Business Calculations

Category: Objective Test
Type: Individual


60-minute test administered during the NLC.

Objective Test Competencies: Consumer Credit; Mark-Up and Discounts; Data Analysis and Reporting; Payroll; Interest Rates; Investments; Taxes; Bank Records; Insurance; Ratios and Proportions; Depreciation; Inventory


Objective Test Guidelines
Objective Test Guidelines
  • No materials may be brought to the testing site.
  • Electronic devices must be turned off and out of sight.
  • No calculators may be brought into the testing site; calculators will be provided.
  • Bring a writing instrument.
General Guidelines

The general event guidelines below are applicable to all national competitive events. Please review and follow these guidelines when competing at the national level. When competing at the state level, check the state guidelines since they may differ.


  • Dues: Competitors must have paid FBLA national and state dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on March 1 of the current school year.
  • NLC Registration: Participants must be registered for the NLC and pay the national conference registration fee in order to participate in competitive events.
  • Deadlines: The state chair, or designee, must register each state competitor on the official online entry forms by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • Each state may submit four (4) entries in all events except LifeSmarts, Virtual Business Finance Challenge, and Virtual Business Management Challenge.
  • Each competitor can only compete in one (1) individual/ team event and one (1) chapter event.
  • Each competitor must compete in all parts of an event for award eligibility.

Repeat Competitors

Competitors are not permitted to compete in an event more than once at the NLC unless one of the following circumstances applies:

  • Modified Events: A competitor may compete in the same event when the event is modified. Note, if the only modification is a name change, competitors may not compete in the renamed event.
  • Team Events: One (1) competitor of the team may have competed in the same event at one (1) previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice in the event at the national level.
  • Chapter Events: Competitors may compete in a chapter event more than once (American Enterprise Project, Community Service Project, and Partnership with Business Project).
  • Individual Entry: A competitor who competed as an individual entry in a team event at the national level may compete in the same event a second time as part of a team, but not a second time as an individual.
  • Parliamentary Procedure: Two (2) competitors of the team may have competed in this event at a previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice at the national level.
  • Pilot Event: Competition in a pilot event does not disqualify a competitor from competing in the same event if it becomes an official competitive event. The participant may compete in another event as well as a pilot event.

Breaking Ties

  • Objective Tests: Ties are broken by comparing the correct number of answers to the last 10 questions on the exam. If a tie remains, the competitor who completed the test in a shorter amount of time will place higher. If this does not break the tie, answers to the last 20 questions will be reviewed and determine the winner.
  • Objective and Production Tests: The production test scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Objective Tests and Performances: The objective test score will be used to break a tie based on the tie-breaking criteria of objective tests.
  • Reports/Projects and Performances: The report/project scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Performances: Judges must break ties and all judges’ decisions are final.

National Deadlines

  • State chair/adviser must register all competitors for NLC competitive events online by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All prejudged components (reports, websites, projects, statement of assurance) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All prejudged projects and reports must be submitted electronically.
  • All Statements of Assurance must be submitted online.
  • All production tests must be received at FBLA-PBL by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May.
  • All production tests must be uploaded online.
  • State chair/adviser may make name changes only (no additional entries) by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the first Friday in June. Competitor drops are the only changes allowed after this date and onsite.

National Awards

The number of competitors will determine the number of winners. The maximum number of winners for each competitive event is 10. Only one (1) award is given to the schools competing in chapter events (American Enterprise Project, Community Service Project, Local Chapter Annual Business Report, and Partnership with Business Project).

Additional Materials

Certain events may allow the use of additional materials. Please refer to event guidelines.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

FBLA‑PBL meets the criteria specified in the Americans with Disabilities Act for all participants who submit a special needs form.

Recording of Presentations

No unauthorized audio or video recording devices will be allowed in any competitive event. Participants in the performance events should be aware the national association reserves the right to record any performance for use in study or training materials.


Sample Practice Materials

Format Guide

Consumer Credit
1. Identify the costs, benefits, and sources of various types of credit.
2. Calculate sales tax and compute total price with sales tax.
3. Compute total purchase price with interest/finance charges added.
4. Compute the costs involved in owning and buying an item such as an automobile, appliances, home, or furniture.
5. Compute finance charges for single payment loans.
6. Calculate installment loan costs such as amount financed, installment price, finance charge, and installment payment.
7. Find the estimated annual percentage rate (APR) using a table.
8. Compare costs of leasing and buying.
9. Find the finance charge and new balance using the average daily balance method.
10. Read amortization tables to determine payment, interest and balance.
11. Compute Annual and monthly Percentage Rate for credit cards or loan.
12. Find the monthly mortgage payment.
13. Find the total interest on a mortgage and the PITI.
14. Prepare a partial amortization schedule of a mortgage.
15. Compare the total interest paid on a 15-year and 30-year fixed rate mortgage.
16. Define and compare the interest only, fixed rate, and adjustable rate loans.
Mark-Up and Discounts
1. Identify the various types of discounts.
2. Calculate chain, trade, and cash discounts and net selling price of each kind of discount.
3. Determine price of product after coupons and/or rebates.
4. Define and calculate markup and markdown.
5. Determine the rate of the markup or markdown.
6. Find the cost, markup or selling price when any two of the three are known.
7. Find the amount of markdown, the reduced price and the percent of markdown of an item.
8. Calculate markup based on cost.
9. Calculate markup based on selling price.
10. Convert markups from cost to selling price or from selling price to costs
Data Analysis and Reporting
1. Using a data set, determine mean, median, and mode.
2. Distinguish between a simple average and a weighted average and calculate each.
3. Identify and construct various types of graphs and charts.
4. Compile and arrange facts in organized manner for a table, chart, or figure.
5. Explain or prepare written summary of findings expressed in tables, charts, graphs and figures.
6. Make predictions and decisions based on data and communicate their reasoning.
7. Explain the usage of statistics, probability, and systems of measurement in business.
1. Calculate pay based on piecework, salary, commissions, and graduated commissions.
2. Calculate gross pay based on an hourly wage with an overtime policy.
3. Calculate an employee’s net earnings per paycheck.
4. Prepare an individual payroll or earnings record.
5. Find federal tax withholding per paycheck using IRS tax tables and IRS percentage method.
6. Calculate Social Security Tax and Medicare tax per paycheck.
7. Find an employer's total deposit for withholding tax, social security tax, and Medicare tax per pay period and quarterly.
8. Calculate federal and state unemployment taxes.
9. Compute business expenses related to employees: benefits, disability insurance, travel, and employee training.
Interest Rates
1. Figure rates, interest, and proceeds of bank discounts.
2. Calculate simple interest using the simple interest formula.
3. Calculate any single variable—principal, interest rate, amount of interest, or time—given the other three.
4. Explain the process of discounting a promissory note and calculate the proceeds of a discounted promissory note.
5. Define maturity value and find the maturity value of a loan.
6. Convert months to a fractional or decimal part of a year.
7. Find the future value and compound interest by compounding manually.
8. Find the interest compounded daily using a table.
1. Define investment terms such as risk, yields, P/E ratio, and rate of return.
2. Explain the effect compounding has in an investment and lending environment.
3. Compare investment decisions and make mathematical comparisons of investment alternatives.
4. Calculate the net present value of an investment such as certificate of deposit, savings account, stocks, and mutual funds.
5. Determine stock yield, earnings per share, and price-earnings ratio.
6. Compute the anticipated rate of return on specific investments and savings accounts using various factors such as simple or compound interest, dividends, fees, etc.
1. Define tax terms such as standard deduction, itemized deductions, exemptions, and various types of taxes such as income tax, sales tax, and property tax.
2. Define and calculate property taxes based on local percentages/guidelines.
3. Calculate sales tax on purchase.
4. Complete a 1040 EZ Federal Income Tax Form with a W2 form.
5. Prepare a 1040 A using W2 and 1099 Interest form.
6. Complete basic tax forms such as W2 and W4.
Bank Records
1. Compare different types of banking options such as credit unions and other banks.
2. Identify the types of banking services and their costs for meeting various needs.
3. Write a check, prepare deposits, and prepare withdrawal slips.
4. Maintain a check register including proper procedures for ATM and automatic payment withdrawals.
5. Reconcile a bank statement.
6. Utilize online banking and bill payment options securely.
1. Identify and compare types of insurance.
2. Read insurance premium charts and determine the cost of a particular policy
3. Analyze insurance proposal for auto and determine costs of compulsory insurance and costs of optional coverage.
4. Analyze health insurance premiums and calculate based on selected options.
5. Compute the costs and benefits of specific insurance plans.
6. Analyze deductibles and their effect on policy.
Ratios and Proportions
1. Define the terms ratio and proportion.
2. Use ratios to evaluate profitability, efficiency, and leverage.
3. Create ratios to express the quantitative relationship between two amounts.
4. Use ratios, proportions, and percents to solve problems involving financial calculations.
5. Analyze and explain methods for solving problems involving proportions such as scaling and finding equivalent ratios.
1. Distinguish between straight-line method, declining balance method, sum of the years digits method, and MACRS method.
2. Determine straight-line depreciation for a year.
3. Determine the depreciation expense on plant assets by the sum of the years digits and declining balance.
4. Determine modified accelerated cost recovery system depreciation.
5. Use the straight-line depreciation method to find the value of an asset.
1. Determine the cost and value of inventory.
2. Determine rate of inventory turnover.
3. Determine the value of ending inventory using Average Cost (weighted average), FIFO, and LIFO.


NBEA Standards
  • Accounting
  • Computation
Career Clusters
  • Business Management & Administration
  • Finance


States may submit up to 4 entries.
Competitors must be registered for NLC and pay registration fee.
Competitors must pay dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on March 1.


Test: 1 hour