or via the mobile app. It's set up in a manner that would allow the student to learn without requiring side-by-side parental assistance due to the user friendliness of each course.

For this review, I'm going to focus on both the CLEP and DSST and in between, I'm going to check out a subject or two outside of the CLEP or DSST. First, I'll get started with the CLEP Prep Review.

CLEP Prep Review

The CLEP program provides an abundance of resources from thousands of practice questions to 30+ CLEP study guides to 3,000 test prep video lessons.  They even offer a guarantee of a higher score of money back. Some of the most popular courses include:

  • CLEP Biology: Study Guide & Test Prep
  • CLEP Introductory Business Law: Study Guide & Test Prep
  • CLEP Humanties: Study Guide & Test Prep
  • CLEP Natural Sciences: Study Guide & Test Prep

For this part of the post, I had my daughter start and review CLEP History of the United States I: Study Guide & Test Prep. The course requires only a few weeks to complete and can be more or less pending one's schedule. Upon viewing the Course Summary, the user will be able to:

  • Track progress and pick up where you left off;
  • Add the course to your Dashboard;
  • Study with practice tests; and 
  • Receive a certificate of completion at the end.

When you sign up to take a specific course, a pop-up message will confirm you are taking the specific course and for your own goal, you can provide a finish date to help you track and keep you on schedule for completion.

There are 14 chapters for the course and as you start each chapter, there is a Course Navigator that lists each lesson and the time it will take to finish the video. There is also a place to record your own notes if you prefer online note taking. 

Each course has a lesson transcript, information about the instructor, videos and quizzes. The photos, maps, videos and other graphics really enhance the course. I had her take this course because not so long ago, I watched an online course about Mesoamerica so that was a great way to see if I retained my knowledge while watching her take the course. The instructors sometimes change with each lesson but each instructor was easy to understand and kept my interest. Each lesson for the chapters concludes with a quiz and along with the answer key and an option to watch to see the correct explanation. I dislike courses where the answers are not easily available or aren't explained. 

Another nice feature is being able to complete or print off worksheets and answers. I like to have physical copies to study in between times when I don't want to be hooked up to some device and since we travel a lot on the weekends, it was nice for her to take with us.

Finally, as she returned to her courses via Dashboard, she can see where she left off very easily as well as see her goals to include viewing if she's behind on a particular course:

Although she has not finished her course, I really like the set-up of each chapter and lesson. It's just the right length and it isn't bogged down with too much information. The worksheets and quizzes ensure that I'm retaining the important information for the course. So far, the instructors have all been very good as well.

At the end of each chapter is a chapter practice exam that reinforces what you retained from all the lessons within a chapter. It's timed and allows the user to retake it. This is an example from Chapter 4: Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill: The American Revolution Begins:

There is also an opportunity to apply for a chance to win a scholarship to help pay for CLEP exam.

DSST Prep Review

The DSST Prep area is similar to CLEP Prep on Study.com. The DSST used to be called DANTES and are credit-by-examination tests and administered by Prometric. These were once reserved for military members and their families but are available to anyone. There are 30 exams in six subject areas and are accepted at 1,900 schools. The CLEP is administered by the College Board and has 33 tests covering five areas. They are accepted at more than 2,900 colleges and universities. Some of the more popular practice tests include:

  • DSST Environmental Science Practice Test
  • DSST Lifespan Developmental Psychology Practice Test
  • DSST Health & Human Development Practice Test
  • DSST Organizational Behavior Practice Test 

These short tests may help to identify strengths and weaknesses, how you might compare to others, and videos to watch for ways to improve. This is a nice way to ensure you are taking the course you want or to increase knowledge.

For this part of the post, I'm going to first start with the DSST Criminal Justice Practice Exam.

After taking the test, I opted to continue with the course DSST Criminal Justice: Study Guide & Test Prep.  This course has 15 chapters and a total of 102 quizzes. It is also self-paced, and the average lesson is only eight minutes. Upon completion, a certificate is awarded. 

Each course provides the suggestion on which week one should complete each chapter. For example:

This is helpful in ensuring I was staying on track. One of the final chapters also provides more in-depth information on the DSST and it concludes with a chapter of flashcards that can be completed online or printed.


Overall, I really was drawn to Study.com and the array of subjects that are offered. I showed it to my husband, who is a nurse, and he also was very interested in learning more, so I think we will be expanding our 3-month subscription for myself.  Both the CLEP and DSST Prep Materials would be ideal for anyone planning on attending college to possibly test out and save some money, the adult wanting to learn new skills as well as the homeschooler to practice or learn new information. There are many other courses to take in addition to the CLEP and DSST courses. The user interface is easy and intuitive, and I liked the ability to see progress easily as well as to pick up where I left off. Whether it's for earning college credit or just for personal enrichment, it's really a good resource for both the younger student or the adult. My daughter liked the course videos because they weren't too long and weren't difficult to understand. They were broken up in smaller segments that allowed her to be able to retain what she learned. She also liked how she could print off the answers and re-review the one's she didn't get right. 

Study.com is a 20% discount on the first 3 months of their subscription. Use the code TheOldSchoolhouse.


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Check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew a division of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine thought by clicking on the (photo) link below:

CLEP & DSST Exam Prep {Study.com Reviews}

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