National Guard Soldiers, their spouses, and civilian employees may benefit from free testing opportunities sponsored by the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES), and save valuable time and money as well as receive college credit and/or promotion points. College examinations can help you earn college credit while in high school or college; enter college with earned credits; save time and money toward your college degree; and bypass introductory classes in subject areas you already know. Some tests may include an administrative fee not covered by National Guard funds.

Testing Programs

The most commonly available examination programs include:

  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP) – With CLEP, you can earn college credit at over 2,900 colleges and universities. The American Council on Education recommends 3-12 semester hours of credit depending on the particular CLEP exam. CLEP examinations measure knowledge of basic concepts, principles, relationships, and applications involved in various subject areas. Over 1,300 National Test Centers located on college campuses offer the computer based CLEP eCBT testing program. DANTES funds the CLEP eCBT for eligible military personnel at National Centers.
  • DSST – The nationally recognized DSST Program allows students to receive college credits for learning acquired outside the traditional classroom such as from outside reading, on-the-job training, or independent study. 
  • ACT – The ACT is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject area tests. 
  • SAT – The SAT is a standardized test used widely for college admissions. The SAT measures literacy and writing skills that are needed for academic success in college. 
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) – GRE is a commercially run standardized test that is an admission requirement for many graduate schools. The exam focuses on testing abstract thinking skills in the areas of mathematics, vocabulary, and analytical writing.
  • Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) – Graduate Management Admission Test is a computer adaptive standardized test in mathematics and the English language for measuring aptitude to succeed academically in graduate business studies. Business schools commonly use the test as one of many selection criteria for admission into an MBA program.
  • Law School Admission Test (LSAT) – Law School Admission Test is an examination administered by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) that attempts to measure logical and verbal reasoning skills. Note: There is a testing fee for LSAT examinations.
  • The PRAXIS Series (tests for teacher licensing certification) – Praxis test is one of a series of teacher certification exams written and administered by the Educational Testing Service. Various Praxis tests are usually required before, during, and after teacher training courses.

Certification and Licensing

Credentialing Opportunities Online (COOL) This resource is for Soldiers who want to know what civilian credentials relate to their MOS and how to obtain them. COOL explains how Army Soldiers can meet civilian certification and license requirements related to their Military Occupational Specialty (MOS).

Troops to Teachers Troops to Teachers (TTT) provides referral assistance and placement service to military personnel, including the National Guard and Reserves, interested in beginning a second career as a teacher in K-12 public education. The DANTES Troops to Teacher office helps registrants identify teacher certification requirements, programs leading to certification, employment opportunities, and financial aid for eligible participants. 

Helmets to Hardhats
Helmets to Hardhats is a national, nonprofit program that connects National Guard, Reserve, retired and transitioning active-duty military service members with skilled training and quality career opportunities in the construction industry. The program is designed to help military service members successfully transition back into civilian life by offering them the means to secure a quality career in the