Political Science

Category: Objective Test
Type: Individual


60-minute test administered during the NLC.

Objective Test Competencies: Political Science Terms & Concepts; History & Role of Political Science; Civil Liberties & Civil Rights in Political Science; Forms of Government & Legislatures; Electoral Systems & Presidential Elections; The Powers & Elections of Congress; Federal Judicial System; Federal Bureaucracy; Mass Media & Politics; Public Opinion & Culture; Political Science Law; Public & Social Policy; Government Fiscal Policy; Government Foreign & Defense Policies; International Relations Concepts

Skills: This event provides recognition for FBLA members who show an understanding of the government’s role in society and the interaction between economic and political life.


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
Format Guide

Political Science Terms & Concepts
1. Define political science.
2. Explain the role and conflicts of politics in government.
3. Define democracy, capitalism, and Constitutionalism.
4. Define types and sources of political power.
5. Explain shifting power from a majority to a few.
6. Explain the relationship between political culture and public opinion.
7. Describe the role of citizenship and civil society in a democracy.
8. Define political justice and individual rights.
9. Define the components of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
10. Explain the difference between countries, nations, states, and governments.
History & Role of Political Science
1. Describe the history of political parties in the U.S.
2. Explain the difference between the two-party and multi-party government systems.
3. Define current political parties.
4. Explain the role of minor political parties.
5. Describe the relationship between political parties and special interest groups.
6. Define special interest groups.
7. Explain the difference between private and public special interest groups.
8. Explain how special interest groups (example: Boston Tea Party) have influenced American politics.
Civil Liberties & Civil Rights in Political Science
1. Outline the history of Civil Liberties in the United States.
2. Explain the importance and limitations of freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly.
3. Define the procedural rights for the accused.
4. Explain the right to privacy and the right to bear arms.
5. Describe the role of courts in deciding civil liberty cases.
6. Explain the history of civil rights.
7. Understand the concept of basic civil rights for all.
8. Explain equal protection under the 14th Amendment.
9. Explain Civil Rights for Women and Americans with Disabilities.
Forms of Government & Legislatures
1. Define the role and functions of government.
2. Explain the characteristics of a democracy.
3. Describe autocracy, totalitarianism, and authoritarianism.
4. Define transitional governments.
5. Explain the powers and functions of legislatures.
6. Differentiate between Congress and Parliament.
7. Explain the purpose of legislative committees.
Electoral Systems & Presidential Elections
1. Explain the U.S. Electoral College system.
2. Differentiate direct and indirect elections.
3. Describe individual representation and the U.S. electoral systems.
4. Define primary elections.
5. Explain election runoffs and recalls.
The Powers & Elections of Congress
1. Define the role of Congress.
2. Explain the electoral evolution of Congress.
3. Explain the rationale for reapportionment and redistributing congressional districts.
4. Explain party nomination.
5. Describe national forces that influence Congress.
6. Explain the difference between Presidential and Congressional campaigns.
7. Describe factors that influence election outcomes.
Federal Judicial System
1. Describe the difference between the state and U.S. court systems.
2. Describe the power of the federal judiciary.
3. Define the federal court system of the U.S.
4. Explain the judicial decision-making process.
5. Explain the checks and balance system on the power of the U.S. Supreme Court.
6. Explain the difference between original and appellate jurisdiction.
7. Explain the selection of Supreme Court Justices process.
8. Describe how special interest groups use litigation strategies to influence government policy.
Federal Bureaucracy
1. Define bureaucracy.
2. Explain the history, impact, and problems associated with federal bureaucracy.
3. Explain the relationship between the President, Cabinet, and Congress when determining legislation.
4. Explain how elections are related to public perception of government.
5. Define the bureaucratic accountability process.
Mass Media & Politics
1. Explain how mass media and journalism have impacted the political system.
2. Describe the difference between private- and state-controlled media.
3. Explain media’s influence on the public.
4. Define media bias and the reason for public criticism of media.
5. Explain the role of media in elections and other government activities.
6. Explain rules that govern media.
7. Define yellow media.
Public Opinion & Culture
1. Define public opinion and public culture.
2. Explain how to measure public opinion.
3. Explain how public opinion leaders are selected and recognized.
4. Describe the difference between random and quota sampling used to collect public opinion.
5. Explain the bias associated with opinion polls and surveys.
6. Explain how voter turnout is impacted by polls and surveys.
7. List alternative forms of political participation.
Political Science Law
1. Explain the difference between laws and customs.
2. Define American law.
3. Define code law.
4. Explain the difference between criminal law and civil law.
5. Define statutory law.
6. Describe administration, regulatory, and religious law.
Public & Social Policy
1. Explain the steps of the public policy process.
2. List types of policy.
3. Give examples of Republican and Democrat policy beliefs.
4. Define social insurance programs.
5. Describe public assistance programs.
Government Fiscal Policy
1. Explain the difference between market- and state-controlled economies.
2. Define and give examples of regulatory policy.
3. Explain governmental policies to protect the U.S. economy.
4. Describe business cycles influenced by governmental decisions.
5. Explain how government promotes economic interests.
6. Define fiscal policy.
7. Explain how monetary policy is determined by the federal reserve.
8. Describe types of U.S. foreign policy.
Government Foreign & Defense Policies
1. Explain which government entities are responsible for foreign policy.
2. Describe situations that call for U.S. military power.
3. Explain how government protects the ideals, interests, and needs of America.
4. Explain the economic rationale for a national security policy.
5. List the tools of foreign policy.
6. List important veteran organizations.
International Relations Concepts
1. Explain the difference between globalization and nationalism.
2. Define sovereignty and world policy.
3. Describe international policies.
4. Explain inconsistency of human rights throughout the world.



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


Test: 1 hour