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Lifespan Development Psychology DSST
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Free Lifespan Development Psychology DSST Study Guide

Name of Exam: Lifespan Development Psychology DSST

Number of Questions: Around 100 (varies)

Time Limit: 120 Minutes

ACE Recommended Passing Score: 46

Practice Test Available?: No

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 : 2
(One being the easiest, and five being the hardest)

Exam Description:

The Lifespan Development Psychology DSST covers what a student would learn during a single semester of a college Lifecycle Development or Human Growth and Development class.

A few of the specific topics you'll see see are: Motor Development, Research Designs, Learning Disabilities, Social Cognition, and Personality Development.

Personal Thoughts:

The Lifespan Development Psychology DSST is Prometric's version of the Collegeboard Human Growth and Development CLEP. The good news is that makes study relatively simple if you've already taken the HG&D CLEP and your school gives you credit for this exam as well. The bad news is that many schools count this as duplicate credit. You'll need to check with your student advisor before taking this exam.

If they will accept the credit, then I've got more good news. This exam hasn't been updated in a long, long time. Because of this, there's plenty of information out there on what you'll need to study. InstantCert of course has the Human Growth and Development flashcards which I highly recommend.

In addition to what you'll find below, I also suggest you look at the Downloadable Study Guide by Snazzlefrag as well. According to most of the forum chatter, knowing the terms on Snazzlefrag's study guide along with the HG&D cards from InstantCert will give you a pass.

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 Lifespan Development Psychology DSST is "officially" broken down as follows:

22% Cognition and Language
18% Biological Development
13% Perception, Learning, and Memory
12% The Study of Lifespan Development
05% Social, Emotional, and Personality Development

You'll notice there's a missing 40% from the above. It's missing on the Fact Sheet as well. Based on what I've seen, the last section actually makes up at least a quarter of the exam rather than just 5%. The rest of the breakdown is pretty similar to what they list, except I'd add another 10% or so to the Cognition and Language area.

Areas of Study

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

Though there are different versions of the Lifespan Development Psychology DSST, you'll most likely see some of the following on your exam:

  • Data Collection Methods
  • Neurological Development
  • Language Development and Theories
  • Problem Solving
  • Stage Theories
  • Dyslexia
  • Education
  • Hierarchy of Needs
  • Myelin
  • Dying and Death
  • Extra familial Settings
  • Parenting Styles
  • Gender Role Development
  • Neonatal Reflexes

This is not a comprehensive list of topics! I highly recommend using Snazzlefrag's downloadable study guide listed above as well as the InstantCert HG&D flashcards.

Recommended Free Study Resources

  • Snazzlefrag's Study Guide - Just in case you missed it above.
  • Sparknotes' Development - Read the entire thing (just keep hitting "Next Section") and then take the quiz. Tons of good information here.
  • Sparknotes' Research Methods - From another section, but knowledge you'll need for this and other exams. Pay particular attention to the "Research Methods" and "Ethical Considerations".
  • Textbook Companion Site - You can hit each chapter in the drop down menu at the top. The Chapter exams are located under the "Study Guide" link, but I'd look at the "Chapter Review" as well. I'd bet that using just this resource (if you study well) would allow you to pass the exam.
  • PBS Video - "Seasons of Life" - Another contribution by Snazzlefrag from InstantCert.
  • Lifespan Psychology Power Point Presentation - Some really good information covering what you'll need to know for the Lifespan Development Psychology DSST. I wish I could find the rest of this lecture.
  • Lifespan Development Psychology Flashcards - A good set of flashcards on the subject. Pay attention to the psychologist that each theory came from as well.

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.

The Developing Person Through the Life Span 6th ed. (Book & Study Guide Set) - One of the suggested textbooks (with study guide) for the Lifespan Development Psychology DSST. You can pick up a used copy for under $30. This is an older book, so please don't buy a new copy.

InstantCert Human Growth and Development CLEP Flashcards - Though InstantCert doesn't have a Specific Feedback thread for the Lifespan Development Psychology DSST (too similar to HG&D I guess), the above flashcards will definitely help you prepare. I'd run through them all at least once.

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

I usually try to include at least three Bargain-Priced Resources, but for the Lifespan Development Psychology DSST it isn't really needed. If you use Snazzlefrag's study guide and the InstantCert flashcards for HG&D, you should be well on your way to passing this exam.

As mentioned earlier, just be sure to check with your student advisor if you've already taken the Human Growth and Development CLEP. Most schools won't accept this exam if you've already taken the CLEP.

Best of luck!

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