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Placement Exam FAQ

How, where and when are the exams administered?

Exams are administered in the Boise State University Testing Center located in the The Simplot Micron Advising and Success Hub, Room E213. The COBE placement exams are on a walk-in and computer available basis (no appointment necessary) during times listed on the Testing Center website.

Do I have to pay to take the COBE Placement Exam?

The Pearson MyITLab license for the exam can be purchased directly from Pearson using a credit card or PayPal while you are at the Testing Center. The cost of the license the only cost associated with taking the exam.

How long is the MyITLab License valid?

The MyITLab License is valid for 14 days from the date the Student Profile is created. Please plan your first and second exam attempts to allow for both attempts to be completed within the 14 day license duration. Do not create your personal Student Profile until you arrive for your first testing session in order to allow you maximum days to schedule and complete your last exam section.

Is it all one exam or does the exam have different sections? Do I have to take the entire exam?

The COBE Computer Placement Exam has three sections:

  1. Word processing
    1. Relates to the ITM 104 course and prerequisite
  2. Spreadsheets
    1. Relates to the ITM 105 course and prerequisite
  3. Databases
    1. Relates to the ITM 106 course and prerequisite

If you are planning on taking the exam, take only those sections required for your major. The ITM 104, ITM 105, and ITM 106 classes are key prerequisite courses for a number of business courses.

Do I have to take all sections of the exam during the same testing session?

No, you may take each individual section of the exam during a separate testing session, or all at the same time. The option is yours. Plan testing sessions so all exam sections are completed before the MyITLab license expires (14 days for the 2016 license). Allow 24 hours between any exam sections for which you are re-testing for the second, and final time.

How many times am I able to take the exam?

Each section of the exam may be taken up to two times during a student’s academic career. If the exams are not successfully passed with these two attempts, the student will need to enroll in and pass the class in order to satisfy the ITM 104, ITM 105, and ITM 106 major requirements. Note: if you must use the second of the two allowable attempts for any section of the exam, the second attempt must be taken 24 hours after the first attempt.

May one exam section be taken more than one time in the same day?

NO. If there is a need to use the second allowable attempt for a specific exam section, that exam section must be taken at least 24 hours after the first attempt. If you are found, for example, to have taken the ITM 105 section of the exam two times in the same day, your second attempt would be nullified, and you would not receive another attempt to take the exam.

Is the exam timed?

Each exam section is timed using the computer clock located in the lower right-hand corner of the screen during the exam and 120 minutes is allotted per section of the exam.

What score is required to receive a Pass on the exam?

A 70% or above for each exam section is required for a pass score for the placement exam. It is possible to pass one exam section, but not another exam section. If this happens, the exam section not passed would need to be completed by taking the exam the second allowable time 24 hours after the first attempt, or taking the class if all allowable times have been used.

How do exam scores get recorded on my student record?

Send an email to with a subject line that reads “COBE Computer Placement Exam – Student Group Entry – Name”. In the body of the email please include your full student name, Boise State student ID, and on which exam sections you received a passing score. A return email will be sent to you as soon as exam results are posted. While most recordings are completed within a day or two with this method, the timeline is longer during semester breaks and weekends.

Will I earn academic credit for this exam?

No. This is a placement exam; it places a student out of the class (ITM 104, ITM 105, ITM 106) and overrides the prerequisite course when registering for other courses. Consequently, academic credit will not be earned.

May I take the COBE Computer Placement Exam if I have already taken the class?

Yes. Any student who has enrolled in the class can take the COBE Computer Placement Exam. Passing the exam allows you to satisfy the associated ITM prerequisite, but does not provide any academic credit and does not replace the grade for the course.

May I enroll in ITM 104, ITM 105, and/or ITM 106 before I take the COBE Computer Placement Exam?

Yes, if a student is currently enrolled in ITM 104, ITM 105, and/or ITM 106 and then successfully completes the corresponding COBE Computer Placement Exam the student must drop that class before the class drop deadline. If the class is dropped after the “drop without a W” deadline for the class session, the student will receive a ‘W’ on their transcript. If the student does not drop the class at all the student will receive an “F” for the class even if they pass the exam.

Is the COBE Computer Placement Exam administered any other place than on Boise State's campus?

Yes, in addition to the Boise State University Online Testing Center site, the COBE Computer Placement Exam is given at the College of Southern Idaho (CSI) campus. The MyITLab license may also be purchased at the CSI Bookstore. The CSI schedule information is available online at

May any help aids be used during the exam?

No help aids may be used during the exam. Students may not use the Help functions, cell phones, blue tooth, or any other electronic devices, nor may they communicate with any other person. In addition, no communication about the exam may be passed to or from any other person either before or after taking the exam. All exam information and questions are to remain confidential even after a student has taken the exam. 

After I pass the ITM104, ITM105, and/or ITM106 placement exam(s), is it possible to get a registration permission number for a course for which ITM104, ITM105 or ITM106 is a prerequisite?

Yes. After the placement exam is passed the student may contact the ITSCM Department ( for exam score recording. When the score is recorded the student may then register for the course for which the ITM104, ITM105, and/or ITM106 course was a prerequisite.

Is there a study guide for the exam?

No, there is not an official study guide. However, there is a topics list for each of the exam sections and an suggestions for studying on our website at Exam Overview/Study Suggestions.