DSST Introduction to Computing Exam

Do you know a lot about computers? Almost everyone knows how to use a computer these days, but some people are more knowledgeable than others. If this describes you, the DSST Introduction to Computing test could be a good way to earn college credit.

DSST is a prior learning assessment program designed to help students earn college semester hours for what they already know. If you grew up around computers or picked up computing knowledge through jobs or hands-on training, you may be able to test out of an Introduction to Computing class and earn college credit at the same time.

If the DSST Introduction to Computing exam sounds interesting, the first thing you should do is make an appointment with your academic advisor to verify that your college or university accepts DSST exams for credit. Once you receive confirmation, you can register and pay for the DSST exam with any college that delivers DSST exams on its campus.

The DSST Introduction to Computing exam covers these topics, with the percentage of questions for each topic shown:

  • Computer Organization and Hardware – 20%
  • Systems Software – 15%, 3) Application Software – 15%
  • Communications and Networks – 20%
  • Software Development – 10%
  • Social Impact and History – 20%.

To study for the DSST Introduction to Computing exam, you should check out a DSST Introduction to Computing study guide, which provides a detailed exam outline, practice questions, and other resources.

You may also want to check out some common reference books. It can be helpful to compare an exam outline with the table of contents for each textbook and then study the material that overlaps.

DSST Introduction to Computing Practice Questions

1. What is the difference between computer hardware and software?

A. Hardware is all of a computer’s machinery and equipment; software is all of its electronic instructions
B. Hardware is the keyboard, mouse, monitor and printer; software is the central processing unit (CPU)
C. Hardware is all of the elements of a computer system; software is the data or commands an end user or programmer enters into the computer
D. Hardware is all of the input, processing, and storage operations; software is the output or results of the processing, also known as information

2. Which item is NOT considered a storage device?

B. Hard Disk Drive
C. Central Processing Unit (CPU)
D. Flash Drive

3. What are the five sizes of computers and their correct order of processing power from largest to smallest?

A. Mainframe, supercomputer, server, workstation, microcomputer
B. Superserver, mainframe, workstation, microcomputer, microcontroller
C. Supercomputer, mainframe, server, workstation, microcomputer
D. Supercomputer, mainframe, workstation, microcomputer, microcontroller

4. Which item is the exception and does not typically contain a microcontroller?

A. Car tire
B. Cellular phone
C. Microwave oven
D. Stop sign

5. The basic five operations of a computer include: input, processing, storage, output, and which fifth operation?

A. Communications
B. Data retrieval
C. Compiling
D. Archiving

6. What is RAM?

A. Random accelerated memory: it is a memory chip used to quickly store data.
B. Ready access memory: it is a memory chip used for temporary and long term storage.
C. Random access memory: it is a memory chip used for temporary storage.
D. Removable access memory: it is a removable memory chip used for temporary storage.

7. What is the difference between digital and analog data types?

A. Digital data is based on a signal’s amplitude; analog data is based on data sampling.
B. Digital data is binary; analog data varies in strength and/or quality.
C. Digital data varies along a continuum; analog data is static.
D. Digital data uses sampling; analog data uses modulation/demodulation processing.

8. Name the measures of computer capacity and list their orders of size, smallest to largest.

A. Bit, byte, kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte, terabyte, petabyte, exabyte
B. Byte, kilobyte, megabyte, terabyte, gigabyte, exabyte, hectabyte, millibyte
C. Bit, byte, megabyte, gigabyte, terabyte, hectabyte, millibyte, petabyte
D. Binary, bit, byte, kilobyte, gigabyte, terabyte, petabyte, exabyte

9. Which coding scheme is not binary?

D. Unicode

10. Within a computer architecture hierarchy, the system unit is at the top. What are the four components immediately under the system unit?

A. Processor, storage devices, memory, expansion slots
B. Storage devices, memory, processor, software
C. Peripherals, memory, storage, central processing unit (CPU)
D. Memory, expansion slots, processor, peripherals

DSST Introduction to Computing Practice Questions Answer Key


Last Updated: June 3, 2019