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DECA Test Specifications 2017-2018

DECA currently uses seven different exams for its competitive events. Please keep in mind that each state makes independent decisions regarding specific uses of each exam.  New comprehensive, multiple-choice exams are developed each year and are based on the most recent update of the national standards. 

Role plays used by DECA are not provided by MBA Research.  Questions regarding these aspects of the competitive events should be directed to state advisors. For online testing, contact MBA Research. To order paper/pencil exams, contact National DECA.

Click here for the complete document of DECA Test Specifications 2017-2018 and general information.

For a complete listing of performance indicators (competencies) used by DECA for its 2017-2018 competitive events, click here

General information for 2017-2018

  • All exams are 100-item, multiple-choice.  True/False and combination items (e.g., A & B are correct) are generally not used. 
  • Tests are designed with test discrimination in mind.  The design is intended to encourage a broad range of student scores, minimizing the occurrence of “clusters” of students near the top. This approach results in lower overall scores, but makes the results more valid and reliable in terms of identifying “winners.”
  • All exams are fully independent of one another. There will be little or no overlapping use of questions among exams used in competition. There will be no overlap between sample exams and those used in competition.
  • Item selection is based on the national MBA Research standards. With the exception of the district and state level exams for the “Principles” events for first-year DECA members, exams are based on performance indicators at or below the specialist level (Curriculum Planning Levels).  District and state exams for the “Principles” event are based on the prerequisite and career-sustaining level indicators.
  • Items are prorated across all eligible performance indicators so that each instructional area (e.g., promotion) is represented in proportion to the total of all performance indicators.  For example, if there were a total of 200 indicators in a particular list, and 25 of them were from the promotion area, there would be approximately 12 or 13 promotion items on the exam.
  • For some events, DECA has added performance indicators for use in the participating portion of the event (role plays).  These additional indicators are not used in the exams.
  • Items for district and state-level exams include a mix of new and revised (previously used) items.  All items are reviewed each year, and updated as appropriate.  Although items are pulled from a large test-item bank, some may have appeared in other products, including other exams, LAP modules, or practice activities.  However, although many items for a given performance indicator may sound similar to students, the actual reuse of items in any given year is quite small.  (The item bank exceeds 30,000.)