Testing/Exams — Frequently Asked Questions

Exam Basics

Which exam(s) should I take?
Ultimately, only you can decide which exam(s) best meet your goals. However, in making your decision it is very important that you consult with your Academic Advisor who can help you choose an exam that will appropriately fit into your chosen degree program.

What standardized exam does South Central College accept for credit?
South Central College accepts the following standardized exams:

  • Advanced Placement (AP)
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
  • DANTES Subject Standardized Test (DSST)
  • Excelsior College Examinations (UExcel)
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • New York University Foreign Language Proficiency (NYUFLP)
  • National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI)
  • Thomas Edison College Examination Program (TECEP®)

How do I register for an exam?
Each exam you take requires registration on the test company website. Click on the following standardized exam name to go to the test company website

Advanced Placement (AP) Advanced Placement (AP) www.collegeboard.org/AP

College Level Examination Program (CLEP) www.CLEP.Collegeboard.org

DANTES Subject Standardized Test (DSST) www.getcollegecredit.com

Excelsior College Examinations (UExcel) www.excelsior.edu/exams

International Baccalaureate (IB) www.ibo.org

New York University Foreign Language Proficiency (NYUFLP) www.scps.nyu.edu/academics/departments/foreign-languages/testing/exam-options-results.html

National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) http://noctibusiness.com/assessments/

Thomas Edison College Examination Program (TECEP®) www.tesu.edu/degree-completion/Testing.cfm

How do I pay for an exam?
Each exam you take requires a testing fee paid to the test company. Each test company (CLEP, DSST, etc.) has different specific requirements for payment of their exam fee. Please refer to the test company website for the correct amounts and the accepted forms of payment.

Preparing for Exams

How do I study for an exam?
The various test companies publish information describing their exams. You should carefully review this information, as it is the best resource regarding exam content.

How long will it take to study for an exam?
Your study habits have a lot to do with the time needed. Most exams are worth 3 semester hours of college credit. The key to remember is "time" is not your focus. Learning the subject matter is what counts.

Where do I find the textbooks to study for the exam?
Many test companies provide a list of recommended books with their exam information. You may want to review the required textbook(s) for the college course for which you are seeking Credit for Prior Learning. Most course materials can be purchased through South Central Colleges Bookstore. (Link to http://southcentralbookstore.com/SelectTermDept.aspx)

Exam Scores/Credits

I am an admitted South Central College student, how do I have my exam score added to my transcript?
In order for South Central College to receive your score, you must let the test company know that South Central College is your designated score recipient. To have your exam score added to your transcript, admitted students must have an official score report sent directly to South Central College, Attn: CPL Coordinator; 1920 Lee Boulevard, North Mankato, MN 56003.

How long does it take to receive my exam score?
Some test company scores are shown immediately and the official scores are mailed in approximately two to four weeks after the test date. TECEP results take two months.

If I don't pass an exam, when can I re-take it?
In most cases, you will need to wait 60-120 days to re-take an exam.

What score do I need to pass?
The American Council on Education (ACE) recommends that each standardized test have a cut-off score. South Central College uses the Minnesota State Colleges and University recommended passing scores to award credit.

Will South Central College provide a grade for passing my exam?
Because DSST exams are standardized, normed exams, South Central College will issue a grade for passing those exams. CLEP exams are not scored in the same manner and therefore no grade other than "P" (pass) can be issued for CLEP exams.

Do exams offer different levels of credit?
Yes. Exams are offered at different levels of difficulty. The table below indicates the level as they are typically designated by test providers:

B/L: Basic or Lower (introductory) Level

I: Intermediate Level

U: Upper (junior/senior) Level

B, I, U: Combination of Basic, Intermediate, Upper Level

How many total credits can I earn by passing standardized exams?
There is no limit to the total number of credits a student may earn through standardized or national exams so long as the total earned credits apply to their academic program and do not exceed the academic program credit limit.

Do standardized exam credits count just like credits from classes I take?
Credits earned through standardized exams are not resident credits and may not be used to satisfy resident credit requirements for graduation nor do the credits count toward financial aid calculations.