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Astronomy DSST
A Free Study Guide!

Free Astronomy DSST Study Guide

Name of Exam: Astronomy DSST

Number of Questions: Around 85 (varies)

Time Limit: 120 Minutes

ACE Recommended Passing Score: 48

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 : 3
(One being the easiest, and five being the hardest)

Exam Description:

The Astronomy DSST covers the same information that a student would normally learn in a single semester of a college Astronomy course. The test taker should understand the characteristics of assorted heavenly bodies and the measurements used by Astronomers to gather information. Knowledge of the history of Astronomy as well as an understanding of celestial mechanics such as Relativity will also be tested.

Personal Thoughts:

Don't let the subject matter intimidate you. This exam is mostly memorization, and anyone who has an interest in the subject will have an obvious advantage. While it does dive (or fly?) deep on a few questions, most of the exam covers the sort of knowledge you would read in an magazine such as Sky and Telescope.

If that didn't do much to soothe your worries, then rest assured that our Quick Prep Sheet can also take you from zero knowledge to a passing score. We have plenty of free resources below as well, so you're covered no matter how you look at it. Don't sweat it!

Exam breakdown:

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

The Astronomy exam is broken down as follows:

19% The Solar System
17% The Sun and Stars: Nature and Evolution
13% Celestial Systems
12% Astronomical Instruments
10% The Universe
09% History of Astronomy
07% Our Galaxy: Contents and Structure
05% Determining Astronomical Distances
05% Celestial Mechanics
03% Life in the Universe

Areas of Study

The Solar System
(19% of the Astronomy DSST)

The Sun and Stars
(17% of the Astronomy DSST)

Celestial Systems
(13% of the Astronomy DSST)

Astronomical Instruments
(12% of the Astronomy DSST)

The Universe
(10% of the Astronomy DSST)

  • Creation of the Universe - I'd know how old the universe is thought to be.
  • Different types of galaxies - Know the major ones, and be able to pick them out if given a picture. Pretty easy stuff. Towards the bottom of the article there are links to the other types of galaxies.
  • Multiple Galaxies - No real use for the exam, but just something to blow your mind. All those galaxies, and billions upon billions of solar systems in each one.
  • Black Holes
  • Cosmology

History of Astronomy
(09% of the Astronomy DSST)

  • History of Astronomy - A brief but outstanding outline of the primary players in the history of Astronomy

Our Galaxy
(07% of the Astronomy DSST)

Determining Astronomical Distances
(05% of the Astronomy DSST)

  • Astronomical Unit - I'd look over the entire page, but know what an AU is, as well as a Parsec.

Celestial Mechanics
(05% of the Astronomy DSST)

Life in the Universe
(03% of the Astronomy DSST)

Recommended bargain-priced study resources

Always check your library first! You may be able to find some of these for free (Yes, even our Quick Prep Sheets). 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.

Astronomy DSST Quick Prep Sheet - Our own Quick Prep Sheet for the Astronomy 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 listing of all terms and definitions from our own feedback and what our readers have sent in. It's quick, it's cheap, and it's guaranteed to help you pass.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Astronomy, 4th Edition - A book with great reviews from DSST takers, and seems to be an easy read for those who aren't exactly thrilled with the subject.

Astronomy For Dummies - There isn't much in the terms of official DSST preparation for this exam, which is why these are listed. Check your library and see which of these two books are avialable. They should have at least one of them. If not, Amazon's got both in stock.

InstantCert Academy Astronomy Specific Exam Feedback - Tons of good information on the exam here. Be sure to check out the Astronomy Flashcards.

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

If you already had an interest in Astronomy then chances are you'll do fine on this exam. For those that have never been bitten by the bug, that's okay too. The concepts are really not that hard to grasp, and the exam itself doesn't ask you to know the inner workings of the universe. I've tried to break the material down even simpler in our Quick Prep Sheet for this exam, so if you're still having a hard time understanding things, consider that as a supplemental study resource.

Remember this exam covers the same knowledge you'd find in an introductory course, so don't let it spook you. Study the material and you can pick up another three credits for a fraction of their normal cost!

Best of luck!

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