Fastest Way To A College Degree

Welcome to Testing Out Of College! Your number one resource for earning your college degree with credit by examination including CLEP, DSST Dantes, ECE Excelsior College Exams, and TECEP Thomas Edison College Exams.

You can earn your degree in 3-12 months with the “Big Three”. Excelsior College, Thomas Edison State College and Charter Oak State College. Even if you are attending a traditional or online college you can save months or years and thousands of dollars while earning an accredited college degree.

This website is loaded with valuable information to help you on your path of earning your college degree. Whether you need a few credits to finish up or starting from square one, you are embarking on a very rewarding journey at many levels.

Yes it’s true. You do know more than you think you know. And that is exactly why credit by examination can be your quickest path to completing a college degree. Whether you attend the local university or are pursuing your degree with an online college you could be saving time and money. Think you couldn’t possibly pass all those tests? Neither did I, but check out my story to see that it can be done.

If you are decent at Trivial Pursuit or find yourself yelling out the correct answers at TV Game Shows then chances are you can pass most college level credit exams with a little study. Most adults don’t realize how many nuggets of information they have gathered just by getting through life.

The biggest challenge is finding the right college and choosing the best study material that will provide you with the specific information you need to pass without bombarding you with more details than necessary.

Information About CLEP Exams

College Level Exam Program

The CLEP is the most widely accepted credit by examination program in the united states. Most accredited colleges and universities award from 3 -12 credits, depending on the exam, for scores of 50 or higher on CLEP exams in 5 subject areas. CLEP Exams are considered lower level (freshman and sophomore) credit by most institutions. For more information on the College Board you can visit them at

Test Cost: $60

Most colleges charge a nonrefundable administration fee to proctor the exam.

Check out the Study Zone to help prepare for the CLEP exams.

Composition and Literature

* American Literature
* Analyzing and Interpreting Literature
* English Composition
* English Literature
* Freshman College Composition
* Humanities

Foreign Languages

* French Language (Levels 1 and 2)
* German Language (Levels 1 and 2)
* Spanish Language (Levels 1 and 2)

History and Social Sciences

* American Government
* Human Growth and Development
* Introduction to Educational Psychology
* Introductory Psychology
* Introductory Sociology
* Principles of Macroeconomics
* Principles of Microeconomics
* Social Sciences and History
* U.S. History I: Early Colonizations to 1877
* U.S. History II: 1865 to the Present
* Western Civilization I: Ancient Near East to 1648
* Western Civilization II: 1648 to the Present

Science and Mathematics

* Biology
* Calculus
* Chemistry
* College Algebra
* College Mathematics
* Natural Sciences
* Precalculus


* Introductory Business Law
* Information Systems and Computer Applications
* Principles of Accounting
* Principles of Management
* Principles of Marketing

College Credit By Examination

Credit By Examination


I just can’t describe how excited I am about credit by examination. These programs are the only reason that I and many others are college graduates. Don’t think for a moment that you won’t learn something in the process of taking these exams. And especially don’t be surprised at how much you already know as you study for them.

The key to remember when preparing for an exam is that the common formula of 70% = pass no longer applies. These tests are designed to measure your knowledge of a subject compared to the average college student taking the class. Well guess what. Average is a big range. Most of these exams only require you to get about half the answers right to earn credit. That is why myself and so many other test takers find we did much better than we thought after getting our score.

Most colleges accept credit by examination. Some colleges design their own testing programs, but the majority give credit based on the American Council on Education (ACE) credit recommendation. Each exam is given a recommended amount of credit by ACE. Most colleges will award the recommended credit, however they are not required to. So please check with the college of your choice to confirm their credit by exam policy, including the maximum number of credits they will accept by examination.

Each of the following exam providers have their own style and structure. It is important to familiarize yourself with each organizations policies and requirements. I try my best to provide accurate information but always check with the source for the latest changes.

The College-Level Examination Program® consists of a series of examinations that are offered by The College Board, which is a not-for-profit membership association. These exams are administered by computer and compute your score at the end of the exam. Click here for details.


Made available by Thomson Prometric, the DSST program provides the opportunity for people to earn college credit for what they have learned outside of the traditional classroom. Click here for details.


Excelsior College offers 40 exams in the arts and sciences, business, nursing, and education. Excelsior exams are administered at a local Prometric Testing Center®. Most exams are multiple choice and your score is computed and available on site. Click here for details.


Thomas Edison State College offers more than 50 examinations that allow students to earn college credit without taking formal courses. Unless you are near Trenton, NJ you will have to find a proctor near you order and monitor your test taking. Click here for details.

GRE Subject Exams

Thomas Edison State College offers more than 50 examinations that allow students to earn college credit without taking formal courses. Unless you are near Trenton, NJ you will have to find a proctor near you order and monitor your test taking. Click here for details.

Exam Difficulty

Most of the exams are not that difficult. I never studied for more than three days for a three credit exam and not more than seven days for a six credit exam. You will need to take a couple of each to find your pace but once the momentum is going don’t stop. The best gauge that I used was to take as many practice tests that I could find on the subject. Once I was hitting the 80-90% mark I was ready. Once you get going you find it easy to take two or more exams in one day. See Exam Strategies. Click here to find out more about study materials.

I would rank the difficulty from easiest to hardest in the following order.






*I have never taken a TECEP myself. This is a gauge based on other’s experiences.

What is Distance Education?

If there were a single definition that would fit all Distance Education options it would probably be “not having to physically attend classes.” Beyond that, distance learning comes in so many shapes it can be a difficult road to navigate. Which school should I choose? How can I acquire credits? What have I accomplished in my life that could be converted into earned credits? Whatever the questions Testing Out of College is the place to ask.

Some Distance programs can be classified as “Online Degrees”. Typically these programs require the student to log on to a computer and either attend virtual classrooms or discussion boards. Usually there is a defined semester and the student is expected to keep pace with the course syllabus. A few institutions allow students to work at his or her own pace. This is how I earned my M.S. Information Architecture from Capitol College. For more information on accredited online colleges click here. Other institutions require no computer at all. Correspondence courses have been around for years. Some are semester-based and others allow you to work at your own pace.

What Certifications Can I Get College Credit For?

The next step is to analyze any professional licenses or certifications you may have obtained during your career. Below are just a few that could earn you valuable college credits.

Automotive NIASE Exams
Certified Employee Benefit Specialist
Certified Financial Planner
Certified Payroll Professional
Certified Professional Secretary
Certified Public Accountant
Certified Purchasing Manager
Chartered Financial Consultant
Chartered Life Underwriter
Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter
Child Development Associate
CompTIA Certification
Court Reporter Certification
FAA Licenses
ICCP Certification
Microsoft Certification
Navy Power School
Novell Certification
Radiologic Technologist
Registered Nurse
Respiratory Technician
Respiratory Therapist
Sun Certification

College Credit For Certifications

Some of my favorite institutions lay out the college’s degree requirements and let the student fulfill these by means of transferred courses from other accredited institutions, credit by examination, credits for professional licensure, credit by life experience portfolio or from just about any program that has been evaluated by the American Council on Education. This type of program can be completed at the student’s own pace and generally provides the quickest and most affordable path to an accredited college degree. See Earn Your Degree.

In traditional colleges and universities, the most common way to earn credits has been to attend classes for two to four days a week during a three – four month semester. Each class generally yields three semester hour credits. Most Bachelor degrees require a minimum of 120 semester hours of credit. With this formula it typically takes the full time student 4 years to attend 5 classes a semester for 8 semesters. Part time students can easily take 8-10 years to complete a degree. This can be both time consuming and expensive and just isn’t an option for most working adults and certainly isn’t a path that I would recommend.

My preferred method of obtaining credits is first to evaluate any previous college transcripts that you have. In most cases, all of the credits you have earned can apply to your degree if choose one of the “Big Three” colleges that are compatible with testing out of your entire degree. I recommend this to avoid losing previously hard earned credits when transferring between institutions.

How Much Money Can I Save By Testing Out?

Real comparison of an Intro Geography Class:

INTRO TO GEOGRAPHY W/STUDENT ATLAS (Required) New Price: $125.75 – Used Price: $94.35

Wow! $95 – $125 for the text book and another $415 for tuition at public college. Over $500 for a 3 credit class!

By “Testing Out” I took Dantes Human/Cultural Geography for $70 (including proctoring fees) and used “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Geography” at for less than $13.

It cost me a grand total of $83 for the same 3 credits! Less than the required text alone at the college bookstore.

Testing Out Of College Fast

If you would like to earn an accredited college degree in the shortest amount of time and save thousands of dollars compared to traditional classroom institutions – then you have come to the right place! Testing Out Of College is a free community where you can get the information you need to get your college degree.

My name is Jack Mize and I am the founder of Testing Out Of College. I tested out of three years of college in less than a year. You can read my whole story at About Me. I want you to know that it is possible for you to earn a 4-year degree in as little as 3 – 12 months depending on your background. You can also save a lot of money along the way. I would like to help take the mystery and frustration out of the equation. Let me get this out of the way early on. I only encourage students to obtain a legitimate accredited degree. See the articles Degree Mills and Accreditation and 7 Signs a School Might be a Degree Mill. If in doubt ask. I will never knowingly help anyone obtain a fake diploma.

The college experience should not be missed. If you are right out of high school and have the opportunity to go to college, by all means do not miss out! But you should consider the advantages of “testing out” of your freshman year. Get a head start and save some money. For adults, who for whatever reason missed this chance, going back to college to get your degree or perhaps starting for the first time is a big decision. Work, family and social obligations may make you wonder if it is possible. Well, I’m here to tell you it is. “Night School” or even expensive Online Colleges are not your only choices. Do not let preconceived notions of the college experience stop you. See the article Five Myths that Keep People From Getting a College Degree.