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Money and Banking DSST
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Free Money and Banking DSST Study Guide

Name of Exam: Money and Banking DSST

Number of Questions: Around 94 (varies)

Time Limit: 120 Minutes

ACE Recommended Passing Score: 48

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 : 5
(One being the easiest, and five being the hardest)

Exam Description:

The Money and Banking DSST covers what a student would learn during a single semester of Money and Banking. Specific topics covered include the Federal Reserve and it's influence on the US Economy, Macroeconomic Activity, Commercial Banks, and the International Money System.

Personal Thoughts:

This exam worries me, as should be evident by the difficulty level I've placed it at. Almost everything I've read about the Money and Banking DSST has started with "Omg this is tough!". Now normally I don't put too much stock into doom and gloom forum posts, but this is going to require a little bit of work.

First of all, I'd suggest you start off by taking the Principles of MacroEconomics CLEP and the Principles of MicroEconomics CLEP if you haven't already done so. Most of the material I see on this exam is covered by those as well.

If you've already filled the Macro and Micro requirements for your degree, or if they can't be applied as electives, then I'd still look over the material even if you aren't going to take the exams themselves. Much of the material is the same, and you'll recognize some of it below.

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 Money and Banking DSST is broken down as follows:

31% Commercial Banks and Other Financial Intermediaries
21% Money and Macroeconomic Activity
18% Monetary Policy in the United States
18% Central Banking and the Federal Reserve System
07% The International Monetary System
05% The Role and Kinds of Money

Areas of Study

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

Though there are different versions of the Money and Banking DSST, you'll most likely see some of the following on your exam:

  • Federal Reserve
  • Monetary vs Fiscal Policy
  • Deposit Deregulation
  • The Phillips Curve
  • GDP
  • Causes and effects of inflation
  • Bretton Woods
  • IMF
  • Assets and Liabilities
  • Velocity
  • Keynesian Economics
  • Hyperinflation
  • Supply and Demand
  • Q Regulation
  • Treasury Bonds
  • National Bank Act of 1863
  • FDIC
  • International Payments

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

  • FCP Youtube Channel - We've put every video from the Khan's Academy Banking series into its own playlist. If it covers the material you'll need to know on this exam, we've included it here.
  • Money and Banking - If you Google "Money and Banking", this is the first item on the first page. Now you know my secret research method. ;) A great resource for this particular exam. It's going to be a lot to digest, but welcome to the Money and Banking DSST.
  • History of Economic Theories - A nice site, but I wish they would have done the navigation a bit different. I'd hit the main players at the very top, and then start looking on the right hand side of the page for things you see on the Fact Sheet.
  • What is Money? - I really like these. Yes, the subject matter is a little dry but it's nice to hear it read out loud while you're studying other things. If you'd prefer to get the PDF, you can see the link to do so on the right side of the screen under the uploader's info.
  • 350 Years of Economic Theory in 50 Minutes - A good Youtube lecture on Economics. Great if you have 50 minutes to spare and prefer videos versus reading.
  • The Federal Reserve Board - These got me through the Fed portion of the MacroEconomics CLEP. I'd look at all of it if you can, but if you're strapped for time then take a look at one through five. Looking at seven wouldn't hurt either.
  • Fed Reserve Quiz - A very cool interactive site on the Fed which you can use for the Fed Portion of the Money and Banking DSST.
  • Snazzlefrag's Money and Banking Study Guide - As always, a great resource to refresh after doing the initial study. Go through the other resources first, and then use this to really hammer home the material.

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.

Economics of Money, Banking and Financial Markets (9th Edition) - This is hardly a bargain priced option, but I wanted to list it regardless since it's a DSST recommended textbook. The reason I listed this one versus the others is that the local college uses this as a textbook, and has told me that others do as well. If that's true, then you can probably find one of these for pretty cheap if you have a used college bookstore nearby.

InstantCert Academy Money and Banking Specific Exam Feedback - Four pages of targeted information for this exam. There are a few downloadable study guides here that are truly outstanding. Definitely look at the ones made by Caridan. Great stuff. Also if you've subscribed, make sure you go through the Flashcards for Money and Banking as well.

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 haven't taken the Money and Banking DSST myself, but I think I'm going to do so in the next month or so. I've avoided it thus far due to the sheer amount of scary things I've read about it. That's obviously not a good way to act, and I'm a little embarrassed about that now. Once I've taken it, I'll come back here to give an update on how it went. Look for that in the near future.

I will say that almost all of the posts in the IC Specific Exam forum end on a positive note. Most of them start off by saying "Omg this is tough!" but then it's quickly followed by "I have no idea how I passed!". That usually points to a pretty aggressive grading curve, but a pass is a pass in the CLEP and DSST world.

More to come on this particular exam and if any of you beat me to it, then please let me know how it went.

Best of luck!

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