Testing Out of Classes at Northeast

Llolanda Hernandez, Reporter

It’s that time of year again. Registration for spring classes 2016 has commenced. Many students might already have an idea of what classes they should take while others may not. Before I registered for classes, I wanted to see how I could test out of Spanish which will satisfy my fine arts credit. To find out how to do it I spoke with Kathy Schwartzer, Director of Testing Services. Northeast Community College offers a variety of opportunities for advanced placement and to assess students’ abilities.


Llolanda Hernandez: “What does the testing center do?”

Kathy Schwartzer: “The testing center offers a wide variety of tests. We do the placement test that is the COMPASS and the ASSET testwhen students first enroll. We also do the DANTES CLEP (DSST) which are credit by exams. In other words for the knowledge that you know, you take the test and can test out of the class. We also do the TEAS, Test of Essential Academic Skills, in the critical thinking which is a placement test for nursing in order to be accepted into the program. We do ASE which is the Auto Service Excellence. Those are for auto techs out in the field to show that they have mastered the skills necessary to work on vehicles. We also do the National Student Auto Testing which certifies Northeast’s program. We do testing for other institutions. We have tested for Brigham Young, Golden Gate, LSU, a couple of schools in Florida, a couple in North Carolina. We do the Med Center testing, testing for accommodations whether the test is done orally, or they need extended time. We also do testing for instructors if a student has missed a test due to circumstances beyond their control, like if they are sick. We do the ACT which is the test for the high school students trying to go onto college. We do those just on the national dates.”


Llolanda Hernandez: “What process do students need to go through to test out?”

Kathy Schwartzer: “If a student comes in and says that they want to get out from, for example Math 10930 which is Pre-Algebra and they don’t want to take that class. They can come down and take the COMPASS test and if they take the COMPASS test and score a Pre-Algebra score of 45 or an Algebra score of 26 that means that they can take that Math 1045 which is Elementary Algebra. For a placement for Northeast whatever that person scores according to the COMPASS, SAT, ACT, or ASSET that determines their placement in English or Math. They can test into the next level depending on what their test scores are. Now, if a person is taking a CLEP test there are a multitude of classes a person can CLEPPED out of. Say you’ve had a lot of math and don’t want to take Math 1100 or College Algebra 1150, you can come in and take the CLEP test. If you score a 50 which is the American Education Standards that they have set forth then you are able to be CLEPPED out of that class. You will not have to take it and will get a pass for the class and receive the credit hours.


Llolanda Hernandez: “How long does a test regularly take?”

Kathy Schwartzer: “For the CLEP test it will take 90 minutes but if you are doing the English with the essay that will take not quite 3 hours. Northeast does not do the college English modular with essay. We take the modular only, that means you only answer the questions and no essay involved.


Llolanda Hernandez: “Do you need an appointment?”

Kathy Schwartzer: “Yes, you need an appointment. We ask that you store everything when you come and that you have a valid photo identification. If you are taking the CLEP we also ask for a voucher. Now, for the DANTE or DSST you will pay online the day that you come to take the test. It is $90 to DANTES and then $20 to Northeast unless you are military. If you are military then it is no charge to take the DANTES.”

Llolanda Hernandez: “When is the best time to test out of classes?”

Kathy Schwartzer: “The best time to test out of classes, say if you are going to start this spring semester it is best to do it in the fall. You don’t want to have all your classes set and say that you have 12 credits but can test out of a class and now you’re back down to 9 credits, especially if you are on Financial Aid. So it is better to get the CLEP done because you will know if you receive the credit hours for that time, so you can fill in another class and be able to graduate earlier.”