The Info Systems and Computer Applications exam covers material that is usually taught in an intro-level business course. NOTE: The CLEP exam fee will increase to $89 beginning July 1, 2019.
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2019 CLEP Official Study Guide
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CLEP® Information Systems Guide
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The Info Systems and Computer Applications exam covers material that is usually taught in an intro-level business course.
The Information Systems examination covers material that is usually taught in an introductory college-level business information systems course. Questions test knowledge, terminology, and basic concepts about information systems as well as the application of that knowledge. The examination does not emphasize the details of hardware design and language-specific programming techniques. References to applications such as word processing or spreadsheets do not require knowledge of a specific product. The focus is on concepts and techniques applicable to a variety of products and environments. Knowledge of arithmetic and mathematics equivalent to that of a student who has successfully completed a traditional first-year high school algebra course is assumed.
The examination contains approximately 100 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. Some of these are pretest questions and will not be scored. The time candidates spend on tutorials and providing personal information is in addition to the actual testing time.
Note: Prior to October 2015, this examination was called Information Systems and Computer Applications.
Knowledge and Skills Required
Questions on the Information Systems examination require candidates to demonstrate knowledge of the following content. The percentages next to each main topic indicate the approximate percentage of exam questions on that topic.
Office Applications (10%)
- Productivity software (word processing, spreadsheet, presentation package, end-user database package)
- Operating systems (memory management, file management, interfaces, types of OS)
- Office systems (email, conferencing, collaborative work, document imaging, system resources)
Internet and World Wide Web (15%)
- Internet and other online services and methods (World Wide Web protocols, Web search engines, Web bots, intranet, cloud computing, communications, push/pull technology, W3C)
- Web browsers (URLs, protocols, standards, history, cookies, resource allocation)
- Website development (analysis, design, functionality, accessibility)
Technology Applications (15%)
- Specialized systems (knowledge management, expert systems, TPS/OLTP, DSS, GIS, BI, workflow management, project management)
- E-commerce/E-business (EDI, standards, tools, characteristics, types of transactions, business models)
- Enterprise-wide systems (ERP, CRM, SCM)
- Data management (data warehousing, data mining, networking, security, validation, migration, storage, obsolescence)
- Business strategies (competition, process reengineering, process modeling, TQM, Web 2.0)
- Information processing methods (batch, real-time, transaction)
Hardware and Systems Technology (15%)
- Devices (processing, storage, input and output, telecommunications, networking)
- Functions (computer, telecommunications, network hardware)
- Network architectures (local area, wide area, VPN, enterprise)
- Computer architectures (mainframe, client/server, operating systems)
- Wireless technologies (Wi-Fi, cellular, satellite, mobile, GPS, RFID)
Software Development (10%)
- Methodologies (prototyping, SDLC, RAD, CASE, JAD, Agile)
- Processes (feasibility, systems analysis, systems design, end-user development, project management)
- Implementation (testing, training, data conversion, system conversion, system maintenance, post-implementation activities, post-implementation review, documentation)
- Standards (proprietary, open source)
Programming Concepts and Data Management (10%)
- Programming logic (Boolean, arithmetic, SQL)
- Methodologies (object-oriented, structured)
- Data (concepts, types, structures, digital representation of data)
- File (types, structures)
- Database management systems (relational, hierarchical, network, management strategies)
Social and Ethical Implications and Issues (25%)
- Economic effects (secure transactions, viruses, malware, cost of security)
- Privacy concerns (individual, business, identity theft)
- Property rights (intellectual, legal, ownership of materials, open-source software)
- Effects of information technology on jobs (ergonomics, virtual teams, telecommuting, job design)
- Technology's influence on workforce strategies (globalization, virtual teams, telecommuting, outsourcing, insourcing)
- Careers in IS (responsibilities, occupations, career path, certification)
- Computer security and controls (system application, personal computer, disaster recovery)
- Social networking (benefits, risks, ethics, technology, Web 2.0)
Most textbooks used in college-level introductory business information systems or information technology courses cover the knowledge and skills in the outline above. The approach to certain topics and the emphasis given to them differ; therefore, it is advisable to study one or more current college textbooks to prepare for the Information Systems exam. When selecting a textbook, check the table of contents against the knowledge and skills required for this test.
A survey conducted by CLEP found that the following textbooks are among those used by college faculty who teach the equivalent course. You might purchase one or more of these online or at your local college bookstore.
- Beekman, Tomorrow's Technology and You (Prentice Hall)
- Huber, Information Systems: Creating Business Value (Wiley)
- Laudon, Essentials of Business Information Systems (Prentice Hall)
- O’Brien, Introduction to Information Systems (Richard D. Irwin)
- Rainer and Cegielski, Introduction to Information Systems (Wiley)
- Stair, Principles of Information Systems (Course Technology, Inc.)
These resources, compiled by the CLEP test development committee and staff members, may help you study for your exam. However, none of these sources are designed specifically to provide preparation for a CLEP exam. The College Board has no control over their content and cannot vouch for accuracy.
Credit-Granting Score for Information Systems
ACE Recommended Score*: 50
Semester Hours: 3
Each institution reserves the right to set its own credit-granting policy, which may differ from that of ACE. Contact your college as soon as possible to find out the score it requires to grant credit, the number of credit hours granted, and the course(s) that can be bypassed with a satisfactory score.
*The American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT) has evaluated CLEP processes and procedures for developing, administering and scoring the exams. The score listed above is equivalent to a grade of C in the corresponding course. The American Council on Education, the major coordinating body for all the nation’s higher education institutions, seeks to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and to influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives. Visit the ACE CREDIT website for more information.