The Institute for the Assessment of Skills and Knowledge of Business (A*S*K Business Institute) is an initiative of the MBA Research and Curriculum Center. It operates as a quasi-independent agency providing objective, industry-based proof of learning for students of business. A*S*K exams and certificates are based on performance indicators derived from MBA Research’s continuing research of the business community. The Institute is administered by MBA Research with guidance from a variety of public and private organizations nationwide. 

Purpose of the A*S*K Certification Exams

Accountability in education affects all programs, all grade levels, and all educators. Local school districts, state education departments, and the U.S. Department of Education are all insisting that teachers, schools, and students be more accountable for instructional outcomes—in short, for learning.

Historically, few opportunities have been available for marketing and business students to formally document their learning. MBA Research seeks to change that paradigm with the A*S*K Institute certification exams. The exams provide third-party documentation of learning achievement as well as offer added value to completion of course work and other learning experiences.

Each A*S*K certificate is based on well-documented performance indicators derived from MBA Research’s continuing research of the business community. These industry-validated performance indicators define skills and requisite knowledge required for ethical decision-making and career success in business, marketing, finance, management, and entrepreneurship.

Although A*S*K exams are typically administered to secondary and postsecondary students completing their programs, the tests (which are not grade-level specific) are appropriate for all students of business—high school students, college students, and even early-career professionals. In essence, A*S*K certification exams are critical tools for all serious students of business administration who wish to document their understanding of key business skills, their willingness to be accountable for their learning, and their interest in positioning for employment and promotion.

The A*S*K Institute certification program offers specific benefits to individuals passing one or more certification exams, including a portable credential for résumés and portfolios; evidence of preparation for college and career advancement; documentation of challenging course electives for college applications; preparation for competitive events (high school as well as college); and personalized recognition of exemplary performance by individual students, faculty members, and programs.

The A*S*K exams also address many specific needs of contemporary professional and technical career programs beyond recognition of high-achieving examinees. Instructors can increase the accountability of their programs relative to national standards by administering the exams. The exams can serve as guides in the development of programs and curricula. Exam results provide useful guidance regarding student knowledge and understanding of certain critical skills and concepts as well as the effectiveness of student learning across the entire instructional program. Pre- and post-assessment results also lend themselves to program improvement and evaluation of student growth throughout a program.

See the Exam Technical Manual for development process, scoring info, and more.