Advice from DSST Test Takers

When it comes to preparing for a DSST exam, there are many general tips we recommend to all students: get plenty of sleep the night before, eat a healthy and fulfilling breakfast the day of, test your knowledge with one of our online practice exams, etc. But when it comes down to more detailed suggestions for passing a test, no one knows better than real life DSST test takers.

If you’ve ever visited our Facebook page, you know it is a valuable resource for exam preparation thanks to helpful first-hand tips posted by our fans. For those who haven’t yet become part of our Facebook community, here’s a compilation of some of the best tips we’ve seen so far:

Facebook Page Question #1: What tips do you have for the Principles of Public Speaking Exam?

  • Carroll Caillouet: “The best single bit of advice I can offer would be to pay attention to the fact sheet about the speech portion of the exam. I had a study buddy create a list of topics for me to create a short speech to perform. I practiced that 3 or 4 times. Though I passed, I do wish I had practiced actually giving a speech 8 or 10 times, doing so would have saved me a bunch of nerves. The timing issue is IMPORTANT.”
  • Stacey Ragsdale: “When they give you your subject and you pick a side... STICK TO IT! Do not waiver! Take some notes before your speech part begins and use them throughout your speech. Also practice speaking and recording yourself (record if possible... maybe your cell has an app) so that you are comfortable with it. Practice speaking without pauses and too many "ums" as most of us do!”

Facebook Page Question #2: Any suggestions on study guides and/or tools for Fundamentals of Counseling and Lifespan Developmental Psychology?

  • Jesus Fabela: “I used the DSST study guide from as a class syllabus and I found one of the recommended resources and looked up the key figures and theories and I remember both asking about Kohlberg's stages of moral development, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, psychoanalytical theory, etc. I recommend you do like I did.”
  • Susie Entzel: “Be sure to focus on and know Kohlbergs stages and Maslows hierarchy of needs and the different theories. I remember the Lifespan test asking a lot of those questions, but I passed! I do have an old textbook called Core Concepts in Health that I used to study from and it helped immensely.”

Facebook Page Question #3: What’s your best advice for someone preparing to take their first DSST exam?

  • Juan De Los Santos: “Relax and trust yourself, remember deductive reasoning is always a great way to figure out the answers you don't know.”
  • Edward Morales: “Try to relax because you will need to be focused. Answer every question because score goes by how many questions you have correctly answered and you are not penalized for guessing. Allow yourself time to review your work in case you need to change an answer. Watch the timer occasionally, do not focus on it. Do your best!”

Do you have anything to add, or additional questions to ask? Join the conversation on our Facebook page today!

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