A*S*K Institute

FAQs

1. Are A*S*K exams just for high school students?
2. When should I give my students the exam?
3. Are A*S*K exams related to my student organization?
4. What schools have used the testing?
5. What is the success rate of students taking the test / passing rates and percentages?
6. What is the content of the tests?
7. Are materials available to prepare students for the test (similar to ACT prep materials)?
8. Can my school district or state use quantity prices?
9. Can I take the exam myself?
10. Do we notify you when we want to give the exam?
11. Can a student re-take an exam if s/he fails to meet standard the first time?
12. How do I get help on test day?
13. Are the exams recognized by industry?
14. How are the passing grades determined?
15. Do exam credits expire?
16. How do I get certificates for those who meet standard?


1. Are A*S*K exams just for high school students?
No.  Anyone may take the exam and be recognized. Many 2 and 4-year college students have taken the exam as well as many teachers.

2. When should I give my students the exam?
After you are reasonably confident that students have learned the appropriate content. This will be very different for different schools and colleges. Although we expect most testing to be completed during the spring, a surprising number of schools have scheduled testing sessions for fall and winter quarters. You may want to administer exams every quarter for students who believe they are ready (particularly for multi-year high school programs and college programs). Keep in mind that any given student may access the same exam only once during any calendar quarter.

3. Are A*S*K exams related to my student organization?
A*S*K exams are similar to some of the written exams historically used by National DECA and other student groups.  However, they are not the same.  For example, the A*S*K “Fundamental Business Concepts” exam addresses the prerequisite and career sustaining levels of the national curriculum framework.  National DECA’s associate level events address both of these levels and the specialist level.  Specific lists of performance indicators are available on this website for A*S*K exams (See exam details).  Similar lists are available for DECA’s events on either the MBAResearch or DECA websites.  Some regions and states are offering A*S*K Institute exams as part of the competitive event programs. For example, students in Idaho are taking an A*S*K exam at local schools. Their scores are then being considered part of the state-level events. In other states, A*S*K exams are being administered in conjunction with DECA activities, recognition is being given in DECA award sessions, but the traditional DECA events are being handled separately.

4. What schools have used the testing?
Hundreds across the nation.  For privacy reasons, we don’t release names of individual schools.   Statewide, the program has been most heavily used in Virginia and Georgia.  It is on the “approved” list in several states and being considered by still others.  The program is fairly new, but continues to grow nationwide.

5. What is the success rate of students taking the test / passing rates and percentages?
Certification requires students to score a minimum of 70%.  Although certification rates vary by exam type, an average of 30% of all high school students earn certification.

6. What is the content of the tests?
The exams are based on our industry-validated national standards.  The content matrix is published on the Exam Content page.

7. Are materials available to prepare students for the test (similar to ACT prep materials)?
Yes and no.  We don’t offer a study guide.  Our LAP modules provide a strong basis for preparation for those competencies (performance indicators) for which we have a module available.  For the balance of the exam, we recommend that you use the most challenging textbook 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.  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.

8. Can my school district or state use quantity prices?
Yes. A single purchase order may specify any number of sites. In fact, some states are providing funding for limited statewide adoption. Final decisions on dates, sites, and administration of state-funded participation are made by the state's leadership.

9. Can I take the exam myself?
Yes. You must follow exactly the same procedures as are required for any other examinee. (This includes advance registration and use of a proctor.) You may not take notes. Scratch sheets must be turned over to the proctor at the conclusion of the exam.

10. Do we notify you when we want to give the exam?
Only the first time. Thereafter, you may administer exams any time you want. There are specific procedures for online registration and activation of students that must be completed in advance.

11. Can a student re-take an exam if s/he fails to meet standard the first time?
Yes, but there is a waiting period. Students may take the same exam only once per calendar quarter. However a student may take any other available exam regardless of his or her scores on prior testing.

12. How do I get help on test day?
Tech support is generally available 8 - 4 Eastern Standard Time and may be arranged for other times. Tech support is not required and should not be needed. (Typically, any technical issues are resolved during the required practice test prior to the first exam day.)

13. Are the exams recognized by industry?
The A*S*K Business Institute certificate exams are based on industry-validated performance indicators. The exam questions have been reviewed and edited for validity by professional writers and curriculum researchers. The items themselves have not been reviewed by industry, although an industry review process is underway. The A*S*K Business Institute itself is new. Industry recognition will depend on active promotion by both the Institute itself and by all participating schools, colleges, and examinees.

14. How are the passing grades determined?
Certificates are awarded on the basis of a "cut" score that represents a level of competence typically expected by industry.

15. Do exam credits expire?
Pre-purchased exam credits do not expire. They are not refundable. Credits are utilized for quarterly site fees and for individual exams. Credits are not used until exams are scored. However, exam credits are automatically converted to pay for site fees as needed to keep a site active. The conversion rate is 10 exam credits per calendar quarter of site activation.

16. How do I get certificates for those who meet standard?
Certificates and other benefits are issued automatically on the basis of a separate and optional, no-cost individual student recognition registration. The individual no-cost recognition registration must be submitted prior to the exam date. Registrations submitted after the exam are $25 each. Please allow 10 full working days after exam date for receipt of certificates.