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Information Systems and Computer Applications

Description of the Examination

The Information Systems and Computer Applications 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.

Knowledge and Skills Required

Questions on the Information Systems and Computer Applications 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.

Information Systems and Office Application Software in Organizations

  • Standard office suite tools (word processors, spreadsheets, presentation packages, end-user database packages)
  • Basic user functions of a desktop operating system
  • Office systems (electronic mail, conferencing, cooperative work environments)
  • Web browsers
  • Internet and other online services and methods (World Wide Web, FTP, Web search engines, Web bots)
  • Specialized systems (statistical analysis, expert systems, DSS, GIS, BI)
  • Electronic Data Interchange
  • Enterprise-wide systems (ERP, CRM, SCM)

Hardware and Systems Technology

  • Devices for processing, storage, input and output, telecommunications, and networking
  • Functions performed by computer, telecommunications, and network hardware
  • Digital representation of data for storage and processing (numeric, text, images, audio, video)
  • Concepts of local, wide-area, and enterprise network architectures
  • Concept of mainframe versus client/server architectures
  • Operating system and network operating system functions and architectures
  • Wireless computing/communication devices (cellular, satellite devices, PDA, GPS)

Information Systems Software Development

  • Software development methods and tools
  • Systems development life cycle concepts
  • Project management functions and roles
  • Types of information processing methods (batch, real-time, transaction)
  • User interface design
  • Development and purpose of standards

Programming Concepts and Data Management

  • Programming language syntax and structures (pseudocode)
  • Programming logic
  • Object-oriented methods
  • Data concepts, types, and structures
  • File types and structures
  • Database management systems
  • SQL coding and structures
  • Web technologies (HTML, XML)
  • Web page development (analysis and design)
  • Data warehousing and data mining

Business, Social, and Ethical Implications and Issues

  • Economic effects
  • Privacy concerns
  • Intellectual property rights and legal issues, including open source initiatives
  • Effects of information technology on careers (ergonomics, virtual teams, telecommuting, job design)
  • Impact of technology on careers (globalization, outsourcing, insourcing)
  • Careers in information systems and information technology
  • Knowledge management
  • System, application, and personal computer security and controls
  • Business strategies (competition, reengineering, process modeling, e-commerce, TQM)

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