The Comprehensive Exam Learning Assurance Report

This Comprehensive Exam Learning Assurance Report provides solid empirical data regarding how well each member of your class understands the many strategy-related aspects of running a BSG company in head-to-head competition with companies run by other class members. The post-simulation comprehensive exam consists of 40 multiple choice questions that measure student proficiencies in six areas; however, many of the 40 questions entail knowledge and skills pertaining to more than just one of the six measures. The six measures, along with the number of questions relating to each measure, are listed below:

  1. Interpreting/analyzing market data and diagnosing the factors affecting a company's prior-year performance (10 questions)
  2. Evaluating the strategies and actions of rival companies (7 questions)
  3. Identifying strategic actions with good prospects for improving company performance (27 questions)
  4. Identifying promising ways to build competitive advantage (13 questions)
  5. Identifying ways to improve a company's operating efficiency (11 questions)
  6. Identifying ways to cope effectively with fluctuating exchange rates, tariffs, and other global market factors (6 questions)

The test bank for the comprehensive exam consists of 5 versions of each of the 40 questions. Each person taking the comprehensive exam has a unique test version, consisting of a random selection of the five versions of each question, with random ordering of both the 40 questions and the five answer selections for each question. This was done to make it exceptionally difficult (impossible?) for students to collaborate on the answers in the time allotted, thereby protecting the integrity of each student’s test score.

Be aware that the comprehensive exam is, in effect, an “open book” test. All students are informed that they should not begin taking the test unless they have (1) a printout of the Footwear Industry Report for any year, (2) a printout of the Competitive Intelligence Report for any year, and (3) a calculator (calculations are required for a few questions). Furthermore, they are informed that they are allowed/encouraged/expected to consult any of the Help Pages for any of the decision screens and reports for assistance in answering any of the questions. In constructing the test questions, we concluded that the test scores should not be a reflection of “how much have you memorized” or “how much can you recall” but rather scores should signal “how much have you learned.” This seemed particularly apropos in the case of questions relating to information in the Footwear Industry Report, the Competitive Intelligence Report, or the Help Pages. We concluded that the principal purpose of the exam should be to discover the extent to which students have learned about interpreting and applying the information available to them in making good strategic and business decisions to improve their company’s performance.

Rest assured that the “open book” nature of the exam does not translate into test questions that are “easy” or “dumbed down” to where all class members will be able to earn scores in the 80s or 90s without really knowing very much about assessing competitive conditions in the athletic footwear marketplace, the strategies and maneuvering of their footwear rivals, and options at their disposal for improving their company’s performance. Indeed, as you will quickly discover from perusing the percentage of correctly-answered questions for the six learning measures and the overall scores, the questions are challenging and probe fairly deeply into how much students really know and have learned from the BSG exercise.

DO NOT BE DISTURBED IF A PREPONDERANCE OF THE PERCENT-CORRECT SCORES ARE “LOW” The test questions were deliberately formulated to be difficult and likely result in scores spread along a continuum ranging from the 20s to the perhaps the highs 80 (but rarely higher). Such a spread provides you with feedback that clearly separates the performances on the exam from “outstanding” to “excellent” to “very commendable” to “average” to “subpar” to “very poor.” Only the sharpest and most knowledgeable company managers are likely to answer 30 or more of the 40 questions correctly—thus a score of 75 or higher should be viewed as “excellent” to “outstanding” and “worthy” of a grade of A- or higher. Students with a “very good-to-good” understanding of how to manage company operations and achieve acceptable company performance are likely to answer between 24 and 30 of the questions correctly (which equates to a %-correct score of 60 to 75). Students who have paid scant attention to the market data and competitive maneuvers of rivals and made lots of seat-of-the-pants decisions will be hard-pressed to correctly answer many more than half of the questions. Students who have only a dim understanding of company operations and have relied heavily on one or more team members to do most (all?) of the strategic thinking and analysis will likely earn %-correct scores of less than 40, most often a lot less.

The Business Strategy Game Comprehensive Exam
Learning Assurance Report
William Thompson Industry 1
Percentile Rankings Are Versus All Participants Worldwide Completing the Comprehensive Exam Since November 17, 2014
(Population Statistics: Exams = 93, Schools = 9, Countries = 4)
SPECIAL NOTE: Many of the 40 questions comprising the comprehensive exam relate to more than one of the six learning measures.
Student/Participant
Interpreting/analyzingmarket data and diagnosingthe factors affecting a company'sprior-year performance(10 questions)
Evaluating the strategiesand actions of rivalcompanies (7 questions)
Identifying strategicactions with good prospectsfor improving companyperformance (27 questions)
Identifying promisingways to build competitiveadvantage (13 questions)
Identifying ways to improvea company's operatingefficiency (11 questions)
Identifying ways to copeeffectively with fluctuatingexchange rates, tariffs, andother global market factors(6 questions)
OVERALL(40 questions)
%
Correct
Percen-
tile
%
Correct
Percen-
tile
%
Correct
Percen-
tile
%
Correct
Percen-
tile
%
Correct
Percen-
tile
%
Correct
Percen-
tile
%
Correct
Percen-
tile
Abernathy, Dennis 70.0 80 42.9 52 81.5 97 84.6 96 100.0 100 83.3 97 82.5 98
Burlison, Bonnie 60.0 60 57.1 71 59.3 58 38.5 25 45.5 45 66.7 83 52.5 48
Ellison, Joseph 50.0 51 0.0 3 40.7 19 46.2 32 27.3 20 0.0 4 32.5 16
Perry, Diana 40.0 40 28.6 22 59.3 58 69.2 72 45.5 45 50.0 53 60.0 59
Scanlan, Kathryn 70.0 80 42.9 52 63.0 63 69.2 72 63.6 84 33.3 32 57.5 54
Shepherd, Denis 80.0 92 85.7 96 70.4 78 76.9 85 81.8 96 83.3 97 80.0 96
Smith, Carmen 60.0 60 57.1 71 74.1 84 76.9 85 63.6 84 33.3 32 67.5 76
Williams, Will 60.0 60 42.9 52 29.6 12 23.1 10 36.4 32 33.3 32 30.0 13
Class Average 61.3 65 44.7 52 59.7 59 60.6 60 58 63 47.9 54 57.8 58

Suggested Assessment of the %-Correct Scores (given the challenging nature/difficulty of the questions):

75% or Higher: Excellent to Outstanding
60%-74.9%: Good to Very Good
50% -59.9%: Average
Below 50%: Very Poor to Subpar