Information ManagementCategory: Objective Test
60-minute test administered during the NLC.
Objective Test Competencies: Resource Management (human, financial, data); Telecommunication & Networking Technologies; Decision Making; E-Business Systems; Business Communications; Ethics; Human Relations
Skills: Information is a fundamental resource of a business organization. Employees must understand the impact of technology on the efficient processing of information. This event provides recognition for PBL members who demonstrate knowledge in the areas of information management, decision making, human relations, and time management.
Objective Test Guidelines
- No materials may be brought to the testing site.
- Electronic devices must be turned off and out of sight.
- Financial calculators may be used for accounting, finance, and analysis & decision making events; calculators will be provided for all other events.
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.
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 (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.
- 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.
- 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.
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).
- 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 may compete in all PBL events.
- Dress for Success—Members must be in business attire. Please review the the FBLA-PBL Dress Code. If you question if you are properly attired, then change.
- Read and follow explicitly the state and national competitive events guidelines. Be aware of differences between state and national guidelines.
- Check the status of membership dues. Students must be dues-paid members by April 15 to compete in national competition. The sooner dues are paid the sooner members will receive PBL benefits.
- All materials must be received by the national center by the second Friday in May. Normally the state submits these materials, but some states request the local chapters submit their reports, website URLs, interview materials, etc.
- Remember, when competing at the district or state levels, materials are not sent to the national office.
- Become completely familiar with the procedures to be followed for participation in each type of event at the state and national levels.
- Determine from the rating sheets and guidelines the areas that will be judged and the weight given to each area.
- Obtain a variety of updated information on different subject areas and provide access to students for study.
- Contact former and current chapter members who have competed in previous years for suggestions.
- Find mentors and other experts who can help members prepare for competition. Involve faculty, advisory committee members, Professional Division members, businesspeople, community volunteers, and parents in study sessions and event preparation.
- Try to recreate as realistically as possible the conditions under which the competition will take place and PRACTICE.
- Make certain that the copies of materials to be submitted to judges are error-free and in the proper format.
- Make sure all materials are submitted by the deadline.
- PBL members and advisers must recognize the value of competitive events, maintain a professional attitude toward the events, and keep them in proper perspective. While competitive events are an important element of PBL’s overall program, events are just a portion of the many other activities and programs that build a successful organization.
- All objective tests are done online and consist of 100 multiple choice questions.
- Ask your professors to share with you the different textbooks they use as resources. Look over the end-of-chapter summary and the glossary words.
- Avoid talking to others as you enter the room.
- Instructions for online testing will be given to you once seated at a computer.
- The calculator function on the computer will be available for use. Financial calculators can be used for all accounting, finance, and “Analysis & Decision Making” events.
- If the equipment doesn’t work, raise your hand until help comes.
Sample Practice Materials
- Financial and Resource Management
- Understanding the Importance of Data Management
- All About Financial Management in Business
2. Apply management principles to the design of Information Systems solutions in a business environment.
3. Recognize how to guard against risks to data and equipment in an electronic environment.
4. Describe data, data modeling, and metadata management.
5. Define digital information and explain why digital systems are so powerful and useful.
6. Describe how computers process data into useful information for problem solving and decision making.
7. Articulate what supply chains are and how information technology supports management of supply chains.
8. Explain the difference between traditional file organization and the database approach to managing digital data.
9. Explain how relational and object-oriented database management systems are used to construct databases, populate them with data, and manipulate the data to produce information.
10. Identify the most important features and operations of a relational database, the most popular database model.
11. Explain how data modeling and design creates a conceptual blueprint of a database..
12. Assess the impact of IT emerging technologies.
13. Determine the appropriate conditions under which to outsource.
14. Implement suitable internal accounting controls to ensure the proper recording of financial transactions.
15. Use data entry techniques and commands to enter information in databases and retrieve data and create reports.
16. Manage purchasing activities to obtain the best service/product at the least cost.
17. Develop requirements and solutions to improve business processes, performance, or people.
18. Manage quality-control processes to minimize errors and to improve processes.
19. Analyze available software packages for equipment used in business settings.
20. Configure, perform, and maintain backup procedures.
2. Recognize how key encryption and authentication technologies work.
3. Recognize ways to dispose of data.
4. Recognize how to secure a network using IDS.
5. Configure and set firewall exceptions.
6. Recognize key networking concepts.
7. Recognize key characteristics of wired and wireless networks.
8. Describe business applications of digital telecommunications.
9. Identify the major media and devices used in telecommunications.
10. Explain the concept of protocols.
11. Compare and contrast various networking and Internet services.
12. Develop networking requirements specifications.
13. Collect data to identify customer/organizational requirements.
14. Analyze network security systems and develop and implement a security plan
15. Recommend new features or enhancements to network systems.
16. Identify basic network architectures, classifications, and topologies.
17. Explain communication standards for networks.
18. Explain the characteristics of network operating systems.
19. Perform network system administration tasks.
20. Monitor network performance and demonstrate knowledge of disaster recovery and business continuance.
2. Discuss best practices for optimum decision making.
3. Analyze a decision to be made by identifying pivotal issues.
4. Dismantle a decision to be made by reinterpreting the objectives.
5. Articulate the difference between structured and unstructured decision making.
6. Describe the typical software components that decision support systems and expert system comprise.
7. Identify the steps of the decision-making process.
8. Know four types of decision-making styles: analytical, conceptual, creative, and behavioral.
9. Define key stakeholders and their roles in making high-quality decisions.
10. Use measurement skills to make business decisions.
11. Acquire information to guide business decision-making. (e.g., describe current business trends, monitor internal records for business information, and interpret statistical findings).
12. Write internal and external analytical reports that examine a problem/issue and recommend an action.
13. Explain the decision-making process in contemporary versus traditional work structures and how they relate to productivity and work performance.
14. Distinguish between making effective decisions in a team structure versus a non-team structure and individual versus group.
15. Discuss different decision-making styles, group decision making, the management of creative people, and techniques to maximize the effectiveness of decision making.
16. Review problem identification, problem-solving, and decision-making techniques.
17. Analyze the impact and relationship of government regulations and community involvement on business management decisions.
18. Clearly define and frame complex issues using structured decision-making models.
19. Effectively assess and manage risk critically evaluating costs, risks, benefits, and impact.
20. Coordinate information management and business management to aid in business planning.
2. Discuss the impact of e-business on the economy.
3. Design, build, and maintain distributed databases and Web-based systems.
4. Describe how the Web and high-speed Internet connections are changing business operations.
5. . Explain the relationship between Web technologies and supply chain.
6. List examples of features and services that successful business Web sites offer.
7. Identify spam and adware, and how to protect against online identify theft.
8. Support and maintain a multimedia Web site
9. Explain how Web site presence can be used to promote a business.
10. Design and create a Web page for a business with graphics
11. Define e-commerce and distinguish between the types of e-commerce sites.
12. Discuss consumer fears in relation to e-commerce and suggest ways to effectively address these fears on a site.
13. Compare search engines and directories/guides.
2. Convey technical knowledge both verbally and in written form to a variety of audiences.
3. Identify the issues unique to managing e-mail, desktop, text message, voicemail, PDA, and smart phone records.
4. Apply effective listening techniques to work situations.
5. Prepare written communications using appropriate business style and templates to simplify and speed up the writing process.
6. Demonstrate best practices for preparing and delivering presentations.
7. Apply verbal and nonverbal techniques to build shared understanding.
8. . Be able to productively manage conflict.
9. Recognize the differences in communication needs/expectations of technical vs. nontechnical professionals.
10. Organize people and resources for meetings and seminars.
11. List barriers of effective communication and describe techniques for overcoming communication barriers
12. List behaviors for providing effective feedback.
13. Describe the role of computer networks, videoconferences, and telecommuting as organizational communication.
2. Recognize key concepts related to business ethics.
3. Identify the aims of the PMI code of ethics and professional conduct.
4. Recognize key issues in the development of a code of ethics for information management.
5. Match examples to the types of inappropriate behavior they represent.
6. Identify major ethical and societal concerns created by widespread use of information technology.
7. Identify possible ethical and societal issues arising from the increasing globalization of information technology.
8. Identify ethical issues common to the IT field.
9. Identify legal issues involved concerning a security breach.
2. Manage and monitor delegated tasks for maximum productivity.
3. Describe negotiation fundamentals and the art of haggling.
4. Explain leadership styles.
5. Provide techniques for making the best use of your time.
6. Describe the essential human resources components and structure of the organization.
7. Consider the benefits of using a cross-functional team in achieving IT goals.
8. Manage staff growth and development including determining appropriate training needs and methods.
9. Effectively use organizational protocols and systems to fulfill customer service requirements.
10. Demonstrate ability to assist customers in a professional manner.