Monday, March 28, 2011

Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union DSST

Wow, what a test. This one hurt the ole' noggin. I passed it with a 58. Minimum score needed was a 45.
-There were no questions on Andropov, or Chernenko. Spend most of your time studying Lenin, Stalin, Bhreznev, and Gorbachev.

-The only question about Chernobyl Nuclear Accident was "What did the Soviet Union immediately do when the accident occured..", obviously, the tried to cover it up from the world.

-Study up on the Battles of Stalingrad and Lenningrad during the "Patriotic War" or WW II.

-There were some questions about what side and efforts the Bolsheviks took with regards to the Spanish Republicans during the Spanish Civil War.

-Read up on the Soviet Unions Constitution. Know what Gorbachev did in reference to amending an article (#6, I believe)

-Know all the names that the Soviet Secret Police have been called (ie. Cheka, GBU, NKVD, KGB)

-Know which countries became part of the CIS after the break up of the Soviet Union.

-Know what Lenin put in his last statement to the Communist Party that the leadership did not want everyone else to know about.

-Know about "War Communism" and the "New Economic Policy"

-Know what was gained by the Red Army's invasion of Finland.

-Know about the Great Purges.

-Know about Maxim Gorky and Vsevolod Meyerhold

-Know about the Molotov-Ribbentop Pact.

-Know about the "Marshall Plan"

-Know that during WW2, that Stalin was upset because the Allies would not open up a Western European Front when he needed it.

-Know that from 1941 to 1943, Stalin mass deported Volga Germans and Crimean Tartars to Siberia, Kazakhstan, and Central Asia.

-Know that the 'Korean War', was a hard lesson the Soviets learned when they walked out of s 1950 UN Security Council meeting. This was the only time they ever did that. If they had stayed during the Security Council vote, The Korean War might not have happened.

-Know that Boris Yeltsin became the popular political figure in the Soviet Union after the failed 1991 coup.

-Know that the Soviet Union's War in Afghanistan was the worst military mistake in Soviet History.

-Know that Perestroika was economic reforms and only that. (This was one of those "could it be I, II and IV., or I, III, or IV, or I only. Chose the one that states 'Economic Reforms only".

I know that there are a couple formats out there for this test. My test was 100 questions long, I had 2 hrs to take and did it in 45min. And boy does my brain hurt.

Hope this helps. Thanks to all the previous posters here. They were very instrumental in my passing this exam.

Friday, March 25, 2011

General Anthropology DSST

I took the DANTES General Anthropology exam. I think it went quite well, and I am pretty sure I passed it.

I didn't think it was TOO hard an exam. Definitely harder than CLEP Sociology, but not as hard as DANTES Intro to World Religions.

As usual with DANTES, there were quite a few questions that I didn't know the answer to. But I am hoping that I was able to correctly answer enough questions to pass. 

Only time will tell!


Wikipedia (I looked lots of terminology up).

Things to Know (based on MY version of the exam):

Cross-cousins (identify on a kinship chart)
Catal Huyuk
Linguistics (Sapir)
DNA (just know what it is)
Genetic Drift
Natural Selection
Hominids (know this stuff well. Know the different kinds of hominids, where, when, what they did first, where their fossils/bones have been found, etc.)
Oldest hominid found so far in USA
Dating Technology (Scientific Dating of Archaeological Sites and Artifacts)
Civilization (definition)
Culture (definition)
Ideal/Real Culture
Cultural Relativism
Band/Caste/Chiefdom/Class/Clan/Tribe/Kinship/State etc.
Lineage (Matri/Patri)
Hunter-gatherer/Horticulture/Agriculture/Industrial/Market Exchange.
Cargo Cults (know what they are. I LOVE those guys: Cargo cult - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Applied Anthropology

Names (just know why each name is important):


Civilizations to Know:


Bonus Point: Which civilization first invented "zero"?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Geology DSST

Well, not the most popular exam, is it? I needed science credits, and I don't know why I chose Geology, except that I just think rocks are cool. I studied for one week. I speed read my way through The Earth: An Introduction to Physical Geology, by Tarbuck/Lutgens, and Exercises in Physical Geology by Hamblin and Howard. Both books are very good, lots of pictures and excellent illustrations. I scored a 54, a 'B'. I think I could have scored much higher if I had learned all the terminology better. Here's a few things I remember:

-Which planet has plate tectonics like Earth?
-Rocks older than 180 million years are not found on the ocean floor, why is that?
-What is the ocean floor made of?
-What are the mineral compositions of granite, quartz, and feldspar?
-What distinctive landscape features are caused by glaciers?
-What climates are most/least conducive to chemical weathering of rocks?
-Know the law of superposition, be able to recognize a diagram of it, with laccoliths, dikes, and faults, and be able to say which of all these things occurred in what order.
-Know how to figure out the rate of sea floor spreading.
-Know all about transform faults
-How were the Aleutian Islands formed?
-Know Bowen's Reaction Series really well
-How is an oxbow lake formed?

Sorry it's not much, that's all I can remember. I found the subject matter fascinating. I definitely think that the key terms--vocabulary and knowing all the definitions is key on this one. Good luck!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

World Conflicts Since 1900 ECE

The test was almost wholly fact memorization, with a few theoretical scenario questions thrown in (130 questions total). Hope that helps someone, I didn't know much about any of the writers, or half of the terms, but had a basic knowledge of all the conflicts and I looked through the ECE study guide and read "Complete Idiot's guide to World Conflicts".

  • World War 1 - lots of questions especially on causes.
  • World War 2 - a few questions, most notably on Germany and Hitler. Several questions on Hitler's motives/strategy. Also a couple on European powers breaking up and administering the conquered lands.
  • Korea - Several questions on Korea, esp. causes and international actions (*** this one was NOT listed on the study guide).
  • Veitnam - Causes, how it ended.
  • Balkans - lots of questions on the breakup of Yugoslavia, and Slobo's motives (one specific question was: which state was the first to break away). Also, know why each state declared reasons, safety
  • Gulf War - Causes, UN action (also, specific question was: what year did it start?).
  • Iraq - there were a few questions on Iraq's motives for invading Kuwait, and for attacking Iran...and questions about who the US supported, why...and UN action.
  • Cold War - several questions on the cold war, mostly about nuke deterrent, proxy wars, when the cold war ended and why (specific question: what action most closely depicts the end of the cold war? answer was the fall of the Berlin Wall)
  • Arab/Israeli - several questions on the different wars, and who signed what treaty and why (specific question: when was the first Arab/Israeli war? answer: as soon as Israel was created)
  • Pakistan/India - couple questions, mostly on kashmir and nukes (specific questions: which nation gained its independance from Pakistan? answer: bangladesh; question: why did Pakistan start nuke testing?)
Major things to study:
  • UNITED NATIONS! study basically everything about UN actions, abilities, lots of questions.
  • Treaties - several questions on major treaties and accords like Versailles, Camp David, Oslo, nonproliferation.
  • American Wars/motives - seemed to have alot of questions on specifically American wars/motives (America is the nation that has been involved in the most conflicts in the 1900's).
  • Political Scientists/writers - there were a LOT of questions on the writings/theories of: Stoessinger, Huntington, Waltz.
  • Terrorism - causes, why it's easier today (also, NGOs), definition of terrorism.
  • Globalization - a couple questions on impact.
Terms to KNOW:
  • Balance of power
  • Bipolar/multipolar
  • Collective security
  • Realism
  • Liberalism
  • Marxism

Sunday, February 13, 2011

General Test Taking/Preparation Advice - DSST / CLEP

Yes, it's all about the basics really. Most of these exams are called "Intro to...." or "Principles of....". That alone should tell you something about the depth to which the MAJORITY of questions will go.

I am NOT saying that these exams are easy, or that you shouldn't study as hard as you possibly can. Rather, I am saying that you have to focus your studies on what will provide the highest return on the actual exam. For most of these exams, the thing that will provide the highest return is THOROUGHLY knowing all the basics such as key terminology, concepts, principles, etc.

The REALLY hard stuff should only be considered important if you desire to earn 'bonus points' on the exam, or if a simple passing score is not pleasing enough for you.

On most exams, I went ahead and conquered the hard stuff too. But on certain exams, such as Accounting, Statistics, Principles of Finance, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, etc., I just found myself getting SO overwhelmed by some of the more advanced topics that it was hurting my self-confidence and causing me to get confused by even the basic stuff. So in the end, for these exams particularly, I focused the vast majority of my time and energy on truly MASTERING the BASICS.

When it came time to take the exam, I found that I could answer almost every single easy and average difficulty question. Any question I came across that was too hard, I simply guessed and moved on.

If you can do that, you can afford to miss most of the really hard questions, and still do well. Also, since these are multiple choice exams, you have a 20-25% chance of getting even the MOST diffficult questions right simply by guessing.

With that in mind, I would recommend that you make sure you will be able to get every single "easy" question right, almost all of the "average" questions right, and hopefully pick up one or two bonus points by guessing on the extremely hard questions.

Obviously this is a different approach than most people would consider. It would seem more logical to try and master absolutely EVERYTHING when preparing for an exam. But with some of these exams, it's just not worth the 'mental anguish, pain, and suffering' that such an attempt would cause.

Here's my 10 Step Program for passing an exam:

1. Research the exam. How many questions, what is covered on it, time limit, paper-based or computer-based, minimum passing score, graded or pass/fail, score needed to get an 'A' (if applicable) etc.

2. Read (or ask for) feedback from other people who have already passed the exam. Was it easy, was it hard, what areas to focus my studies on, which materials they found useful etc.

3. Gather together everything I will be using to study. This might include: Instantcert, study guides, pdf files, web site links etc.

4. Read a good overview of the subject. is often good for this, or I might read a study guide, or a web site etc.

5. Go through Instantcert and make my own notes. I find that WRITING the information down in my own words helps me to remember it.

6. Keep going through Instantcert until I feel comfortable with the majority of the material. This involves actually understanding the concepts/explanations rather than merely memorizing which words go in the blank spaces.

7. Fill in any gaps in my notes. There may be a topic that is not covered in Instantcert, or that is not covered deeply enough for my liking.

8. Study from my notes. Memorize wherever possible.

9. Take a mock test or two (admittedly at this this stage, I can more or less tell whether I am ready for the exam without having to take a mock).

10. Take and pass the actual exam!

Limited Learning In College

I stumbled across this article on Yahoo and thought you would be interested:

Student tracking finds limited learning in college - Yahoo! News

Student tracking finds limited learning in college

By ERIC GORSKI, AP Education Writer Eric Gorski, Ap Education Writer – Tue Jan 18, 12:43 pm ET

You are told that to make it in life, you must go to college. You work hard to get there. You or your parents drain savings or take out huge loans to pay for it all.

And you end up learning ... not much.

A study of more than 2,300 undergraduates found 45 percent of students show no significant improvement in the key measures of critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing by the end of their sophomore years.

Not much is asked of students, either. Half did not take a single course requiring 20 pages of writing during their prior semester, and one-third did not take a single course requiring even 40 pages of reading per week.

The findings are in a new book, "Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses," by sociologists Richard Arum of New York University and Josipa Roksa of the University of Virginia. An accompanying report argues against federal mandates holding schools accountable, a prospect long feared in American higher education.

"The great thing ” if you can call it that” is that it's going to spark a dialogue and focus on the actual learning issue," said David Paris, president of the New Leadership Alliance for Student Learning and Accountability, which is pressing the cause in higher education. "What kind of intellectual growth are we seeing in college?"

The study, an unusually large-scale effort to track student learning over time, comes as the federal government, reformers and others argue that the U.S. must produce more college graduates to remain competitive globally. But if students aren't learning much, that calls into question whether boosting graduation rates will provide that edge.

"It's not the case that giving out more credentials is going to make the U.S. more economically competitive," Arum said in an interview. "It requires academic rigor ... You can't just get it through osmosis at these institutions."

The findings also will likely spark a debate over what helps and hurts students learn. To sum up, it's good to lead a monk's existence: Students who study alone and have heavier reading and writing loads do well.

The book is based on information from 24 schools, meant to be a representative sample, that provided Collegiate Learning Assessment data on students who took the standardized test in their first semester in fall 2005 and at the end of their sophomore years in spring 2007. The schools took part on the condition that their institutions not be identified.

The Collegiate Learning Assessment has its share of critics who say it doesn't capture learning in specialized majors or isn't a reliable measure of college performance because so many factors are beyond their control.

The research found an average-scoring student in fall 2005 scored seven percentage points higher in spring of 2007 on the assessment. In other words, those who entered college in the 50th percentile would rise to the equivalent of the 57th after their sophomore years.

Among the findings outlined in the book and report, which tracked students through four years of college:

_Overall, the picture doesn't brighten much over four years. After four years, 36 percent of students did not demonstrate significant improvement, compared to 45 percent after two.

_Students who studied alone, read and wrote more, attended more selective schools and majored in traditional arts and sciences majors posted greater learning gains.

_Social engagement generally does not help student performance. Students who spent more time studying with peers showed diminishing growth and students who spent more time in the Greek system had decreased rates of learning, while activities such as working off campus, participating in campus clubs and volunteering did not impact learning.

_Students from families with different levels of parental education enter college with different learning levels but learn at about the same rates while attending college. The racial gap between black and white students going in, however, widens: Black students improve their assessment scores at lower levels than whites.

Arum and Roksa spread the blame, pointing to students who don't study much and seek easy courses and a culture at colleges and universities that values research over good teaching.

Subsequent research found students one year out of college are not faring well: One-third moved back home, and 10 percent were unemployed. The findings are troubling news for an engaged citizenry, Arum said. Almost half of those surveyed said they rarely if ever discuss politics or public affairs with others either in person or online.

The report warns that federally mandated fixes similar to "No Child Left Behind" in K-12 education would be "counterproductive," in part because researchers are still learning how to measure learning. But it does make clear that accountability should be emphasized more at the institutional level, starting with college presidents.

Some colleges and universities do not need convincing. The University of Charleston, in West Virginia, has beefed up writing assignments in disciplines such as nursing and biology to improve learning.

President Edwin Welch is among more than 70 college and university presidents pledging to take steps to improve student learning, use evidence to improve instruction and publicize results.

"I think we do need more transparency," Welch said. "I think a student at a private institution who might go into debt for $40,000 or $50,000 has the right to know what he can learn at the institution."


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Principles of Finance DSST

I just passed it with flying colors.. I used the new official 2011 test prep guide that had alot of the questions on the exam or close to it... You can order it from for about 30 bucks.... I used that along with the notes everyone recommended... Thanks guys...My test was heavy on bonds, payback, npv and only a few pv, fv calculations. There were at least three questions regarding EOQ, or economic ordering quantity.

Be sure to study dol, dcl, dfl, and irr. Know bonds, call feature, npv with outflows, break even, total asset turnover formula, which forms you use to calculate roa, definition of beta, capm formula, discount rate formula, effective rate formula, study section on eoq, There are questions about actual and required rate of return.
Things covered different types of ratios (memorize all the types of ratios!) you should know which ones are profitability, asset utilization, etc.
  • I had a couple questions on EOQ, you should memorize the formula and know how to use it.
  • You must know all how to calculate future cash flows using all three methods (payback method, NPV, IRR)
  • There were questions and problems on financial leverage, operating leverage, and combined leverage.
  • I had a couple questions on credit terms (i.e 2/10 net 30).
  • I had a question on calculating foreign currencies. While I studied and knew how to work these problems, the question was weird and I probably got it wrong.
  • Know that common stock is the most expensive investment!
  • Know what beta is and how to calculate CAPM
  • You need to know the steps to go through for determining net income on an income statement, as they will just give you parts of an financial statement and require you to calculate from it.
  • PVIF, PVIFA, FVIF, FVIFA. What's been said earlier in this thread is also very helpful -- make a list of formulas and study them -- EOQ, SML, YTM, and so on -- all the ratios
    . How to use the 4 financial tables you received from Prometric to calculate PV, PVA, FV, FVA, IRR (by guessing based on initial and subsequent cashflows given) and NPV (by subtracting initial investment from the PV calcuated using the table).
    . Cash Discount. Know your terms (eg 2/10 net 30) and the cost of that cash discount. eg. If the net days increased from 30 to 60, how would your cost of cash discount be affected?
    . Components (accounts) of a balance sheet to calculate ratios off of (not in ic).
    . Know your four type of ratios and most popular ones. For example, If I gave you a balance sheet and told you to calculate Debt to Asset ratio, you need to know what values to pick out from the provided balance sheet.
    . Components of a Cash flow statement (high level, not the detail).
    . Know Net Working Capital and the basic balance sheet components that make it up.
    . Formula for DOL, DFL and DCL (degree of leverage for operating, financial, combined) and know what leverage (debt or fixed costs) is and how it relates to assets and equity.
    . Know how to compute EOQ from different variables given. (not in ic)
    . CAPM and Constant Growth.
    . Simple Currency conversion. (not in ic)
    . Break Even Point theory and calc. eg. If var costs decreased, how would that affect BE? incr, decr, no-change, not enough info?
    . WACC
    . Bonds
    . Tax margin. Convert something to its "after tax" value.
    . Systematic and unsystematic risk. (not in ic)
    . Factoring.
    . "Cost of Capital" section in IC.
 You will also have to solve for a recurring annuity payment.
There is a LOT of overlap. PV, FV, all them ratios, payback period, IRR, net present value—I had to relearn it all a year later.
Present and Future Value – You should know what semiannual means.
EOQ – there's at least a couple of problems that require knowledge of this formula and concept
CAPM – I don't recall using the formula to solve a problem, but there were several questions regarding the concept
Tax Margin – two questions regarding that.  Those were two of my guesses
Systematic and Unsystematic Risk – definitely know that.  Despite the advice in the Specific Feedback section, I never got around to looking that up—as it seemed obvious.  It's not—at least not the way these questions are phrased.  You should know this.
Leverage – DOL, DFL, DCL.  The Q(P-VC) formulas won't help you much but the concepts will.  In other words, you aren't going to have to do a raw computation, but you'll have to take it from half-way in and be able to finish and answer several questions relating to how leverage works and how other changes may or may not impact leverage.
Stock valuation formulas – at least be able to recognize them
Foreign Currency Conversion – it's one of the few problems where they give you unfriendly numbers to work with
Cash Discounts
Credit Terms
Net Working Capital
Weighted Cost of Capital
Factoring - know what it is.  Easy points.
Bond debentures, indentures, floating-rate, etc.
Valuation of Stock - I knew CAPM and Constant Growth--which you should know as well, but I didn't know the other P=D/K variations--and I should have.
Payback Period, IRR, NPV –
Statements – there are several questions that require you to know which items are on which statements (Income, Balance) and which to use (and not use) when calculating things like net income, etc.
 Make sure you also know the following well:
Cost of Bonds and Preferred Stock as well as YTM on Bonds. Detailed parts and how to calculate.
EOQ and Inventory (FIFO/LIFO) there were at least 4 questions on EOQ.
Invoicing - Cost of Trade Credit concepts
Effective Interest Rate (what it is and how to calculate)
Source/Uses of Cash and after-tax concepts
Know and practice how to solve time value questions, NPV, IRR, and cashflow problems with the calculator and bond/stock valuation, cost of debt, capital, and other terms.
basic understanding of proforma statements

- Computing "net worth" from a list of figures (not as intuitive as one might think)
- Understand the effects of stock splits/reverse stock splits/stock dividends/cash dividends on retained earnings, par value, stock price, EPS.
- If EOQ goes up by a certain amount, how much does that affect inventory level?
- If cost of capital is X% and internal rate of return is X%, what does that say about the NPV? In other words, it's not enough to just know how to compute IRR or NPV on your calculator, you need to understand the formula and the effects of variable changes.
pay particular attention to the circumstances and effects of the cost of debt. There are at least 8 questions that revolve, at least in part, around this series of concepts.
I had probably 10-12 questions that were to solve for PV or FV or annuities. One combination-type question asks for the future value of an account with different deposit amount for about 5 years, then no deposits for 15 years earning interest, and what is the future value at the end.
I had around 5 questions that were on the CAPM formula (this is where you'll find Beta) where it gave you everything but 1 part of the equation and you had to solve for the required rate of return. You want to have that formula memorized. A few questions about EOQ, economic ordering quantity. I also had a question that asked what happened to inventory if the EOQ went up. I think inventory would increase, but I don't know if I got that right or not. There are several questions on the 3 types of leverage (financial, operating, and total or complete), so it would be good to memorize these 3 formulas and know that DFL x DOL = DCL. I had to solve for the present value of a perpetuity (annual return divided by interest).I think I had to value a bond. To do so, use the cash flow for each period multiplied by the PVA (or find the PV's for each period and add them all together, as I had to do), then add the PV of the amount due at maturity and this is the Bond valuation.
Understand internal rate of return, and Net Present Value, which is not the same thing as Present Value as NPV takes into consideration the initial cash investment. On the test, they use the terms asset utilization and debt utilization, so I would look online to get those in your brain. Know that leverage refers to debt. Liquidity looks at current obligations and Leverage looks at long term obligations. 4 ratio types to be liquidity, activity, leverage, and profitability
I did have a question where it asked for the collection period to be calculated.
I was also given a currency conversion (from what it would look like in a newspaper I think) and needed to look at it and answer 2 questions about it.
The top line said something line $USD to German DM and then had some numbers after it.
Also, I was given a “stock's market price of 7-7.5” and you had to tell which was the ask and the bid?
Know what EBIT is, and Net income, (that net income is after taxes, but before any dividends are paid out).
Know the 3 sections of a cash flow stmt, (operating, investing, financing) and know that non-cash "expenses" like depreciation, are ADDED back into your net income on a cash flow, so it an increase to cash, and there at least one question about this. A cash flow statement begins with Net Income.

There were a good number of questions on cost of capital and on capital budgeting.
You will have to calculate break-even, which is Quantity (or break even quantity) = FIXED COST divided by (PRICE less VARIABLE COST). You will want this memorized to answer a few questions on it.
Know what earnings per share is, and what price per earnings ratio is. Other things I know I had questions on was Return on assets, return on equity.
Regarding bonds, know what a call option is, a put option, know that a debenture is an unsecured bond, and that the indenture is the bond contract.
Know that issuing common stock is most expensive way for a firm to raise capital. Know what flotation costs (legal, etc.) are.
Know what systematic risk and unsystematic risk is. Diversified risk is unsystematic risk. You can almost eliminate unsystematic risk by diversification, but you can't eliminate systematic risk.
Total risk is made up of diversifiable risk and non-diversifiable risk. Know about bonds being sold at a premium or a discount to their par value, how to calculate their yield. Know what a call is. Call price less par value = call premium.
Know that current or short term means less than one year.
Know that preferred stock gets paid a dividend, normally.
Know that a bond sold at a discount increases it's yield, and that a bond sold at a premium reduces it's yield. Know that the par value is the value at maturity. Know how to find the yield of a preferred stock. It is the annual dividend divided by the required rate of return. I am certain I had this on the test.
Know how to find the yield on common stock. Year 1 dividend divided by (investors required rate of return less the growth rate of dividends).
Know what a revolving line of credit and a commitment fee is, know that interest is paid in advance on a discount loan, which increases the interest rate as the usable funds are lower since interest was taken right off the top. Know what commercial paper is. Know what a lien is. Know what factoring is. I had questions on these.
Capital expenditures.
Know the difference between independent projects and mutually exclusive projects.
Know about those capital budgeting techniques from InstantCert and that if IRR is greater than the cost of capital, they should accept the project. Know that NPV and IRR can conflict with each other.
Know that "payback period" does not factor in time value of money.
I had one question about the “times interest earned formula”?
 Make sure you know all the risk concepts inside and out, since they tie into almost everything else.
There wasn't much on CAPM, maybe 3 or 4 questions, but they did require knowing the formula and how to use it.
• Calculation of IRR from given values
• Calculation of CAPM from given values
• Cost of retained earnings
• Calculation of current ratio
• Calculation of quick ratio
• Calculation of NPV
• Constant Growth Value is also known as what?
• Questions on WCCA
• Questions on Interest Rates
• If a person can spend 5000 annually on a car within 4 years and the interest rate is 6%, what is the price of a vehicle that the person can afford (calculate present value and sum it)
• A question on opportunity cost
• Diversification
• If the rate of inflation is 6 % in USA and 2 % in Australia how will this affect USA $ vs. Aus $
• When is ordinary annuity paid (some choices are in the middle of the month, end of month etc)
• How often do banks pay interest on savings (some choices are monthly, annually, sami-annually etc.)

Comparing average tax rate to the marginal tax rate?

Banks pay interest? (answers: daily, weekly, quarterly, semi-annually)

Pure discount bonds sell at ? Below value, above value, etc. I never came across the term "pure discount".

How many years to double your money at XX% interest? This is actually easy to figure out using TVM on calculator. Just plug in any value - say $100 for PV, then FV of $200, Interest=XX. Then compute N (time period).

I had the question listed in the forum feedback about the car payment ($5000 for 4 years how much could the family afford to buy)

A question about how to calculate beta from some values presented?
I did have 2 or 3 questions using CAPM formula

Pure discount bonds sell at ? Below value, above value, etc. I never came across the term "pure discount".
Cost of retained earnings -- not just what it is, but how to calculate it from given values, the values given assume you know how other financial factors affect retained earnings
·         Effect of inflation on risk under the CAPM
·         Effects of differing levels of risk aversion on securities risk rating; calculate beta from given values
·         Yield to maturity on bond given values -- I could not remember how to work the function on my calculator
·         Several PV, NPV and one IRR calculation question
·         The 'family finances car' PV question
·         Calculating retained earnings from an income statement
·         Remember the accounting equation
·         Current ratio, practically the same question 3 times
·         Know the implications of/effects on SML (which is CAPM)
·         Which activities increase cash?
·         No inventory calculations, but know that inventory is least liquid current asset
·         If a business has a lot of assets in slow-moving inventory, which measure is the best indicator of their situation?
·         One where cost of equity /cost of capital is supposed to be a guide to return on assets. There's a relationship here I'm clueless about.
·         Which measure is best to determine return on assets (ROA is not one of the choices)?
·         Pick which of the following is characteristic of common stock
·         Know the definition of net present value, as well as how to figure it.
·         Beta on portfolio given betas of stocks in it
·         How would a firm minimize exchange rate risk?
·         What is a spot rate trade? None of the given answers made sense. I chose the one that looked like a typo of a sensible answer
·         No questions on Dupont directly, but one that looked like it may have assumed knowledge of it.
·         Calculate EPS (a 'what to leave out' question)
·         As mentioned in previous feedback several stock questions are used to test your knowledge of related topics; this makes stocks seem over-represented on the test.
·         Quick Ratio, Current Assets - Inventory / Current Liabilities.
Pure Discount Bond
-Beta concepts and how to calculate it
-A lot of characteristic questions over stocks and bonds(really know these)
-Value of Bonds
-Capital Budgeting; Payback period
-Effective Annual Rate
These included DOL, EPS, PV of bond, PV perpetuity, PI ratio, Gordon model, CAPM, current ratio, quick ratio.
The DSST Fact Sheet is pretty straightforward. Make sure you tackle each topic.
- There were a surprising number of questions on Floatation Costs on my exam.
- Several questions that involved PV/FV/CF calculations
- Capital Budgeting/IRR
- Cost of Capital/Cost of Debt/Cost of Equity
- Balance Sheet/Income Statement/Cash Flow Statement
- Ratio Analysis - what does it mean, how is it applied
- Annuities and Annuities Due - know the difference and application
- Short term and long term sources of funds and implications of each
- Bonds - evaluation, calculating value, return
- Sensitivity - what it measures, how it is applied
- Risk and Return - figuring expected return and how things affect risk
- Effective/Nominal interest rates
- Standard Deviation
- Diversification - questions specific to diversifying/risk
- Exchange rates/Intl financial markets/Spot vs Forward
 I needed was present value, future value, current ratio, quick ratio, nwc, price over sales (don't even know what that is), how to value a bond, theoretical knowledge of what capm is and what it is used for (not the formula), currency conversion question, interest rate conversion (nominal to effective).
NPV, IRR, MIRR, Payback, and PI.
 Current, Quick, EPS ratios seemed to pop up often.
I had 3 calculations on the Current Ratio (which is good cause it's an easy formula) and 1 using the Quick Ratio.

Comparing average tax rate to the marginal tax rate?

Banks pay interest on savings accounts? (answers: daily, weekly, quarterly, semi-annually)

Pure discount bonds sell at ? Below value, above value, etc. I never came across the term "pure discount".

How many years to double your money at XX% interest? This is actually easy to figure out using TVM on calculator. Just plug in any value - say $100 for PV, then FV of $200, Interest=XX. Then compute N (time period).

I had the question listed in the forum feedback about the car payment ($5000 for 4 years how much could the family afford to buy)

A question about how to calculate beta from some values presented? Again, I knew about beta but never came across how to calculate it. I guessed.

Know the implications of/effects on SML (which is CAPM)
·    Which activities increase cash?
·    No inventory calculations, but know that inventory is least liquid current asset
·    If a business has a lot of assets in slow-moving inventory, which measure is the best indicator of their situation?
·    One where cost of equity /cost of capital is supposed to be a guide to return on assets. There's a relationship here I'm clueless about.
·    Which measure is best to determine return on assets (ROA is not one of the choices)?
·    Pick which of the following is characteristic of common stock
·    Know the definition of net present value, as well as how to figure it.