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College of Business Administration

Personal Computer Proficiency Test (PCPT)

Personal Computer Proficiency Test (PCPT) Guide and Information Bulletin

The College of Business Administration requires that every person receiving an undergraduate degree in business administration demonstrates proficiency in the use of personal computers competently in four distinct software areas: (1) word processing, (2) presentations, (3) spreadsheets, (4) database. One means of meeting this requirement is through passing the Personal Computer Proficiency Test (PCPT) adminstered at the University's Test Center. The alternative is to enroll into CIS 101 Introduction to Personal Computing (4 units credit, pass/fail only). Sometimes a similar course taken at a community college may be considered for articulation, however only those present strong evidence (syllabus, textbook, exams, learning software, etc.) and approved by the CIS department.


Q. WHY AND WHEN WILL I BE REQUIRED TO TAKE THE PCPT?
A. Personal computing proficiency is a prerequisite for many courses, both lower and upper division, in the College of Business Administration. If you have not met one of the conditions demonstrating proficiency in this area (i.e., taken and passed CIS 101, or taken a similar course approved for articulation), then we recommend that you consider the PCPT as a means of doing so.

Q. WILL THERE BE A FEE FOR THE TEST?
A. Yes, you must pay a fee when you come take the test. Advanced payment of the fee is not required. If you have to take the PCPT more than once, you must pay the fee each time the exam is taken. This fee will cover the cost of administering the test, scoring, and recording your test result(s). Fee is subject to change. Please consult Test Center for details.


Q. WHEN AND WHERE WILL THE TEST BE GIVEN?
A. Students may take the PCPT at the Test Center, CLA Building, 98P, 2-004. The test is offered Monday through Friday during the academic year and Monday through Thursday during the summer. Test times are available at the Test Center.


Q. HOW AND WHEN MAY I REGISTER FOR THE PCPT?
A. You may register for the PCPT when the Test Center is open. To register, come to the Test Center and BRING YOUR CAL POLY PHOTO ID CARD. You will fill out a registration card and take it with your fee payment to the Cashier's Office. You will then return to the Test Center with the registration card. Test fees will not be refunded except for University-recognized emergencies.


Q. WHAT IS THE LENGTH AND FORMAT OF THE TEST?
A. The PCPT is given in four modules: Word processing, Power Point presentation, Excel spreadsheet, and Access database. Each module test is computer based. Currently a Web-based testing software Cengage SAM 2013 is used. SAM 2013 simulates the environment of Microsoft Office 2013, i.e., Word 2013, PowerPoint 2013, Excel 2013, and Access 2013.  You will demonstrate your proficiency through the completion of specific tasks assigned by the testing software SAM. All four modules are taken in one session. The time allotted for the full session is 3 hours maximum.  All test are autograded by the testing software SAM. The testing software SAM is very specific in what approaches it requires to satisfy a particular task. Read each question carefully and perform each task exactly as instructed. Even if you know a different approach to get the same results, you must use the one required by the test.


Q. CAN I USE MY OWN NOTES OR A HELP SHEET DURING THE TEST?
A. No. The test is closed book and closed notes. No support materials are permitted.


Q IF I TAKE THE TEST AND DONT PASS IT, HOW MANY TIMES CAN I RETAKE THE TEST?
A. If you do not pass an PCPT module after your initial attempt. You may retake the failed module(s) one more time. All modules must be completed within one year from your first test session.


Q IF I DONT PASS THE TEST, CAN I PETITION?
A. No, the test cannot be petitioned. If you have not passed a module after two attempts, you must enroll in CIS 101 to satisfy the Personal Computing Proficiency requirement.


SCORING
A score of 70% or higher on each module is required to pass the test. Module scores cannot be averaged. The result of each module is available as soon as the test is completed. Your official scores and Personal Computing Proficiency credit standing will be mailed to your home one week after the test session.


TESTING AND STUDENT CONDUCT
Cal Poly reserves the right to cancel any test scores if the test taker engages in misconduct or if there is a testing irregularity.
Article 41301, Title 5: California Code of Regulations, Standards for Student Conduct, (b) Grounds for Student Discipline states student behavior that is not consistent with the Student Conduct Code is addressed through an educational process that is designed to promote safety and good citizenship and, when necessary, impose appropriate consequences.
The following are the grounds upon which student discipline can be based:
(1) Dishonesty, including:
(A) Cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty that are intended to gain unfair academic advantage.
(B) Furnishing false information to a University official, faculty member, or campus office.
(C) Forgery, alteration, or misuse of a University document, key, or identification instrument.
(D) Misrepresenting one's self to be an authorized agent of the University or one of its auxiliaries.

A STUDY GUIDE TO PERSONAL COMPUTING PROFICIENCY TEST

THE TEST IN BRIEF
The Personal Computing Proficiency Test (PCPT) is given in four modules corresponding to the four areas of microcomputer skills defined by the College of Business Administration. Specifically, these skills include the ability to use word processing, presentation, spreadsheets, and database software. Each module consists of 24-39 tasks that you are to perform to demonstrate your proficiency, and your knowledge about the features of Microsoft Word, Excel, Power-Point and Access. Currently the version used in the test is Microsoft Office 2013.

To do well on the test you should keep the following points in mind:
(1) The time limit will be adhered to strictly. You will be allotted a total of 3 hours maximum to complete all the modules of the test. Time allocated for one test module cannot be used towards another module of the test. Furthermore, all questions are weighted equally. This means that you will need to work efficiently and distribute your time wisely. Students occasionally run out of time because they spend so long working on one question that they do not have time to complete the other questions.
(2) Read each question very carefully before answering, paying careful attention to specific keywords in the directions.
(3) Pay careful attention to the way the task is worded. In most cases there are multiple approaches to any given task. The testing software is asking for one specific approach. You must use the one requested, as this tests your general knowledge of the application.
(4) If you guess an answer, the testing software will mark you wrong, show the mistake and lead you to the next step.

SUBJECT AREAS
The following lists the tasks from the actual test. A student should be familiar with the multiple ways that tasks from these subjects can be executed (i.e. mouse, toolbar, menu, or keyboard), before attempting the module tests, and use only the way specified by the test during test.

Word 2013 Tasks:

1.   Undo and redo an action
2.   Create a new blank document
3.   Save a document
4.   Open an existing document
5.   Print a document using the default settings
6.   Save a document with a new name
7.   Convert a hyperlink to regular text
8.   Modify a source
9.   Cut and paste text
10.   Use paste options
11.   Use the Office Clipboard to copy multiple items
12.   Change the font color
13.   Change the font
14.   Right-align a paragraph
15.   Apply a style to a paragraph
16.   Find and replace text
17.   Insert a page break
18.   Enter data in a table
19.   Insert a picture
20.   Insert a screen shot
21.   Insert a hyperlink
22.   Create a document header
23.   Insert page numbers
24.   Create a bibliography
25.   Create a new citation
26.   Check spelling

PowerPoint 2013 Tasks:

1.   Print a presentation in grayscale
2.   Print full page slides
3.   Print handouts
4.   Add notes to a slide
5.   Add text to a placeholder
6.   Delete a slide
7.   Select text on a slide
8.   Annotate a slide show
9.   Copy and paste an object
10.   Change the layout of a slide
11.   Duplicate a slide
12.   Insert a slide with a specified layout
13.   Insert a picture without using a content placeholder
14.   Insert a chart
15.   Insert a shape
16.   Add a footer to all slides except the title slide
17.   Add slide numbers to slides
18.   Apply a theme to a presentation
19.   Modify animation timing
20.   Run a slide show
21.   Record slide timings and narration
22.   Check spelling
23.   Zoom in on a slide
24.   Specify picture dimensions

Excel 2013 Tasks:

1.   Close a workbook
2.   Open a workbook
3.   Print a worksheet
4.   Set the print area
5.   Print a section of a worksheet
6.   Save a workbook to a different location
7.   Save a workbook with a new name
8.   Undo an action
9.   Reorder worksheets
10.   Navigate between worksheets
11.   Rename a worksheet
12.   Enter a number in a cell
13.   Use absolute cell references
14.   Use relative cell references
15.   Enter a formula using the keyboard
16.   Zoom a worksheet
17.   Copy and paste cell contents
18.   Change the fill color of a cell
19.   Add a border to a range
20.   Center cell contents
21.   Wrap text in a cell
22.   Apply the Accounting number format
23.   Apply the Date number format
24.   Increase the number of decimal places
25.   Apply the Percent number format
26.   Hide columns
27.   Insert a row
28.   Clear cell contents
29.   Create a 3-D pie chart
30.   Change worksheet orientation
31.   Select a range using the Name box
32.   Create a formula using the SUM function
33.   Create a formula using the AVERAGE function
34.   Print formulas
35.   Use Goal Seek
36.   Freeze rows and columns
37.   Clear worksheet panes
38.   Change the chart style
39.   Change the chart type

Access 2013 Tasks:

1.   Open a database
2.   Close a database
3.   Start Access
4.   Create a blank database from a template
5.   Save and name a database object
6.   Change the font for a datasheet
7.   Open a table in Datasheet view
8.   Change a field's data type in Design view
9.   Navigate to the next record in a datasheet
10.   Add a field to a table in Datasheet view
11.   Add a caption to a field
12.   Add a field to a table in Design view
13.   Create a table in Datasheet view
14.   Create a table in Design view
15.   Delete a field from a table in Design view
16.   Delete a record using a datasheet
17.   Enter a record in a datasheet
18.   Rename a field in Design view
19.   Resize a datasheet column to best fit
20.   Use a multivalued field to enter data
21.   Designate a table field as a Required field
22.   Set validation text for a field
23.   Set a table's primary key in Design view
24.   Add a sort field to a query
25.   Create a query using the Simple Query Wizard
26.   Create and run a query using OR criteria
27.   Create a single-table query in Design view
28.   Add a sort to a query in Design view
29.   Open a form in Form view
30.   Navigate to the first record using a form
31.   Add a record using a form
32.   Create a form using the Form Wizard
33.   Create a blank form that opens in Layout view
34.   Add an object to a navigation form tab
35.   Change the font size for a form control
36.   Create a blank report that opens in Layout view
37.   View a report in Print Preview mode
38.   Remove report header/footer sections
39.   Display the Navigation Pane

CONTACT

For further questions regarding taking the PCPT test, please contact Test Center at (909) 869-3353 or visit their website at https://www.csupomona.edu/~testcenter/index.shtml

For further questions regarding the content of the PCPT test, please contact CIS department at (909) 869-3235 or visit their website at http://www.csupomona.edu/~cba/computer-information-systems/