The DSST Criminal Justice Exam

For careers in law enforcement at any level, it will be helpful and perhaps even necessary to earn a criminal justice degree. If you already know the basics of criminal justice through job experience or other avenues, then you may be able to receive upper-level college credit by taking the DSST Criminal Justice Exam.
Earning credit for what you already know is a great way to graduate faster and spend less time in the classroom. Before registering for the DSST Criminal Justice exam, you should check with your college or university to determine whether a DSST Test is acceptable for credit, and what score is considered passing (some colleges require a higher score than the minimum passing score).
The DSST Criminal Justice exam is multiple-choice, covering these five main areas:

  1. Criminal Behavior
  2. Criminal Justice System
  3. Police
  4. Court System
  5. Corrections.

Although the DSST exams are designed to assess what you already know, you should take time to study for the exam. You may want to check out a DSST Criminal Justice study guide, which provides a detailed outline of what will appear on the exam. In addition to the study guide, you may also want to look over some textbooks.

DSST Criminal Justice Practice Questions

1. Of the following statements, the most accurate definition of crime is:
A. An act that offends society
B. An intent to violate written laws based on natural law or accepted written standards of legal social behavior
C. Any act that inflicts physical or emotional harm on law-abiding citizens
D. The unlawful taking, harming, or misuse of property or persons owning such property
2. The Latin term “mens rea” refers to:
A. The mental state of an individual preventing a crime
B. The mental state of an individual intending to commit a crime
C. The mental state of an arresting officer
D. The mental state of an individual who commits a homicide
3. One of the most important databases in collecting information about crime in the U.S. is:
A. The FBI’s Central Bureau of Crime Collection Statistics
B. The Crime Self-Report Survey
C. The Crime Clock
D. The Uniform Crime Report
4. A key difference between the National Crime Victimization Survey and the Uniform Crime Report is that:
A. The National Crime Survey collects statistics from a wider segment of the American population
B. The Uniform Crime Report is compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau
C. The National Crime Report is a household survey, whereas the Uniform Crime Report derives from law enforcement agencies
D. All of the above
5. The “crime clock” is:
A. One of the statistical readings obtained from the Uniform Crime Report
B. One of the statistical outputs derived from the National Crime Survey
C. A computer-based record of the frequency of crimes occurring around the world
D. A special clock used by police departments to predict the time of the day or season of the year when certain crimes are likely to occur
6. The crime of “date rape” refers to:
A. Unlawful sexual intercourse without consent and usually involving force or threat of force
B. A rape in which an adult engages in consensual intercourse with a person below the legal age of consent
C. Consensual sexual intercourse among adults in which one of the partners later has regrets
D. Forced sexual intercourse without consent between two persons who are close friends and embarked upon a social outing
7. Non-criminal homicide is different from manslaughter in that:
A. It is usually police personnel who are involved in non-criminal homicides, while police on duty are exempt from manslaughter charges
B. In both types of cases, the subject person does not intend to kill anyone
C. There is no intent to kill in manslaughter, but a person may intend to kill another person in justifiable self-defense
D. All of the above
8. A person may be charged with burglary by entering a home:
A. But only if force is used to gain entry
B. Even if the doors are unlocked and the homeowner is working in the back yard
C. With unlocked doors, but only if the person has stolen something
D. Without authorization, and with an intent to commit a crime
9. Martha Green, 200 pounds, is jealous of Samaira Duchaines, her 90 pound rival for class president. One day Martha confronts her rival in the lavatory. During the ensuing discussion, Martha charges toward Samaira but stops short of pushing her. Martha stands face-to-face with the other girl, who is too afraid to say another word. Another student observes the incident and confirms Samaira’s account that Martha threatened to “bash your head against the wall if you don’t get out of my face!” Which of the following statements best applies to the situation?
A. Martha cannot be charged with assault because she did not touch Samaira
B. Martha can be charged with assault even though she restrained herself from pushing Samaira against the wall
C. Martha can be charged with aggravated assault, but not simple assault
D. Martha cannot be charged with assault because she claims self-defense and that Samaira had been gossiping about her
10. The common law derivative known as “parens patriae” has particular meaning for the juvenile justice system. The statement that best expresses what the term means in this context is:
A. Parens patriae means that the state can act as parents on behalf of and in the best interest of minor children if the court so rules
B. Parens patriae means that parents have more legal authority than the “patriae,” or country, even if both parents are in prison on felony charges
C. Parens patriae means that the state may charge minor criminal defendants as adults but only in cases involving murder, rape, or violent assault
D. Parens patriae guarantees that a stepparent can act in loco parentis for a juvenile accused of a crime
DSST Criminal Justice Practice Questions Answer Key


Last Updated: June 18, 2021