IC3 (certification)

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The Official IC3 Logo

IC3 /ˌˌsˈθr/ is the abbreviation and registered trademark of the "Internet and Computing Core Certification." The IC3 is a global certification program that is designed to certify an individual's digital literacy skills associated with basic computer and Internet use. IC3 is the first computer certification to be recognized by the National Skill Standards Board (NSSB). The newest edition of the IC3 certification track, known as IC3-GS4 (Global Standard 4), has been updated to include questions that utilize Microsoft Windows 7 OS and the Microsoft Office 2010 suite of programs.[1]

Certiport, Inc.[edit]

Certiport was established in 1997. They are based in American Fork, Utah and their main goal is to validate fundamental computer skills and knowledge through performance-based testing. In addition to the IC3 credential, Certiport also provides the official Microsoft Office certification programs, the Microsoft Technology Associate certification program, the Adobe® Certified Associate certification program, the Autodesk Certified User program, the CompTIA Strata™ IT Fundamentals, the Intuit QuickBooks Certified User certification program.[2]


IC3 was created by Certiport in 2000 to address the need for a globally recognized and accepted standard of basic computing knowledge to be considered fundamental to academic learning and a minimum requirement for employment in a typical office setting.

Format and use[edit]

The IC³ certification is awarded to those individuals that take and are able to pass three separate exams, titled Computing Fundamentals, Key Applications, and Living Online.[3] Schools across America have integrated IC3 into their vocational-tech programs and high schools' tech education, providing students to become IC³ certified upon completion of three exams. Mississippi, in particular, has included Information and Communication Technology I & II into their coursework with the certification as a part of the program. IC3 can be used as an option to "test out" of some technology classes. In addition to integration into the U.S. school system, IC3 has gained acceptance in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America in education, vocational schools, and government workforce development programs.



Each exam of the IC3 consists of approximately 45 multiple choice, matching, and "hands on" performance-based questions. Each exam also has a 45 minute time limit. However, the IC3-GS4 exams have raised the time limit on each section to 50 minutes.

Computing Fundamentals[edit]

"Computing Fundamentals" deals with hardware, software, and operating systems. The maximum score is 1000, the minimum passing requirement is varied depending on the difficulty level of the test. That could range from 700 in difficult tests to 800 on easier tests. The test questions are randomly assigned by the exam itself and automatically assess the difficulty of the questions to lower or raise the minimum passing score. (650 for IC3-GS4).

  • Computer Hardware
    • Identify types of computers, how they process information and how individual computers interact with other computing systems and devices.
    • Identify the function of computer hardware components.
    • Identify the factors that go into an individual or organizational decision on how to purchase computer equipment.
    • Identify how to maintain computer equipment and solve common problems relating to computer hardware.
  • Software
    • Identify how hardware & software work together to perform computing tasks and how software is developed and upgraded.
    • Identify different types of software, general concepts relating to software categories, and the tasks to which each type of software is most suited or not suited.
    • Identify fundamental concepts relating to database applications.
  • Using an Operating System
    • Identify what an operating system is and how it works, and solve common problems related to operating systems.
    • Manipulate and control the Windows or Macintosh desktop, files, and systems.
    • Identify how to change system settings, install, and remove software.

Key Applications[edit]

"Key Applications" covers generic program functions, as well as basic Microsoft Office functions (Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint). The maximum score is 1000, the minimum passing requirement is 750 (720 for IC3-GS4).

  • Common Program Functions
    • Be able to start and exit a Windows application and utilize sources of online help.
    • Identify common on-screen elements of Windows applications, change application settings and manage files within an application.
    • Perform common editing and formatting functions.
    • Perform common printing functions.
  • Word Processing Functions
    • Be able to format text and documents including the ability to use automatic formatting tools.
    • Be able to insert, edit and format tables in a document.
  • Spreadsheet Functions
    • Be able to modify worksheet data and structure and format data in a worksheet.
    • Be able to sort data, manipulate data using formulas and functions and add and modify charts in a worksheet.
  • Presentation Software Functions
    • Be able to create and format simple presentations.

Living Online[edit]

"Living Online" deals with the Internet and networks, e-mail, web browsers, and the general impact of the Internet on society. The maximum score is 1000, with a minimum passing score of 780 (620 for IC3-GS4).

  • Networks and the Internet
    • Identify network fundamentals and the benefits and risks of network computing.
    • Identify the relationship between computer networks, other communications networks (like the telephone network) and the Internet.
  • Electronic Mail
    • Identify how electronic mail works.
    • Identify how to use an electronic mail application.
    • Identify the appropriate use of e-mail and e-mail-related "netiquette."
  • Using the Internet
    • Identify the safe, appropriate, and ethical usage of the Internet and software.

External links[edit]