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A History of the Vietnam War DSST
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Free A History of the Vietnam War DSST Study Guide

Name of Exam: A History of the Vietnam War DSST

Number of Questions: Around 100 (varies)

Time Limit: 120 Minutes

ACE Recommended Passing Score: 44

Practice Test Available?: Yes - Click here

Quick Prep Sheet Available?: Yes - Click here

Cost: $80 + Sitting Fee (Usually no more than $20) at your testing site. Military can take DSSTs for free with Tuition Assistance. Check with your Educational Officer!

Difficulty 1-5 : 4
(One being the easiest, and five being the hardest)

Exam Description:

A History of the Vietnam War DSST covers what a student would learn during a single semester of a History of the Vietnam War college course. To a lesser extent, this material is also covered in most college History of the United States II courses.

The exam covers many periods of the Vietnam War and does cover before the United States was involved..

Personal Thoughts:

A History of the VIetnam War DSST is another example of an exam that doesn't get too much attention. I think that's mainly due to the subject matter, and people's aversion to tackling it.

So here's the good news - Even though many of the names and places may not be familiar to you; they aren't hard to learn. There are enough good study resources out there that you can pass this with a little bit of effort.

I'll list some of the free resources below which should work for many of the people reading this. If you've subsribed to InstaCert, you'll find the flashcards cover this material extremely well and should be your primary resource.

Exam breakdown:

Make sure you check out the Official DSST Fact Sheet for this exam.

Pay attention to the bottom of the fact sheet. It contains some sample questions that closely mimic the type of scenario-based questions you'll see on the actual exam.

The A History of the Vietnam War DSST is broken down as follows:

09%-12% World War II, the Cold War, and the First Indochina War (1940-1955)
07%-09% Vietnam Before 1940
07%-09% Diem and Nation-State Building (1955-1963)
07%-09% LBJ Americanizes the War (1964-1965)
07%-09% America Takes Charge
07%-09% Homefront USA
07%-09% Tet (1968)
07%-09% Vietnamizing the War (1969-1973)
07%-09% The War at Home
07%-09% Cambodia and Laos
07%-09% U.S. Legacies and Lessons
05%-07% "A Decent Interval"

Areas of Study

I'm going to list some specific topics that you'll need to study.

Though there are different versions of A History of the Vietnam War DSST, you'll most likely see some of the following on your exam:

  • Truman
  • Operation Cedar Falls
  • Le Duc Tho
  • Khe Sanh
  • Eisenhower's "New Look"
  • The coup against Diem
  • Watergate
  • Kissinger
  • The Pentagon Papers
  • Flaming Dart
  • Pol Pot
  • Khmer Rouge
  • Great Society
  • Detente
  • Saigon
  • Guns & Butter
  • Domino Theory

This is not a comprehensive list of topics! I highly recommend (as always) signing up for InstantCert and running through their entire flashcard series as well as seeing the Specific Feedback section for this exam. They've had years to accumulate their information, and it shows.

Recommended Free Study Resources

Free Clep Prep Youtube Channel - A list of videos that we've found to help you on the DSST.

Snazzlefrag's Study Guide - One of the InstantCert members has graciously shared his study guide with everyone. You can download a copy of his study guide for A History of the Vietnam War DSST.

Sparknotes for the Vietnam War - There is so much good information on these. I'd use this as your primary free study resource. If you go through all of these, and are able to ace the exam at the end, you should be just about ready for the DSST itself.

Vietnam War Index - A great list of some of the main players and issues that you'll see on A History of the Vietnam War DSST. If you have a question about something on the fact sheet that you can't find anywhere else, then this is the site for you.

PBS - American Experience - A good website though I still like the above two better. Use this as a secondary resource if at all. I would check out the timeline link at the top.

Flashcard Exchange - Vietnam War Flashcards - There's only 26 of them, but if you don't have access to the InstantCert Flashcards then these may help.

A History of the Vietnam War Free Forum Links - From our own Feedback area. Find some other forum posts that we don't have? Let us know via the "Contact Us" form.

Recommended bargain-priced study resources

Always check your library first! You may be able to find some of these for free. You don't have to buy the officially recommended resources all the time. If you're the type of person that prefers to study from a textbook source however, then please see below.

A History of the Vietnam War DSST Quick Prep Sheet - Our own Quick Prep Sheet for A History of the Vietnam War DSST exam. Don't have time to look up all the above and watch the videos? We've done the work for you right here. A complete timeline and listing of all terms and definitions from our own feedback and what our readers have sent in.

Vietnam: A History - If you're going to spend money on this exam, I'd really prefer you do it by getting our Quick Prep Sheet and subscribing to InstantCert. You just get so much more for your money. Still, if you want a book in your hands, then here's one of the recommended books by DSST.

America's Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950-1975 with Poster (4th Edition) - Another recommended book by the Official Fact Sheet. This covers the diplomatic side of the war, and doesn't go into much detail about the combat aspects. The good news is that it's pretty cheap.

InstantCert Academy A History of the Vietnam War Specific Exam Feedback - There's only one page for this particular exam, but as always it's full of feedback. As in... "I just got back from my exam and you'd better know A, B, and C when you take yours." They also have more suggested study resources in this thread. A great value.

Also don't forget to check out the InstantCert Flashcards for A History of the Vietnam War DSST. From everything people have said, those are almost enough by themselves to pass this exam.

If you don't know what InstantCert is, then click here for the scoop as well as a discount code: **InstantCert Academy**

You'll find an InstantCert link for every exam here if that gives you an idea of the amount of information they have available. It's an outstanding resource.

Closing Thoughts

Between the Sparknotes, our Quick Prep Sheet, and InstantCert, you really have no reason not to pass this exam. I'd give it the necessary effort that it deserves, but I wouldn't stress out over it.

Most people who have taken it say that the hardest thing is to keep track of the people and places. For most of us, the names don't lend themselves well to memorization. Use whatever memory tricks you need in order to associate the names with the knowledge. I've included a timeline as well in our Quick Prep Sheet, but you can also find them for free on the Internet. That helps greatly with keeping everything straight in your head. Now go get those credits! You can do it!

Good luck!

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