How Many Questions Must I Answer Correctly to Pass My DSST Exam?
Updated: Nov 20
Preparing for a DSST exam is a significant undertaking, and clearly understanding the passing score target is crucial.
In this blog post, we will provide a concise and straightforward answer to one of the most frequently asked questions: "How many questions do I need to answer correctly to pass my DSST exam?"
Whether you're a seasoned test-taker or approaching DSST exams for the first time, join us as we break down the essential information that will equip you for success in your upcoming examination.
Table of Contents
Understanding the DSST Scoring Process
DSST exams offer a straightforward and transparent scoring system that differentiates them from other standardized tests.
DSST exams use the "criterion-referenced" method to establish a passing score, which means a passing score is based on your knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.
This process is a significant advantage for test-takers because a passing score is established upon your personal merit as opposed to the performance of other test-takers.
Other standardized tests, like the Advanced Placement (AP) and the CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) exams, establish a passing score that is weighed against the performance of other test-takers.
DSST exams are designed for students to demonstrate their knowledge on a specific subject based on prior knowledge acquired through real-life experience or on-the-job training without requiring a semester’s worth of study preparation.
For active military members, the first attempt to pass any DSST exam is free. DSST exams present an opportunity to earn college credits without an upfront cost.
It is highly recommended to study and prepare for DSST exams diligently.
To increase the likelihood of receiving a passing score, actively review online course modules, practice exams, and quizzes to prepare for the types of questions you may encounter on DSST exams.
Once you have fully prepared by studying and completing the course material, schedule an appointment online to take your DSST exam as soon as possible.
What’s the Passing Score for DSST Exams?
The passing score for DSST exams is consistently set at 400 points.
Achieving a score of 400 points is equivalent to earning a letter grade of a “C.”
With this in mind, you must aim to score 400 points to pass a DSST exam successfully.
DSST exam scores range from between 200 and 500 points.
Scores above 400 points are considered passing.
Scores under 400 points are considered failing scores.
DSST exam scores are reported as “Pass” or “Fail” on an academic transcript and do not impact a student's grade point average (GPA).
With an understanding of how many points are required to successfully pass a DSST exam, test-takers can plan to commit to a consistent study schedule to prepare for the exam.
Minimum Amount of Correct Answers Needed to Pass DSST Exams
To pass most DSST exams, you must correctly answer an average of 45% to 60% of the questions.
The exact percentage depends on the specific exam subject.
This means that, on a typical DSST exam, there is flexibility to get some questions incorrect and still successfully pass.
Below, you'll find a table that outlines the percentage of questions you need to answer correctly to pass various DSST exams by subject:
Percentage Correct To Pass
50% - 52%
51% - 58%
48% - 50%
57% - 58%
DSST Business Mathematics
45% - 46%
67% - 68%
55% - 56%
58% - 60%
55% - 61%
44% - 45%
54% - 56%
DSST Fundamentals of College Algebra
63% - 66%
54% - 58%
64% - 66%
60% - 62%
55% - 58%
56% - 59%
56% - 57%
55% - 58%
53% - 55%
61% - 62%
DSST Math for Liberal Arts
61% - 64%
66% - 70%
Passing Your DSST Exam
Now that you’re aware of the passing score of 400 points and equipped with an approximate percentage of correct answers needed to successfully pass a DSST exam, this information will provide insight to allow you to create a realistic study strategy.
To gauge your knowledge, try a free practice exam to get a feel for the type of questions you might be presented with on your DSST exam.
You must focus on thoroughly studying DSST exam course modules to gain comprehension and proficiency in the subject material.
During your study process, aim for the goal of meeting or exceeding the percentage of correct answers required to pass your specific exam.
You can achieve this goal by repeated review of the course modules and taking practice exams until you achieve a score of 90% or higher.
This method of study will introduce you to the multiple choice type testing format and allow you to become well acquainted with the types of questions that may be presented on an exam.
Don’t allow time to pass between studying and taking your final exam.
With a clear goal and a well-planned study routine, you will be better equipped to successfully pass your DSST exam and earn valuable college credits.