DSST Computing and Information Technology Study Guide

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DSST Computing and Information Technology Study Guide

The Defense Subject Standardized Test (DSST) is designed to assess candidates' knowledge in various subject areas to obtain college credit for learning experiences outside the classroom. The exam for DSST Computing and Information Technology may be a good exam for those with a background in technology. This exam is 2 hours long and contains 100 questions. Examinees can use non-programmable calculators and scratch paper during the DSST test. The questions will cover topics across 6 different content areas, including systems software, applications software, and software development. Prepare for exam day using this DSST Computing and Information Technology study guide.

Content Areas % of Questions
Computer Organization and Hardware 20% (≈ 20 questions)
Systems Software 10% (≈ 10 questions)
Application Software 20% (≈ 20 questions)
Data Communications and Networks 20% (≈ 20 questions)
Software Development 10% (≈ 10 questions)
Social Impact and History 20% (≈ 20 questions)
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Computer Organization and Hardware

The DSST Computing and Information Technology exam will require candidates to demonstrate their knowledge of the different aspects of computer hardware. They must know the different kinds of primary storage and processing components, such as virtual memory and Fetch. In addition, candidates should know about all the different kinds of peripherals, including printers, cloud computing, and disk storage, and the different architectures available, including mainframes and personal computers.

Questions will also assess the examinee's understanding of the various units of measurement used in the field. For instance, they need to know how much a terabyte, nanosecond, or gigahertz is. They must also be familiar with different methods for presenting data in the field and be able to read coding systems, numbering systems, and graphics.

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Systems Software

Test takers will need to be aware of the different types of user interfaces that are available, including voice and menu-driven interfaces. They should be able to describe the various operating systems and how they can be used for different purposes, such as file management and job scheduling. They also need to understand utilities used for systems software maintenance, including backing up data and preventing viruses.

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Application Software

Candidates must be familiar with the various application software available and what they are used for. Specifically, they need to know about software for word processing, creating presentations, and managing spreadsheets. They should also have knowledge of multimedia and graphics applications, as well as personal communications options, including social media and list servers.

Questions may ask examinees specifically about databases. They need to know how databases contain hierarchy levels and follow different database models, such as network or object models. They should also be able to explain the methods used in data mining.

Test takers need to be aware of the various kinds of software licensing options. For example, they also need to understand the use of commercial application software and should be familiar with open source, freeware, and enterprise licensing.

Data Communications and Networks

Candidates need knowledge of the different aspects of data communications and networks, including mobile networks and the World Wide Web. They should understand network architecture and be able to define hubs, wide area networks, and domains. They also need to know the various ways networks can be accessed.

Examinees must know about the infrastructure and regulations used with data communications and need to be aware of the various security issues involved with data communications, as well as possible solutions to address these issues. For instance, they need to know how firewalls work and methods for identity management.

Software Development

For the process of software development, test takers must know about different methods used in programming. And they should be familiar with the life cycle of software, from analysis and design to maintenance. Questions may also explore topics in the different tools used during software development, such as editors and assemblers.

Social Impact and History

The final content area will test candidates' knowledge of the history of computing and information technology and how the field has affected society. They need to be aware of key figures in the field, how user interfaces have evolved over time, and how information technology is continuously applied to new areas. They should also know about some of the various career options available in the field, including the compensation and growth potential for these jobs.

Examinees must demonstrate their understanding of the ethical issues associated with computing and information technology. In addition, they must know about intellectual property rights and other safety and security issues, such as identity theft and privacy issues. Finally, they should be able to explain the different social issues involved in the field. For example, they need to know the controversies surrounding artificial intelligence and understand social media responsibility.

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