Posted in HS4CC

Parent question: Do you have any recommendations for DSST Astronomy test prep?

Yes!  DSST exams are similar to CLEP in almost every way, but it is harder to find good prep material. I have 3 options for you in order of preference.

DSST Official Website

DSST Homeschooling for College Credit Page

Option 1: ASU Universal Learner Astronomy

The ASU Universal Learner Astronomy course is only $25!  This is by far my #1 recommendation because you’re going to get 8 weeks of solid learning and you can award high school credit with confidence.

Next start dates: Aug. 17, 2021 or Jan. 11, 2022

If I were doing this to save money (and I usually am),  I would make sure to have your teen put in a good effort for this class. As you know, the ASU Universal Learner program allows you to pay for college credit at the end if you want (or not), so putting effort into the homework, tests, etc. gives you a “fall back” option later if your teen doesn’t pass the DSST. In other words, don’t waste the $25! It costs $85 for the DSST attempt, so it’s certainly less money than paying ASU $400 without trying to pass the DSST. But, be smart and have the credit sitting there if you need it. Be sure to award 1 high school credit if your teen takes the ASU class whether or not you take/pass/fail the DSST exam.

Option 2: Khan Academy

The lowest cost option is Khan Academy’s Cosmology & Astronomy course. This course is really a series of videos that your teen can watch for free. I like that it’s self-paced, I like that it’s free, but I don’t like that it is heavily dependent on self-study. Also, it probably won’t be enough to pass the DSST successfully without a bit more. This might be a good option for a student who has already done some high school level astronomy or has a deep personal interest in the subject. On an aside, I’m not a huge fan of awarding a high school credit for watching a few videos, so in my opinion, you’ll want to blend Option 2 and Option 3 together at the very minimum if you’re starting from scratch and awarding high school credit.

Option 3: Peterson’s

Peterson’s DSST Astronomy Prep offers the best practice tests, and they’ve been on top for decades, but they’ve changed their product a little and it’s now a bit more expensive. It used to be a flat fee for 3 practice tests, but now they are giving you more prep (prep material + flash cards + practice tests) but limiting your access through the subscription model. For $39/month you really can start to spend serious $$$$ if you stick around too long. That said, you probably can just use Peterson’s to prep and pass the DSST. They are very good at what they do!

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