Administrative Technology

Category: Production & Objective Test
Type: Individual


Two (2) parts: a production test administered and proctored at a designated school-site prior to the NLC and a 60-minute objective test administered onsite at NLC. Competitors must complete both parts for award eligibility.

Production Test Competencies: Production of all Business Forms, including: Letters; Memorandums; Tables; Reports; Statistical Reports; Materials from Rough Draft; Unarranged Copy

Objective Test Competencies: Basic Computer Concepts; Document Formatting Rules; Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling and Proofreading; Word Processing Applications

Skills: This event provides recognition for PBL members who demonstrate that they have acquired the skills needed to produce business documents beyond an entry level.


Event Specific

  • Production test will constitute 80% of final event score.
  • Objective test will constitute 20% of final event score.
Production & Objective Test

Production Test Guidelines

  • Documents produced for this event must be prepared by the competitor without help from the adviser or any other person.
  • Administration of the production test is determined by the state chair/adviser.
  • No calculators are allowed to be used on the production test.
  • The production test score will be used to break a tie.
  • Tests must be uploaded online by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May.
  • Desktop Publishing—the finished product must be uploaded in PDF format by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May. Label all documents with the event title, competitor’s name, state, and school.

Objective Test Guidelines

  • No materials may be brought to the testing site.
  • Financial calculators may be used for accounting, finance, and analysis & decision making events; for all other events, calculators will be provided.
  • Electronic devices must be turned off and out of sight.

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 PBL national and state dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on April 15 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 three (3) individuals in all events requiring only objective tests and two (2) individuals or teams for all events that require a pre-judged or performance component.
  • Each competitor can compete in two (2) events.
  • 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.

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 (Community Service 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.
  • Desktop Publishing—the finished product must be uploaded in PDF format by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May. Label all documents with the event title, competitor’s name, state, and school.
  • 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 (Community Service Project and Local Chapter Annual Business Report).

Additional Materials

  • Financial calculators may be brought to objective testing and used for any accounting, finance, or analysis & decision making events.
  • 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.

Graduate Students

Graduate students may compete in all PBL events.


General Competitive Events Tips
Event Tips
Sample Practice Materials

Format Guide

Website Resources
Basic Computer Concepts
1. Identify the basic parts of a computer system and describe the functions and relationships among components.
2. State the purpose of an operating system and describe the differences between an operating system and application software.
3. Explain operating system software and cite examples of different operating systems including DOS, Windows, and Macintosh.
4. Use system utilities and explain system utility software and cite examples.
5. Identify file formats and extensions.
6. Recognize file sizes in terms of kilobytes, megabytes, and gigabytes.
7. Create a folder/directory, format, move, copy, delete, and rename files and folders.
8. Select and utilize the appropriate technology to solve a problem or complete a task.
9. Identify how computers share data, files, hardware, and software (networking).
10. Identify how hardware and software work together to perform computing tasks and how software is developed and upgraded.
11. Identify resources to obtain assistance (e.g., HELP menu, software manual, Web site) and demonstrate basic diagnostic skills.
12. Demonstrate how to change system settings and install, upgrade, and remove software
13. Describe the impact of information technology on business and society and the relationships among technologies.
14. Describe the cultural, social, economic, political, and environmental effects of technology (e.g., rapid or gradual change, trade-offs and effects, and ethical implications).
Document Formatting Rules
1. Demonstrate the ability to format text and paragraphs by applying styles, formatting options, and tabs
2. Change text by cutting, copying, pasting, and using Find/Replace.
3. Modify pagination by creating and revising sections and adding and removing page breaks.
4. Format illustrations and graphics by changing text wrapping, resizing, cropping, and rotating.
5. Format text graphically and insert, position, and size objects into a document (e.g., WordArt, clip art, images, watermarks, text boxes, diagrams, and charts).
6. Demonstrate the ability to insert and modify text boxes.
7. Demonstrate the ability to structure content by using shortcuts.
8. Demonstrate the ability to insert and format source references, citations, and captions.
9. Edit and create documents that use the document and paragraph alignments of left, center, right, and justify
10. Set character, line, and paragraph spacing options such as single, 1.5, and double space and special spacing before or after the paragraph.
11. Use indentation options (e.g., left, right, first line, and hanging).
12. Add borders and shading to tables, paragraphs, and pages using a variety of borders and shading in colors and patterns.
13. Create and use horizontal and vertical lines of various types and sizes to separate and emphasize.
14. Change the margins for a selection or section of the text and/or a document (e.g., left, right, top, and bottom).
15. Change a document to use landscape orientation.
16. Enhance documents by using different fonts, font sizes, and features such as bold, italics, caps, and underline.
17. Edit documents using techniques such as delete, insert, typeover, block, move, and copy
18. Create bulleted list, numbered lists, and outlines.
19. Describe and explain when to and how to use leader tabs.
20. Use the following views: print preview, normal view, page layout view, zoom view, and Web page preview.
21. Insert, add, change, and format page numbers.
22. Insert breaks (e.g., section, page, and column).
Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling and Proofreading
1. Proofread documents to ensure correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation
2. Apply language rules, proofreader’s marks, and reference materials when editing copy
3. Preview a document prior to printing
4. Use the hyphenation feature to automatically hyphenate words when needed.
5. Utilize appropriate functions and references for spelling, grammar, and proofreading
6. Use appropriate capitalization, punctuation, number expression rule, and editing/proofreading skills to produce mailable documents.
7. Use spell and grammar check in composing documents.
8. Use the thesaurus to find synonyms.
9. Create and apply frequently used text with AutoCorrect.
10. Set widow/orphan protection in a document.
Word Processing Applications
1. Use a wizard to create miscellaneous documents such as calendars, fax cover sheets, etc
2. Create new documents using templates
3. Create/Compose a variety of documents (e.g., letters, memoranda, reports, newsletters, forms, tables, and brochures)
4. Create a document with headers, footer, and footnotes.
5. Create, modify and format tables (e.g., insert and delete rows and columns, merge cells, and change height and width).
6. Create and use folders to keep documents organized (e.g., move, copy, rename, and delete files and folders).
7. Insert the date and time into documents, both as an updatable and nonchanging date.
8. Create and revise a columnar document such as a newspaper column
9. Cut, copy, paste, and paste special using the clipboard.
10. Send a word processing document via e-mail where available.
11. Use the Undo, Redo, and Repeat commands.
12. Discuss file properties.
13. Use save and save as for name, location, or format of document.
14. Locate and open an existing document.
15. Use the AutoComplete feature.
16. Demonstrate the ability to complete a mail merge by creating form letters, envelopes, and labels with a data source and main document.
17. Create and use macros/autotest.
18. Demonstrate the ability to insert special symbols or characters and illustrations such as clip art, pictures, shapes, and Smart Art.
19. Develop templates.
20. Convert word processing document to HTML
21. Insert and modify hyperlinks in all types of documents.
22. Integrate a variety of software applications (e.g., databases, graphics, and spreadsheets) into a word processing document.
23. Produce documents using appropriate style from a style library.
24. Create a professional document (e.g., brochure, annual report, newsletter, and catalog) demonstrating established principles of layout design in desktop publishing.
25. Import text and graphics from other sources (e.g., Internet, CD-ROM, scanner, digital camera, and other files).
26. Create a boilerplate to assemble a document.
27. Complete on-screen and pre-printed forms.
28. Design complex tables (e.g., embed worksheets, link Excel data).
29. Create, modify, and import data into charts.
30. Demonstrate the ability to control document access by limiting permissions, identifying document as final, and establishing passwords.
31. Demonstrate the ability to manage tracked changes by displaying revisions, applying/denying changes, and modifying tracking options.
32. Demonstrate the ability to insert, modify, and delete comments.
33. Prepare documents for sharing.
34. Demonstrate the ability to attach and/or authenticate documents by using digital signatures.
35. Customize toolbars and menus.
36. Create Web pages with text and graphics using word processing software being sure to include title, tables, bulleted lists, hyperlinks, and scrolling text.
37. Set printer specifications (e.g., choose printer and select page range and number of copies)
38. Retrieve and print documents and parts of a document in various orientations and sizes.
39. Prepare/Print envelopes and labels.


PBL Program of Study
Computer Software


States may submit up to 2 entries.
Competitors must be registered for NLC and pay registration fee.
Competitors must pay dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on April 15.


Test: 1 hour
Home-site Production Test: 1 hour