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If you excel in calculus, linear algebra, data analysis and the theory of statistics and are looking to earn college credit, the DSST® Principles of Statistics exam is just for you. DSST exams help you earn college credit while saving you time and money, with the average college course costing over $900. 

Let’s take a deep dive into what’s included in the DSST Principles of Statistics exam and how to prepare for it.

Inside the DSST Principles of Statistics exam

The DSST Principles of Statistics exam, which consists of 100 multiple-choice questions, covers topics such as probability, correlation, regression, sampling distribution, and inferential statistics.

Credit amount: 3 semester hours

Minimum passing score: 400

The topics covered in the exam and the weight of each topic include:

  1. Foundations of statistics – 20%
  2. Probability – 20%
  3. Correlation and Regression – 15%
  4. Sampling Distributions – 15%
  5. Inferential Statistics – 30%

Sample questions

Scroll down for the answers.

  1. A farmer wants to test 4 different fertilizers to see which one produces the tallest tomato plants. He divides his field into 4 sections, and uses a different fertilizer in each. At the end of the growing season, he measures the heights of a sample of tomato plants from each section, and finds the means of each sample. What type of hypothesis test would be most appropriate for him to conduct?
    A. ANOVA
    B. t-test for a mean
    C. t-test for the difference of two means
    D. z-test for a proportion
  2. If samples of a sufficiently large size are repeatedly taken from a large population, which of the following is NOT necessarily true about the distribution of sample means?
    A. It is symmetric.
    B. It can be well approximated by a normal distribution.
    C. The mean is the same as the population mean.
    D. The standard deviation is the same as the population standard deviation.
  3. Which of the following descriptive statistics are influenced by outliers?
    A. Mean and median
    B. Mean and standard deviation
    C. Median and IQR
    D. Standard deviation and IQR

Preparing for the exam

Peterson’s DSST test prep encompasses 37 DSST exams, and includes 3 full-length practice tests, and most courses also include videos, and flashcards. Peterson’s is an official test-prep provider of the DSST, so you can be confident that what you see on our practice tests will be the types of questions to expect on exam day.

Answers to sample questions

  1. The correct answer is A. ANOVA, or analysis of variance, is the procedure used to compare means from more than two samples. A t-test is used to either check the value of a single mean (choice B) or compare means for two samples (choice C). A z-test (choice D) is generally used with proportions, not means.
  2. The correct answer is D. The standard deviation of the sample means is related to the population mean, but is not the same as it. In particular, if the population standard deviation is σ, and the sample size is n, the standard deviation of the sample means will be  σ/(n) . The central limit theorem states that sample means are approximately normally distributed (choice B), which implies that the distribution is symmetric (choice A), and that their mean is the same as the population mean (choice C).
  3. The correct answer is B. Since they include every data point in their calculations, mean and median are easily influenced by outliers; that is, a single value far away from the rest of the data has a significant effect on their values. Median (choice A) and IQR (choices C and D) are all calculated based only on one or two values closer to the center of the data set, so they are not influenced by extreme values.

RELATED: Gain a Versatile Skill-Set With an Online Degree in Statistics

Visit Peterson’s test prep for more information about how to prepare for the DSST Principles of Statistics exam.