DECA Test Taking Essentials

DECA and Collegiate DECA Association Career Development Conferences are happening more and more frequently as we get closer to spring. So how will you prepare to ensure that you Make It Count and advance to the international conference?

With only one-third of the total competition score coming from your DECA exam, it is easy to understand why many participants take this part for granted and choose to spend more time practicing for role-plays.

However, here’s why you should put in the extra effort to do well on the DECA exam:

  • Improve Your Overall Score

One-third of your overall score comes from this test – that’s a proportion that could mean the difference between making it to ICDC and staying home. The confidence from knowing you did well on the exam is an added bonus to have going into your role-play as well. And unlike role-plays, in which your performance can vary greatly based on difficulty, the difficulty level of exams and competitors’ scores on them are usually more constant.

  • Expand Your Business Knowledge

Studying for the DECA exam reinforces the business terms and logical reasoning that is helpful for the role-plays. Judges are impressed when participants use business jargon correctly because it shows you know what you are talking about.

  • Get On Stage

Maybe your role-play didn’t go so well, but at least you can still get on stage and receive a medal for your test score! It’s always a good feeling to be recognized for your hard work.

Now that you have realized the importance of the DECA exam, how do you improve your performance? Use these tips to help you ace your next exam:

  • Use logic to navigate through problems.

For many of the questions, you don’t need to have extensive business knowledge to answer them. You simply need a little common sense to pick which of the given options is different from the rest. For example, take a look at this problem:

You don’t need to know much about distribution channels, you just need to determine while example might be considered unethical. Well, the one that clearly stands out from the others is A, because it can be perceived as a conflict of interest. Don’t over think it – you got this!

  • Learn the business vocabulary.

Although you don’t need to know business terms to answer all the questions, you will need it for some problems. See if your DECA advisor or marketing teacher has any flashcards you can practice with, or check out these flashcards from DECA Images.

  • Practice, practice, practice.

The best way to improve your exam score is pure repetition. Practice by taking old exams (your DECA advisor should have sample exams you can use). After you see which ones you got wrong, figure out why you got that particular problem wrong and rewrite the correct answer.

Prepare with these tips and you’ll be in a good position to record a stellar exam score at your association conference and beyond.

Follow Jacob on Twitter @JacobDerry.

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