Introduction to Information Technology

Category: Objective Test
Type: Individual


60-minute test administered during the NLC.

Objective Test Competencies: Computer Hardware; Computer Software; Operating Systems; Common Program Functions; Word Processing; Spreadsheets; Presentation Software; Networking Concepts; Email and Electronic Communication; Internet Use

Skills: Successful business leaders must understand the impact of technology and understand how to effectively harness it to drive their business success. This event recognizes FBLA members who demonstrate that they have acquired technology skills aligned with the Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC3) objectives.


Objective Test

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.

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 April 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.
  • A team shall consist of two or three members. Exceptions are Parliamentary Procedure which must be a team of four or five members, and LifeSmarts which must be a team of two members.
  • All members of a team must consist of individuals from the same chapter.

Repeat Competitors

Competitors are not permitted to compete in an event more than once at the national level 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 (report PDFs, resume/letter of application PDFs, and project URLs) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All URLs and PDFs for prejudged projects and reports will be submitted by the state adviser via the competitive events registration form.
  • 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.


General Competitive Events Tips
Event Tips
Sample Practice Materials

Format Guide

Website Resources
Computer Hardware
1. Identify different types of computers.
2. Identify the function of various computer hardware components.
3. Identify factors that go into an individual or organizational decision on how to purchase computer equipment.
4. Identify how to maintain computer equipment and solve common problems relating to computer hardware.
5. Identify how different computers process information and how individual computers interact with other computing systems and devices.
6. Describe the characteristics and functions of CPUs, motherboards, random access memory (RAM), expansion connections floppy drives, hard drives, and CD-ROM drives.
7. Explain the functions and characteristics of system expansion devices (e.g., graphics cards, sound cards, modems).
8. Investigate basic issues affecting system purchases and upgrade decisions.
9. Compare categories of computers based on their size, power, and purpose.
10. Identify the various types of computer storage devices and compare the advantages and disadvantages of various storage devices.
11. Install and configure hardware and basic hardware applications in a computer system.
12. Clean and perform routine maintenance on computer systems.
13. Evaluate the performance of core computer systems components.
14. Demonstrate the use of connectivity devices and peripheral equipment (e.g., portable storage, devices, printers, cable modem, wireless technologies).
Computer Software
1. Identify different types of general software concepts relating to software categories, and the tasks to which each type of software is most suited or not suited.
2. Identify how software is developed and upgraded.
3. Complete workplace applications that integrate word processing, spreadsheet, database, and multimedia software.
4. Produce documents integrating and manipulating graphic files and multimedia with other application software.
5. Identify how software and hardware work together to perform computing tasks.
6. Compare and contrast the appropriate use of specialized software applications.
7. Use system utilities and explain system utility software and cite examples.
Operating Systems
1. Identify what an operating system is and how it works.
2. Manipulate and control Windows desktop, files, and disks.
3. Identify how to change system settings.
4. Solve common problems related to operating systems (e.g., blue screen, system lock-up, input/output device, application install, start or load, Windows-specific printing problems).
5. Install and remove software.
6. Explain operating system software and site examples of different operating systems including DOS, Windows, and Macintosh.
7. Identify how the four components of a network operating system (server platform, network services software, network redirection software, and communications software) support network operations.
8. Identify names, purposes, and characteristics of the primary operating system components including registry, virtual memory, and file system.
9. Use command-line functions and utilities to manage operating systems, including proper syntax.
10. Compare different options of baking up, securing data, and restoring a system.
11. Identify the basic parts of a computer system and describe the functions and relationships among components.
12. Recognize file sizes in terms of kilobytes, megabytes, and gigabytes.
Common Program Functions
1. Be able to start and exit a Windows application.
2. Explain the purpose and functions of computer programming.
3. Identify common on-screen elements of Windows applications, change application settings, and manage files within an application.
4. Perform common editing and formatting functions.
5. Perform common printing and outputting functions.
6. Demonstrate how to utilize sources of online help.
7. Perform basic computer filing tasks (e.g., naming, saving, deleting, moving files).
Word Processing
1. Be able to format text and documents, including the ability to use automatic formatting tools.
2. Be able to insert, edit, and format tables in a document.
3. Explain the purpose, function, and common features of commonly used word processing programs.
4. Design, create, retrieve, proofread, edit, and save workplace documents using word processing software.
1. Be able to modify worksheet data.
2. Structure and format data in a worksheet.
3. Be able to sort and manipulate data using formulas and functions.
4. Be able to add and modify charts in a worksheet.
5. Explain the purpose, function, and features of commonly used spreadsheets.
6. Define spreadsheet terminology (e.g., cell, row, column, range, label, value, formula, function, worksheet, relative, absolute, legend).
7. Design, create, and use spreadsheets for workplace applications.
Presentation Software
1. Be able to create and format simple presentations.
2. Identify common features of presentation software.
Networking Concepts
1. Identify network fundamentals and the benefits and risks of network computing.
2. Identify the relationship between computer networks, other communication networks, and the Internet.
3. Identify types of networks (e.g., LAN, WAN, MAN) and their features and applications.
4. Explain principles of basic network security (e.g., IP spoofing, packet sniffing, password compromise, encryption).
5. Identify names, purposes, and characteristics (e.g., definition, speed, connections) of technologies for establishing connectivity.
6. Understand the functions of various network devices, including network connectivity hardware.
7. Identify the types of wireless network media and the uses, advantages, and disadvantages of each.
8. Install, configure, optimize, and upgrade networks.
9. Identify tools, diagnostic procedures, and troubleshooting techniques for networks.
10. Understand the differences between various network environments (e.g., peer-to-peer, client-server, thin client, n-tier, internetworks, intranets, extranets).
11. Identify the purposes and interrelationships among the major components of networks (e.g., servers, clients, transmission media, network operating system, network boards).
12. Identify how computers share data, files, hardware, and software.
13. Understand the role of clients and servers in a network.
14. Demonstrate knowledge of the open system interconnection (OSI) standard.
15. Differentiate between various current protocols (e.g., TCP/IP, IPX/SPX, NETBEUI, DHCP).
16. Explain network topologies (e.g., star, bus, ring, broadband, baseband).
Email and Electronic Communication
1. Identify how e-mail works.
2. Identify how to use an e-mail application.
3. Identify the appropriate use of e-mail and e-mail related "netiquette."
4. Use e-mail to send and receive messages and attachments.
5. Identify different types of electronic communication and electronic collaboration and how they work.
6. Identify common problems associated with electronic communication (e.g., delivery failure, junk mail, fraud, viruses).
7. Explain major current issues and trends in data communications.
Internet Use
1. Identify different types of information sources on the Internet.
2. Demonstrate proficiency in using the basic features of GUI browsers (e.g., setting bookmarks, basic configurations, e-mail configurations, address book).
3. Define Universal Resource Locators (URLs) and associated protocols (e.g., com, org, edu, gov, net, mil).
4. Demonstrate proficiency using various web tools (e.g., downloading of files, transfer of files, telnet, PDF).
5. Identify effective Boolean search strategies.
6. Demonstrate the ability to navigate the Internet using a variety of search engines to conduct research.
7. Understand how content is created, located, and evaluated on the World Wide Web.


NBEA Standards
  • Information Technology
Career Clusters
  • Information Techology


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 April 1.


Test: 1 hour