Understanding the DECA Exam

With region and state competitions fast approaching, it’s important that you polish off your test preparation and taking skills. We did just that at the #DECAPowerTrip in Washington, D.C., this past month.

The association advisor from Texas DECA, Josh Shankle, focused on three key points to consider before mapping out your study plan:

  1. Study the Business Administration Core questions no matter what. They make up anywhere between 40-60% of questions on most tests.
  2. Review your DECA Cluster Exam Blueprint and identify the testing areas that you may not do as well in, if they make up a large portion of the exam.
  3. Consider practicing in different testing environments. At state or region, you may be taking your exam on a computer whereas, at ICDC, you may be taking it on paper. It is important to have experience in both.

According to DECA, the Business Administration Core is the foundation for all of DECA’s competitive events. Performance indicators in the Business Administration Core are common to all career areas and competitive events, including exams. You can almost think of this as the umbrella category for every testing event.

As you work your way down the performance indicators, they get more and more specific. DECA breaks them up into tiers. Some events have more tiers than others; that’s why it is important to know what you need to study. You can find each performance indicator broken up by tier on deca.org.


And finally, if you go to a school like mine, region testing takes place online. Before you take any DECA test, practice by taking one in the environment you will be taking your actual test in. That could change with different levels of competition.

Overall the session was very informative to understand the inner workings of DECA exams.

Trey Janes, a conference attendee from Georgia, said, “I think I will be better prepared for my state test in January now that I understand what DECA’s overall goal is, and how they measure it.”

alex_forbesThis article was written by South Forsyth DECA Vice President of Technical Communications and DECA Power Trip Power Team member, Alex Forbes. You can follow Alex on Twitter @thealexforbes.

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