The Major Field Test in Business
Since 1993, the Economics & Business Department has administered the Educational Testing Service’s Major Field Test in Business (MFTB) to graduating first class cadets. During the pursuit of AACSB accreditation over the past several years, MFTB results were an important component of the department’s assessment of discipline-based skills. When deficiencies were found, changes were made at both the curriculum and course levels.
In 2010-11, fifty-one members of the first class took the MFTB. Overall, the class scored in the 80th percentile, in comparison with 685 schools worldwide. In fact, the 85th percentile was only 9/10 of a point away. Individually, five cadets achieved scores above the 90th percentile and three above the 95th, compared with 181,500 students who have taken the exam.
The class of 2011 scored in the 95th percentile in Economics, Marketing and Legal & Social Environment. Management and International Issues were in the 90th percentile. This was especially gratifying, because the Educational Testing Service began using a new version of the undergraduate Business exam in 2010. Although the department scrupulously avoids “teaching to the test”, we had reviewed previous versions in the case of deficiencies. This year, we were totally at the mercy of the test writers in Princeton, NJ.
Area-by-area, the department has target (percentile) scores as part of our AACSB assessment program. When a particular score goes below the minimum, the instructor(s) in that area is/are required to conduct a review of the test questions on which cadets scored the lowest. It may be that a test question topic is not taught or emphasized. Each instructor is given the discretion to include or exclude course topics based on their professional judgment. However, we believe the department’s historic scores on the MFTB are an accurate indicator of the overall high quality of the program. Indeed, the scores for 2010-11 were achieved knowing only the broadest parameters of what would be tested.