What is the difference between the DSST Math for the Liberal Arts and CLEP College Mathematics exam?
~a question asked by MANY homeschool moms
Exam Information
DSST Math for the Liberal Arts
This exam was developed to enable schools to award credit to students for knowledge equivalent to that learned by students taking the course. This exam covers topics such as real number systems; sets and logic; metric system, conversions and geometry; algebra, graphs and functions (as applied to real-life applications); linear systems and inequalities; exponents and logarithms including financial literacy and counting, probability theory and statistics. The exam contains 80 questions to be answered in 2 hours. The use of a non-programmable calculator is permitted in this exam.
Passing Score for Math for the Liberal Arts
ACE Recommended Score: 400
Semester Hours: 3
CLEP College Mathematics
This examination covers material generally taught in a college course for nonmathematics majors and majors in fields not requiring knowledge of advanced mathematics.
The examination contains approximately 60 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. Some of these are pretest questions that will not be scored. Any time candidates spend on tutorials and providing personal information is in addition to the actual testing time.
Questions on the College Mathematics examination require candidates to demonstrate the following abilities in the approximate proportions indicated.
- Solving routine, straightforward problems (about 50% of the examination)
- Solving nonroutine problems requiring an understanding of concepts and the application of skills and concepts (about 50% of the examination)
The subject matter of the College Mathematics examination is drawn from the following topics. The percentages next to the main topics indicate the approximate percentage of exam questions on that topic.
A scientific (nongraphing) calculator, the TI-30XS MultiView™, is integrated into the exam software and available to students during the entire testing time. Students are expected to know how and when to make appropriate use of the calculator.
Information about the scientific calculator, including opportunities to practice, is available here.
Passing Score for College Mathematics
ACE Recommended Score: 50
Semester Hours: 6
Overlap Between the CLEP and DSST Exams
The following information is taken from the DSST Math for the Liberal Arts fact sheet and the CLEP College Mathematics information page. This was my best attempt to match up the content of each test, however, I do not guarantee 100% accuracy! If you see any errors, please leave a comment and I will update the chart.
Blue indicates content overlap between the DSST and CLEP math exams. In some instances, the overlap is assumed because it is a foundational concept.
DSST Math for the Liberal Arts |
CLEP College Math |
REAL NUMBERS SYSTEMS – 11% | NUMBERS – 10% |
Real numbers: Natural Numbers, Integers, Rational Numbers, Irrational Numbers, The real number line. Operations with real numbers and their properties (including the distributive properties) | Properties of numbers and their operations: integers and rational, irrational, and real numbers (including recognizing rational and irrational numbers) |
Percentages; Fractions and reducing fractions; conversion between decimal numbers and fractions; operations with fractions (including distributive property) | |
Prime and composite numbers; divisibility rules; prime factors of composite numbers | Elementary number theory: factors and divisibility, primes and composites, odd and even integers, and the fundamental theorem of arithmetic |
Absolute value | |
Systems of Numeration: Place value or positional value numeration, Base 10 expanded forms; base 2 numbers; conversion between base 10 and base 2; (Including Roman Numerals) |
METRIC SYSTEMS, CONVERSIONS, AND GEOMETRY – 12% | |
Introduction to metrics and U.S. customary unit systems | |
Conversions between metric and U.S. customary unit systems, including Dimensional Analysis | Measurement: unit conversion, scientific notation, and numerical precision |
GEOMETRY- 10% | |
Properties of lines and angles | Parallel and perpendicular lines; Properties of circles: circumference, area, central angles, inscribed angles, and sectors; |
Perimeter and area of 2D geometric objects; Area, Surface area and volume of 3D solid objects | Properties of triangles and quadrilaterals: perimeter, area, similarity, and the Pytharorean theorem |
SETS AND LOGIC – 16% | LOGICS AND SETS – 15% |
The Nature of Sets | |
Subsets and Set Operations, (setbuilder notation; roster form, using sets to solve problems) | Set relationships, subsets, disjoint sets, equality of sets, |
Using Venn Diagrams to Study Set Operations | and Venn diagrams |
Infinite sets | |
Operations on sets: union, intersection, complement, and Cartesian product | |
Simple and compound statements; qualifiers “and” and “or” and their symbols; conjunction and disjunction; conditional and biconditional statements including Qualifiers | Logical operations and statements: conditional statements, conjunctions, disjunctions, negations, hypotheses, logical conclusions, converses, inverses, counterexamples, contrapositives, and logical equivalence |
Truth value of a compound statement including Truth Tables | |
Types of Statements ( Negations of Conditional Statements and De Morgan’s Laws | |
Logical Arguments including Euler Circles |
COUNTING, PROBABILITY THEORY, AND STATISTICS – 20% | COUNTING AND PROBABILITY – 10% |
Fundamentals of Probability including the Counting Principle | |
Permutations and Combinations | Counting problems: the multiplication rule, combinations, and permutations |
Events Involving Not and Or | |
Odds and Conditional Probability | Probability: union, intersection, independent events, mutually exclusive events, complementary events, conditional probabilities, and expected value |
DATA ANALYSIS AND STATISTICS – 15% | |
Mean, Median and Mode; Range | Numerical summaries of data: mean (average), median, mode, and range |
Variance and Standard Deviation | Standard deviation and normal distribution (conceptual questions only) |
Graphical representation (including Bar graph, pie chart, histogram, line graph, scatterplots etc.) | Data interpretation and representation: tables, bar graphs, line graphs, circle graphs, pie charts, scatterplots, and histograms |
EXPONENTS AND LOGARITHMS INCLUDING FINANCIAL LITERACY – 22% | FINANCIAL MATHEMATICS – 20% |
Properties of Logarithms | |
Logarithmic and Exponential Functions | |
Percents, percent change, markups, discounts, taxes, profit, and loss | |
Simple Interest; Compound Interest | Interest: simple, compound, continuous interest, effective interest rate, effective annual yield or annual percentage rate (APR) |
Present value and future value | |
Installment Buying | |
Student Loans and Home Buying | |
Investing in Stocks and Bonds |
ALGEBRA, GRAPHS, AND FUNCTIONS (AS APPLIED TO REAL LIFE APPLICATIONS) – 11% | ALGEBRA AND FUNCTIONS – 20% |
LINEAR SYSTEMS AND INEQUALITIES – 8% | |
Order of operations | |
Simplifying expressions; equations with one variable; proportion problems | |
Evaluation of formulas | |
Solving Linear Equations including applications and systems | Solving equations, linear inequalities, and systems of linear equations by analytic and graphical methods |
Interpretation, representation, and evaluation of functions: numerical, graphical, symbolic, and descriptive methods | |
Graphs of linear equations in the rectangular coordinate system; Graphing and solving Linear inequalities; Graphing and solving systems of inequalities |
Graphs of functions: translations, horizontal and vertical reflections, and symmetry about the x-axis, the y-axis, and the origin |
Linear and exponential growth | |
Functions including polynomials (not to include rational, exponential and logarithmic Functions) | |
The Rectangular Coordinate System and Linear Equations in Two Variables |