Understanding Case Problems
By Sara Hoon

Mastering the role-play situation is one of the most important steps in becoming a successful DECA competitor. It takes consistency, hard work, fast thinking, and skillful presentation skills in order to place among the top in the nation. Understanding what is expected in a role-play is something everyone should learn first. Here is some background information:

  1. You have 10 minutes to prepare your case problem.
  2. You have 10 minutes to present the case problem.
  3. You have on average (5) competencies that you are evaluated on.
  4. The case problem will include all information needed to present.
  5. The case problem deals with everyday business situations or topics you will have covered in your business/marketing class.

Once you sit down to prepare the role play you must read the competencies and the role-play carefully in order to fully grasp who you are, who the judge is, what you need to solve or address in the role-play, and whether the role-play asks you to make an additional plan that is not covered with the competencies. After reading and analyzing the information begin to think of a plan or solution that will cover ALL of your competencies. Once you have come up with something creative and original write down the ideas so you won't forget them when it comes time to present. Sometimes you aren't allowed to take the case problem into the role-play so it is advisable to write down your competencies and their sub points so you don't forget to cover them.

Once you are in the role-play make sure you introduce yourself and what you are going to cover. Make sure to guide the judge through the competency transitions smoothly. Smile, talk slowly, and involve the judge whenever possible. Giving an energetic, powerful, yet professional and knowledgeable presentation will sure to put you in the top of your event. Be sure to watch your time so you don't get cut off before you cover all your points. The most important tip to remember is to have fun!

 Sample Case Problem

 Sample Judge Evaluation Form

The Test
By Sara Hoon

All individual events, team events, and the majority of the written events involve a hundred question, timed test. These are area-based tests that are designed to test your knowledge of your area. Scoring well on the test is one of the most vital parts of winning because the test score carries through to finals. The test covers both general concepts and area concepts. So it is important to study several different areas to be a well-rounded test taker. The testing times are 60 minutes; so it's important to ask how long you have to take the test, and watch your time closely so you don't finish too early or go too slow that you have to rush through the last few questions on the test.

The tests are always multiple choice. So it is advisable to read the question carefully and slowly and then pick the best answer. If you aren't sure as to what the answer is then use process of elimination to narrow down the choices and make the best guess from there.

An example test question would be:

1. A company the requests that its print ads run on the second page of the newspaper is making a request for ad

A. inserts

C. rates

B. position

D. circulation

Answer: B; Position. Position refers to the location of an ad in a publication.

If you're not a great test taker that is fine, but remember not to let it get you down. Just close your eyes, breathe, and give it your best shot.