Exam Overview

Each A*S*K certification exam contains 100 multiple-choice test items administered online through a secure online testing vendor. Each test item is composed of a self-contained stem and four alternatives, including three plausible, but not defensible, distractors. Examinees have a total of 100 minutes to complete the exam.

Content Focus

All specifications outlined below are estimates. Specific exam content changes frequently and without notice on the basis of continuing item analysis, content validations, and other variables. These specifications are for general information only.

Questions: 100 multiple-choice
Content specifications (projected, approximate percentages):

  • Business Law (BL): 2% 
  • Communication Skills (CO): 3%
  • Emotional Intelligence (EI): 78% 
  • Operations (OP): 7% 
  • Professional Development (PD): 10%

Content Breakdown

All A*S*K exams are based on industry-validated performance indicators. Performance indicators are organized into broad content areas and assigned to one of six planning levels:

Prerequisite (PQ) Content develops employability and job-survival skills and concepts, including work ethics, personal appearance, and general business behavior.
Career-Sustaining (CS) Content develops skills and knowledge needed for continued employment in or study of business based on the application of basic academics and business skills.
Specialist (SP) Content provides in-depth, solid understanding and skill development in all business functions.
Supervisor (SU) Content provides the same in-depth, solid understanding and skill development in all business functions as in the specialist curriculum, and in addition, incorporates content that addresses the supervision of people.
Manager (MN) Content develops strategic decision-making skills in all business functions needed to manage a business or department within an organization.
Owner (ON) Content develops strategic decision-making skills in all aspects of business that are needed to own and operate a business.

Each performance indicator is assigned to one of six curriculum-planning levels that represent a continuum of instruction ranging from simple to complex. The levels can serve as building blocks for curriculum development in that students should know and be able to perform the performance indicators at one level before tackling more complex skills and knowledge at the next level. The levels can also be used as the basis for developing an unduplicated sequence of instruction for articulation between high school and postsecondary business courses.

Specific exam questions are aligned with Bloom’s taxonomy to help ensure that each exam addresses critical performance issues appropriate to industry standards.

What is a LAP? A Learning Activity Package (LAP) is a comprehensive, ready-to-use lesson plan designed to help make your preparation easy, fast, and relevant. Each lesson module addresses a single performance indicator. LAP content is based on the National Business Administration Standards and provides an excellent foundation for A*S*K exam preparation. Since LAPs are based on the same industry validation research as the A*S*K exams, they make great review and study materials to help ensure that your students are prepared to earn their certification. Keep in mind, though, that LAP modules are NOT currently available to address every performance indicator covered on each A*S*K exam.

Performance Indicators

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Badging and Certificates

A*S*K certifications are awarded on the basis of cut scores that represent a level of competence typically expected by industry. While not yet statistically validated, these cut scores are based on experience with comparable exams and with data collected during the content validation. Further, these criterion-based cut scores determine certification independent of other examinees.

Examinees who earn a score of at least 70% are recognized as Certified High Achievers, while examinees who score 90% or higher are recognized as Certified Exemplary Achievers.

A*S*K certification includes the appropriate digital badge for individuals earning the certification.

Digital Badge: Fundamentals of Ethics A*S*K Certification Exam

Badge holder demonstrated an understanding of ethical decision-making skills and knowledge needed by all professionals. Skills and concepts assessed focus on business law, communication skills, emotional intelligence, operations, and professional development.

Exam Performance Data

Statistical data for each A*S*K certification exam are reviewed annually to determine how effectively the overall exam and individual items within the exam are performing. On average, 10% - 20% of the statistically weakest items are replaced. Additional reviews by subject matter experts focus on item validity relative to the research base (standards and performance indicators).

Relevant data for the period ending May, 2023:

Examinees: 1,254
Certified High Achievers (70-89%): 776 (62%)
Certified Exemplary Achievers (90%+): 33 (3%)
Mean Score: 70.4
Median Score: 74.0
Variance: 226.32
Standard Deviation: 15.0
Alpha (Reliability): .93

Psychometric data are based on analysis by statisticians at the Center on Education and Training for Employment, The Ohio State University.