INFORMATION COMPETENCY PROFICIENCY EXAM FAQ

  1. What is Information Competency?
  2. Who is required to take the College of San Mateo Information Competency Proficiency Exam and how can students satisfy this requirement?
  3. How can students get prepared to take the Information Competency Proficiency Exam?
  4. How long is the Information Competency Proficiency Exam?
  5. Does CSM provide special accommodations for students who have physical, visual, communication or learning disabilities?
  6. How many times can students take the Information Competency Proficiency Exam?
  7. Is there a testing fee for the Information Competency Proficiency Exam? Are appointments required?
  8. What should students bring to the exam?
  9. How can students get their exam results?
  10. How can students access their WebSMART account to get their results?
What is Information Competency?
Information competency, sometimes referred to as information literacy, consists of the ability to locate, evaluate and ethically use the information that satisfies an information need. College of San Mateo's Information Competency Standard is derived from the information competency position statement set forth by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) which is derived from the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education issued by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).

Community college students must be information literate learners who can:
Who is required to take the College of San Mateo Information Competency Proficiency Exam and how can students satisfy this requirement?
Students with catalog rights for Fall 2010 or thereafter must satisfy the Information Competency requirement prior to graduation. The competency requirement can be satisfied by:
  1. A grade of C (or higher) or P in one of the following CSM courses: LIBR 100, BUSW 530, DGME 100, DGME 102
  2. A Passing score of 70% or higher on the CSM Information Competency Proficiency Exam. The exam will be offered at CSM four times a year. For the exam schedule refer to the CSM Information Competency Requirement information page.
  3. Earning a grade of C (or higher) or P in LSCI 100 at Skyline College or LIBR 100 at Cañada College
  4. Earning a grade of C (or higher) or P in an equivalent course taken outside of the SMCCCD that meets the College of San Mateo standard for Information competency *.
* To apply for approval of an equivalency to satisfy the CSM Information Competency Requirement, fill out and submit the College of San Mateo Information Competency Equivalency Petition form. This form is also available in person at the Office of Admission and Records (Bldg. 1, 2nd Floor).

How can students get prepared to take the Information Competency Proficiency Exam?

Students can study the CSM Information Competency Requirement LibGuide.

How long is the Information Competency Proficiency Exam?
The Information Competency Proficiency Exam is timed. The exam should take no longer than 60 minutes from start to finish.

Does CSM provide special accommodations for students who have physical, visual, communication or learning disabilities?
Yes. Students requiring accommodations for a certified disability that may affect exam performance are requested to contact a staff member at the Disability Resource Center (DRC) so that appropriate arrangements can be made. The DRC is located in Bldg. 10 Room 120 and can be reached via phone at 650-574-6438.

How many times can students take the Information Competency Proficiency Exam?
Students can only take the Information Competency Proficiency Exam once. Please contact the CSM Library Reference Desk (650-574-6232, Bldg. 9) or email for additional information regarding this policy.

Is there a testing fee for the Information Competency Proficiency Exam? Are appointments required?
No fee is charged for taking the Information Competency Proficiency Exam and appointments are required. To schedule an appointment, refer to the CSM Information Competency Requirement information page to sign up.

What should students bring to the exam?
Students should bring their CSM Student Identification Number (G number), and some form of personal identification with a picture (e.g., driver's license, passport).

How can students get their exam results?
Normally students will be notified by phone or email of the outcome of their exam within ten business days. Alternatively, exam results can be retrieved on students' WebSMART account.

How can students access their WebSMART account to get their results?
To retrieve your exam results, go to WebSMART and:
  1. login with your Student ID Number or Social Security Number and your 6-digit birth date (PIN)
  2. click on Student Records
  3. click on Placement Test Results
  4. click on List Placements
Print a copy of your test results for your records.