- Course type: Self-paced
- Available Lessons: 238
- Average Lesson Length: 8 min
Eligible for Certificate:
Certificates show that you have completed the course. They do not provide credit.
Watch a preview:chapter 1 / lesson 1The Main Branches of Geology
Course SummaryThis Physical Geology exam is no longer offered through the DSST Program. To learn more about geology, visit our Geology 101 course at https://study.com/academy/course/physical-geology-course.html or https://study.com/academy/course/dsst-introduction-to-geology-practice-study-guide.html.
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About This Course
This Physical Geology exam is no longer offered through the DSST Program. To learn more about geology, visit our Geology 101 course at https://study.com/academy/course/physical-geology-course.html or https://study.com/academy/course/dsst-introduction-to-geology-practice-study-guide.html.
This course presents the same information you would find in a standard semester-long college course in physical geology. Watch video lessons on igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks then find out about causes of rock deformation and geological faults. Learn about geologic time, earth's internal structure, mineral resources and human impact on the environment.
Check out our DSST test prep materials! We've got DSST courses to teach you the material, comprehensive DSST study guides to help you study, DSST practice tests to test your knowledge, and informational DSST resources to get you up to speed on testing logistics.
Syllabus & Course Information
You'll have mastered the following objectives once you've finished this course. These objectives correspond with the concepts tested on the DSST Physical Geology exam. To make sure you're prepared for the exam, take the final exam at the end of the course.
- Explore the scientific method, Earth's subsystems and the various branches of geological study.
- Learn the roles minerals, rocks, soil and water play in sustaining life on Earth.
- Get a closer look at types of metals and precious rocks.
- Examine the environmental impacts of mining and refining minerals.
- Investigate such physical properties as luster, crystal shape, density, tenacity and fracture.
- Find out what distinguishes rocks from minerals.
- Identify the three types of rocks and their life cycles and get an introduction to planetary geology.
- Discover the origin of magma, as well as the differences between volcanic and plutonic igneous rock.
- Follow Bowen's reaction series and explore the relationship between tectonic plates and the locations of igneous rocks.
- Study the types and features of sediment and the differences between detrital and chemical sedentary rock.
- Examine the processes leading to lithification and learn how rock features can be used to determine the environment in which they originated.
- Look into the conditions influencing rock metamorphism.
- Find out how metamorphic rocks are classified and identify the differences between contact and regional metamorphism.
- Investigate the types of stress leading to rock deformation and the causes of various geological folds and faults.
- Learn the vocabulary used to describe the processes of mountain building.
- Survey the processes of mechanical and chemical weathering, along with soil structure and type.
- Examine the causes and effects of erosion, as well as prevention techniques. Identify triggers for different types of mass wasting.
- Discover the significance of drainage basins in developing a river system.
- Follow the formation of bedrock channels, alluvial channels and stream valleys.
- Learn how landform diagrams depict a landscape's geological progression.
- Survey types of springs and wells.
- Find out how groundwater forms geological features, like caverns and sinkholes, and explore the environmental effects of groundwater removal.
- Consider the processes involved in glacier formation, movement, erosion and deposition.
- Research causes of glaciation and find out how ice age glaciers formed pluvial lakes.
- Examine oceanic ridge systems and basins, as well as active and passive continental margins.
- Explore properties and characteristics of shorelines, beaches, waves, currents, tides and marine organisms.
- Identify characteristics of deserts in general and those in the Southwest in particular.
- Learn about the five types of sand dunes and the role wind plays in shaping desert landforms.
- Find out what kinds of human activity cause desertification.
- Investigate steps in the water cycle, including evaporation and condensation.
- Discover what happens to precipitation after it reaches land and learn the role transpiration plays in the movement of water.
- Discuss evidence used to support the Big Bang theory before studying galaxy formation, the life cycles of stars, dwarf planets and planets in the inner and outer solar system.
- Research theories explaining the formation of the Earth and moon.
- Look into geologic evolutionary theories of catastrophism and uniformitarianism.
- Discover numerical and relative dating methods, conditions leading to fossil preservation and significant eons, eras and epochs on the geologic time scale.
- Identify Earth's four spheres and their interactions.
- Delve further into the composition of the crust, mantle and core and examine forces shaping the Earth's surface.
- Explore factors affecting an atmosphere's state and the long-term weather patterns comprising a region's climate.
- Consider the causes and effects of global warming and the processes by which carbon and nitrogen are cycled through the atmosphere.
- Study the components and causes of earthquakes.
- Find out how geologists use seismic waves and the Richter scale to study earthquakes' mainshocks, as well as their foreshocks and aftershocks.
- Unearth evidence supporting theories of Pangaea, plate tectonics and continental drift.
- Investigate the lithosphere's tectonic plate boundaries and causes of plate movement.
- Learn the definition of energy and examine the first and second laws of thermodynamics.
- Research types of renewable and nonrenewable energy resources, including fossil fuels, radiant energy and hydroelectric energy.
- Discover the pros and cons of wind and solar energy, hydropower, geothermal energy, biomass and nuclear energy.
- Explore the environmental impacts of mining for coal, oil and shale gas, as well as the importance of energy efficiency and conservation.
- Get an introduction to economic geology before looking into the relationship between plate tectonics and concentrations of ore and mineral deposits.
- Learn about the processes involved in finding these resources.
- Recognize the factors used to determine humans' environmental impact.
- Identify problems created by the industrial revolution and subsequent development, including deforestation, declining biological diversity, pollution, eutrophication and desertification.
- Explore the concepts and applications of sustainable development and consumption alongside behaviors that threaten the environment.
- Define environmental health and find out how it's threatened by disease-causing agents, toxicants and pollutants.
- Discuss procedures and technologies used to monitor water supplies, assess health risks and mitigate exposure to risk factors.
- Become aware of environmental ethics and worldviews, as well as the concept of environmental justice.
- Consider the steps that go into environmental legislation, policy, planning and decision making.
- Follow the assessment measures used to determine a project's environmental impact.
Prerequisites aren't needed for this introductory course. Get started right away learning about physical geology.
This course has 28 chapters and a total of 208 lessons that each take about 5-10 minutes to watch. Use the quick quizzes that follow each lesson to check your knowledge of the lesson topics or take a look at the transcripts if you want to review a concept that you missed. Chapter quizzes and a final exam are included in the course, and the subject experts who lead the lessons can answer any of your questions about the topics. If you're concerned about your progress, use the progress tracking tool that comes with the course to see how many lessons you've watched and quizzes you've passed.
DSST Physical Geology Exam Information
The DSST Physical Geology exam is equivalent to a 1-semester course that you would typically take within the first or second year of college. Students might take this course to meet general education requirements. This course is designed for geology majors as an introductory course before moving into more advanced topics, but it is also open to non-majors interested in the subject.
- Number of Questions: Approximately 100
- Question Type: Multiple choice
- Time Limit: 2 hours
- Number of Credits: 3
- Exam Cost: $80
Earn DSST Credit
Passing the DSST exam can help you earn 3 credits - potentially cutting the time you spend in college in half. Earning credit through a DSST exam can also help you save money on tuition. Use this prep course to effectively and efficiently prepare for the DSST Physical Geology exam.
Study Schedule for the DSST Physical Geology Exam
This course features about 21 hours of instruction. The timetable below can help you determine how much time you'll need to spend studying for the exam. Once you've figured out how much time you'll need to prepare, make an appointment with the testing site to secure your test slot for when you're ready to take the exam.
|Study Frequency||When You'll Be Ready for the Exam|
|3 hours a day; 3 days a week||Just over 2 weeks|
|2 hours a day; 3 days a week||About 3.5 weeks|
|1 hour a day; 3 days a week||About 7 weeks|
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