The A*S*K Business Institute is a not-for-profit partnership whose sole purpose is to document student learning based on standards and performance indicators validated through various secondary and primary research procedures.

Certification by A*S*K Institute should not be considered a statement of employability or of specific qualifications for any specific job, duty, or task. Certification intends to provide one measure of an examinee's knowledge and understanding of the requirements of business as documented through the identified performance indicators.

There are no prerequisites for examination. Any individual may participate in the testing program subject to the rules, policies, or procedures of the institution sponsoring the test site.

Individuals may access any given exam no more than one time per calendar quarter.

Exam administrators and proctors acknowledge that A*S*K exams are proprietary and have substantive monetary value. They further acknowledge liability for any action that results in the actual breach of security of exam questions or in a perceived breach of security that would diminish the overall value of the exams, certificates, Institute, or sponsoring organizations.

An independent exam proctor is required for any administration of any A*S*K exam, regardless of the number of examinees, nature of the examinees, or setting of the exams. Said proctor must meet the criteria set forth by A*S*K Institute.

Upon purchasing exam credits, test administrators will receive an email containing an attachment with instructions and forms which will guide them through the testing process. 

Pretest Policy

Pretest are intended to measure student knowledge prior to instruction. They may be used for several purposes, such as to measure gain over the course of the program or to help focus instruction in the most appropriate areas. Pretest are not intended for use as practice exams, study guides, nor for other instructional purposes.

November 30 deadline: In most instances, pretests are available July 1 through November 30. Requests for exceptions will be reviewed on the basis of local circumstances within the following parameters:

  • If the program-of-study is structured using a non-traditional school year.
  • If there is a minimum of 12 months between pre- and post-tests

Requests for use outside of the July – November window must be accompanied by a clear explanation of why an exception is warranted. 

Rationale: This pretest policy helps protect the integrity of the assessment program. By limiting access to a specific calendar window, we reduce inappropriate use as practice which in turn helps ensure the validity and reliability of the actual certification exams.

The standard exam fee includes certification and a digital badge (more about A*S*K digital badges here) at no additional cost for examinees who meet the standard score of 70% or better and who register online in advance for recognition.

Recognition registration is separate from the exam registration and must be completed by each individual examinee.  Recognition registration must be completed online prior to taking the exam.

Values of Certification

The A*S*K Institute provides objective, third-party documentation of learning achievement through A*S*K Business Certificates. Based on industry-validated skills and requisite knowledge, the certifications offer added value to completion of course work and other learning experiences. Specifically, A*S*K Institute will:

  • Administer business-validated assessments nationwide
  • Identify those individuals who meet business-validated standards
  • Document achievement
  • Connect high-achieving students with business partners
  • Encourage articulation of high school and college curricula

Key Elements:

Online exams addressing specific elements of the nationally validated curriculum standards for business administration. Proctored, online exams independent of classroom delivery system will ensure valid, objective, and reliable test taking and scoring.

Benefits of Certification

Increasingly, companies are finding certification of business skills to be an effective way of identifying qualified employees. Similarly, career and technical education programs are using certification programs to document both student and program successes.

The significantly increased emphasis on 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—for learning.

In Career-Tech Education, the drive for increased accountability includes both academic skills and technical skills. Frequently, Career-Tech accountability measures are focused on industry skill standards or licensing requirements. In fact, the increasing emphasis on industry-based skill standards has reached the level where some states and many local school districts are supporting only those Career-Tech programs that are directly aligned with an industry-based certification program.

Historically, few opportunities have been available for marketing and business students to formally document their learning. At the same time, many marketing/business students enter the workforce with an understanding of basic business and marketing concepts. Often, their knowledge of business helps them become productive more quickly than others with lesser knowledge and fewer skills.

The A*S*K Business Institute provides an industry-based certificate program based on extensive research of industry practice and formal validation by business practitioners. Each A*S*K certificate is based on well-documented performance indicators that define skills and requisite knowledge required for success in the business community.

There are many resources available to help you prepare your students for the exams.

Practice Tests

Click here for A*S*K practice tests. Each A*S*K practice test contains 50 multiple-choice items and is based on the same listing of performance indicators as the official A*S*K exam of the same name.

Performance Indicators

The A*S*K exam content is based on the national standards developed by the MBA Research and Curriculum Center. To see a listing of performance indicators covered on each of the A*S*K exams, click the links below:

LAP Modules

The content in the MBA Research Learning Activity Packages (LAPs) are also based on the national standards, and provide 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.

Click here for A*S*K Exam Prep Packages in our online store. For online access to all current LAPs, plus additional material as it becomes available, see the MBA Learning Center.

Additional Prep

For the balance of the exam, we recommend that you use the most challenging textbooks appropriate to your students. To the greatest extent possible, the A*S*K exams focus on broad understanding of concepts and high-level grasp of key conceptual skills. Test items are not tied to any single resource. A*S*K exams are similar to the DECA written exams. Although A*S*K tends to be a bit higher level, participation in the DECA competitive events is pretty good practice for taking the A*S*K exams.

In addition to differences in the content focus, each exam will differ slightly in terms of the levels of questions being asked. Using Bloom’s taxonomy as the model, questions are being selected to represent all six levels as indicated below:

Knowledge and Comprehension, including definitions, basic information, meaning of basic terms and concepts, and transfer of knowledge into new or different context.
Examples:

1. Which major marketing function communicates information to consumers about a business's products?

a. Promotion
b. Channel management
c. Product/Service Management
d. Pricing

2. What type of software program allows businesspeople to combine graphics, transparencies, slides, and text for an on-screen display of information?

a. Application 
b. Publishing
c. Operating
d. Presentation

Application and Analysis, including use of information and concepts in hypothetical situations and recognition of meaning as used in various settings and situations.
Examples:

1. A tornado destroyed a local business. This is an example of a(n)__________ risk.          

a. pure
b. uninsurable
c. speculative
d. predictable 

2. Calculate the total amount of the sale, using a sales-tax rate of 6%:
    2 shirts @ $14.95 each
    1 pair of jeans @ $39.99 each
    1 sweater @ $21.55 each

a. $91.44 
b. $95.94
c. $91.34
d. $96.93   

Synthesis and Evaluation, including development of conclusions, ideas and recommendations for action based on hypothetical situations and data.
Examples:

1. Dan and Sarah are planning to open a business. Sarah is unable to devote full time to daily business operations but plans to provide financial support.  Which form of business partnership would you suggest to Sarah?

a. Open 
b. Close
c. General
d. Limited

2. While at work, employees see that a customer has been in an accident. The customer appears to be unconscious.  What should they do?

a. Take careful notes 
b. Start CPR 
c. Call 911
d. Move victim to a more comfortable position