Assurance of Learning Exam Undergraduate Majors

The UB School of Management and the University at Buffalo are committed to the principles of Assurance of Learning with the goal to improve student learning and development. 

This commitment is underscored by accreditation requirements for both the School of Management and the University at Buffalo.  

Program Goals

The School of Management has developed five mission driven program goals to guide the undergraduate programs:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in the concepts and practices of the major business disciplines.
  • Think critically and solve problems in unstructured environments.
  • Embody social responsibility.
  • Communicate effectively.
  • Thrive in diverse and dynamic environments.


Regular and systematic assessment of learning objectives relevant to each program goal will serve as a foundation for continuous improvement and development of the curriculum. Various learning objectives will be assessed with an exam given annually to students in the capstone course MGO 403. The exam is part of the Assurance of Learning process. This is a program requirement and not assigned at the discretion of the course instructor.

Exam Grade

The exam is as much, or more, about how well the undergraduate program has prepared you as it is about your individual performance. To accurately assess that program performance, understand where we are doing well, and where we need to improve, it is important that as many students as possible take the exam, and take it seriously.  Therefore you will earn up to 5% extra credit points in your course based on your participation and your performance on the exam.  You will earn 2.5% for taking the exam, and another 2.5% if you answer 50% of the questions correctly.

Exam Focus and Development

The exam will be delivered online during a 14-day window in the 11th and 12th week of the semester. The format will be multiple choice and include 25-50 questions. The focus will be on the material covered in the program’s core courses. The level of the questions is based on a learning expectations for students completing those major core courses, not in concentration specific content. The exam is specifically given at the end of the program to emphasize the importance of program goals, rather than specific course outcomes.

Exam Format and Sample Questions

A cross section of faculty in each content area reviewed and developed a set of questions in each subject domain. A sample of these questions will be randomly selected from this inventory of questions to construct each student’s exam. The following are examples of the breadth and depth of questions on the exam.

1. Which of the following statements is true about a normal density curve as sigma decreases

a) The curve becomes more spread out.
b) There is no change in the spread of the curve.
c) The curve becomes less spread out
d) There is not enough information to determine the effect on the spread of the curve.

2. Which of the following might cause the own price elasticity of demand for product Z to go from .75 to 1.25?

a) A decrease in the manufacturing cost of Z.
b) The introduction of a new product considered a close substitute for Z.
c) An improvement in the manufacturing technology for Z.
d) More firms begin producing product Z.

3. You purchased 200 shares of stock at a price of $44.30 per share. Over the last year, you have received total dividend income of $250. What is the dividend yield?

a) 17.7 %
b) 5.6 %
c) 2.8 %
d) 1.8 %

4. The defences to a negligence action do NOT include which of the following?

a) Consent
b) Personal relationship between the parties
c) Contributory negligence
d) Necessity

5. If your balance is 5,000, what is the result of this expression?  IIF(Balance <= 4000, .025, .05)

a) .025
b) .05
c) Both .025 and .05
d) An error message will appear

6. Consumer research, product development, communication, distribution, pricing, and service are all core ________ activities.

a) Positioning
b) Marketing
c) Outsourcing
d) Production
e) Logistics

7. How are employee development practices strategic?

a) Employee development ensures that top-level management is trained so the organization has a competitive advantage
b) Employee development ensures an organization minimizes training costs
c) Employee development adds to research findings in the field of human resources
d) Employee development helps ensure an organization has a continual supply of talented and committed employees

8. Job satisfaction levels tend to be:

a) Lower for jobs that encourage creativity
b) Higher for jobs that allow workers to have a sense of accomplishment
c) Higher for jobs that involve rudimentary skills
d) None of the above
e) All of the above 

9. Consider the following product structure: Each A consists of 2 B’s and 1 C. Each B consists of 3 D’s and 2 E’s. Each C consists of 3 D’s and 1 E. How many D’s are necessary to produce 400 A’s?

a) 3200
b) 4400
c) 2800
d) 3600
e) 2000

10. Which of the following statements best describes financial statement analysis?

a) Financial statement analysis involves relationships and trends
b) Financial statement analysis evaluates future performance
c) Measurements for a specific company should be compared only with the past
d) All of the above are correct 

11.  A general rule in differential analysis is:

a) Variable costs are always relevant.
b) Fixed costs are always irrelevant.
c) Differential future costs and revenues are always relevant.
d) Depreciation is always irrelevant.

12. Intel and AMD supply more than 90% of the microprocessors in all PCs sold today.  Therefore, the microprocessor market is ______ and bargaining power of buyers, i.e. PC manufacturers, over Intel and AMD is ______

a) Fragmented, High
b) Fragmented, Low                        
c) Consolidated, Low        
d) Consolidated, High

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What if I haven’t taken a particular core course before enrolling in MGO 403?

Each student’s exam will first be compared to the core courses represented in that exam, and the core course the student has completed, or is currently taking. If there are questions from courses that a student has never taken, those questions will be removed and the grade adjusted accordingly.

2. Why doesn’t my course grade indicate how much I have learned?

The organizations that accredit your degree, both at the school and university level, emphasize that the assessment of learning should reflect how well your learning is retained as you leave the program.

3. This exam is one more thing to worry about during the semester. Why should I take it seriously?

There are several reasons why we hope students will take this exam seriously. First it is an opportunity to improve your grade in MGO 403. Second, having a satisfactory Assurance of Learning process in place is necessary and affects the accreditation status of your degree. This directly affects the value of your degree. Third, identifying areas where measures of learning are deficient will be a clear indication of where we need to improve. Future students will benefit as these findings guide continuous improvements to the degree.

4. Do I have to study for this exam?  Who can remember everything from a course taken two years ago? 

This exam should not cause you any anxiety. The questions are developed with the expectation that a student would indeed have taken a course at least a year ago. This is not about the fine points of something you learned in a lecture last week, or all the material you might study for a midterm. It is designed to tap the business knowledge and understanding that a graduate of an undergraduate business program should have as they leave the program. Don’t study. Just take the exam and take it seriously.