Business Mathematics DSST
A Free Study Guide!
Name of Exam: Business Mathematics DSST
Number of Questions: Around 100 (varies)
Time Limit: 120 Minutes
ACE Recommended Passing Score: 400
Practice Test Available?: Yes, but for the old version
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)
The Business Mathematics DSST covers what a student would learn during a single semester of a Business Math college class.
A few of the specific topics you'll see see are: Unit Conversions, Amortization, Probability Distributions, Quadratic Equations, and Interest calculations..
The Business Mathematics DSST used to be a pushover. If you had the barest grasp of mathematics (that's me) then you could pass this exam. Unfortunately, those days are over.
In April of 2009, Prometric refreshed the exam and increased the difficulty by a significant order of magnitude. Now the exam consists of Algebra, Statistics, Annuities, Taxes, Interest, and a number of other subjects that you'll need to study before attempting to tackle.
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 Business Mathematics DSST is broken down as follows:
Areas of Study
I'm going to list some specific topics that you'll need to study.
Though there are different versions of Business Mathematics DSST, you'll most likely see some of the following on your exam:
- Installment Purchases
- Annuities and present value
- Simultaneous linear equations
- Unit Conversions
- Extrapolation and Interpolation
- Break-even analysis (algebraically and graphically)
- Quadratic equations and functions
- Investment performance measures
- Depreciation/salvage value
- Weighted Averages
- Central Tendency
- Cost Minimization/Value Optimization
- Percentages, fractions and decimals
- Graphing equations and evaluating functions
- Promissory Notes and other loans
- Annual Percentage Rate
- Simultaneous Linear Equations
- Effective annual rate
Recommended Free Study Resources
(50% of the Business Mathematics DSST)
- Retail Math Formulas - You'll probably want to know all of these. Most are intuitive, so don't be intimidated by the formulas themselves and the terms. Put it into language you're familiar with and remember them that way.
- Amortization - A nice breakdown of the subject.
- Calculating Simple Interest
- Calculating Compound Interest
- TeachMeFinance - Start at the top and work your way down. You'll need to know almost all of this.
- Tax - Such a little word for such a big subject.
(16% of the Business Mathematics DSST)
- StatSoft - A great statistics site. Look on the right hand side of the screen and hit every subject found on the official fact sheet.
- StatPrimer - A very nice site for Statistics help. Each section has exercises that you can go through to test yourself. Definitely worth a look.
- Statistics Help Online - A conversational explanation of many statistics topics. As always, hit each topic on the official fact sheet.
- Statistics Internet Library - There's a lot of dead links on this page, but don't get discouraged. Use what you can, and definitely look at the bottom right under "Practice Problems".
- HyperStat Online Statistics Textbook - A very nice online Statistics site, written in an easy to read and helpful way. A great site.
(15% of the Business Mathematics DSST)
- Solving Linear Equations
- Order of Operations
- Definition of Polynomials
- Adding Polynomials
- Multiplying Polynomials
- Dividing Polynomials
- Solving Quadratics Lessons - Coolmath.com has a great lesson on Quadratics, and if you're at all weak in the area I'd suggest you go through them all. There's plenty of practice problems as well to work through here.
- Solving Quadratic Equations
- Factoring Quadratic Equations
- Properties of Functions - This is the most straightforward lesson on functions and their graphs that I've found. CoolMath is another site that tries a more elementary style of teaching. Use whichever fits your learning style more closely.
- Function Notation
- Operations on Functions
- Algebraic Fractions (Rational Functions)
(14% of the Business Mathematics DSST)
- Annuities - A nice explanation of this subject.
- Annual Percentage Rate
- Effective Annual Interest Rate
(05% of the Business Mathematics DSST)
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.
Practical Business Math Procedures - One of the suggested materials from the Official Fact Sheet. They recommend the 9th Edition, but this one is almost $100 cheaper and still seems to be used in classes today.
InstantCert Business Mathematics Specific Exam Thread - There's only one page of feedback for this specific exam, but it has some good resources. The exam refresh point is pretty apparent, because it goes from "Oh this is easy!" to "Oh my God! What happened?!?"
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.
As with a few other Lower Level exams, I'd think long and hard before going after the Business Mathematics DSST. Most schools don't require it specifically, and there are plenty of other exams that will give you the same Math and Sciences credits for less effort.
If math is your thing, then go for it. If your school doesn't require this, I'd look elsewhere. Of course, that may just be my ingrained hatred of math talking....
Best of luck!
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