business

Information Systems

An information system (IS) is any organized system for the collection, organization, storage and communication of information. More specifically, it is the study of complementary networks that people and organizations use to collect, filter, process, create and distribute data.

The Information Systems exam covers material that is usually taught in a one semester introductory course.  Information systems’ basic terminology and concepts will be tested as well as how to apply that knowledge.  In depth details of hardware design or programming techniques which are language-specific is not emphasized.  Knowledge of specific products used in applications such as word processing or spreadsheets is not required.  Approaches and techniques which apply to different products and application scenarios will be the exam’s focus.  A first-year high school level knowledge of algebra is expected.

The exam contains approximately 100 questions to be answered in 90 minutes.  Some of these are pretest questions and will not be scored.  The College Board provides the parameters of the exam which are listed here.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT INFORMATION SYSTEMS:

OFFICE APPLICATIONS:  10% of the exam

  • 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% of the exam

  • 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
  • Web technologies:  HTML, XML, JavaScript
  • Website development:  analysis, design, functionality, accessibility

TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS:  15% of the exam

  • 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% of the exam

  • 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% of the exam

  • 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% of the exam

  • 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% of the exam

  • Economic effects:  secure transactions, viruses, malware, cost of security
  • Privacy concerns:  individual, business, identify 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

Each college sets their own credit-granting policies for the exam, so check with your college admission office, test center, or academic adviser before taking the test.