How to Rock the DECA Exam from the Person Who Wrote It

Testing – no one truly likes it, but some of us are better at it than others. Personally, I wanted to hear as much as I could about the DECA exam, and Amy Byers, one of the creators of the DECA tests, was the person to talk to at the 2014 Ultimate DECA Power Trip.

With her long blonde hair tied to the side Byers looked a lot like Elsa, and with her bubbling personality, she was not afraid to openly talk about her love for Frozen, but she made sure to stay on the topic at hand.

Byers had us create our own SWOT analysis of our personal strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats when it comes to taking the DECA exam. She also showed us the most common weaknesses such as not reading the question correctly, over stated answers, and the number one problem – stress.

Stress is usually why people do poorly on DECA exams, and any test in general. Stress can harm a person’s ability to focus and cause them to second guess the knowledge they have learned. This then causes people to make mistakes they usually would not make. Byers, who holds a doctorate in psychology, focused a lot on how stress kills people’s ability to get a good grade on their DECA exams. So make sure to relax before your test!

Once we went through Byer’s tips, she allotted us time to talk to our fellow DECA members to learn what their strengths are, and what they believe to be the best studying tips. Many members rely on Quizlet in order to stay sharp on indicators, and the other popular studying method is retaking old DECA exams. Byers provided us with the website,, which has almost a ton of old DECA exams available for practice use. Make sure to check it out during your study time!

I found the most important resources given to me from this learning lab was the realization of just how bad stressing for a test can be. Also how we need to focus on our instincts when taking these tests, and to never second-guess ourselves.

I left the Rock the DECA Exam learning lab feeling better about my upcoming exam and truly prepared to rock the exam on competition day.

Follow Katie on Twitter @kt_connelly.

Categories: Compete, Exam Prep, HS Competitive Events, Role-Play, Strategies