IBM Academic Initiative

Building skills for a Smarter Planet

IBM System z Mastery test: Educator information

We provide Academic Initiative members with everything needed to prepare students to take the IBM System z Mastery Test.

For members

1. Download the course materials

Go to the Academic Initiative System z courses and download the Introduction to the Mainframe: z/OS Basics course. The System z Mastery Test is based on the contents of the course textbook. The course materials contain a textbook with answers, presentation slides for each chapter, sample exams, and lab exercises. You can use this content to teach a full-semester course or integrate selected parts into an existing course.

You can include the mastery test as part of your course, or give extra credit for passing it. You might even organize a road trip for the interested students to take the test.

2. Get access to an IBM mainframe system

Mainframe access is available for you and your students at no charge. This will enable your students to perform the course's lab exercises in a real mainframe environment—and you do not have to install and maintain the system at your school.

Just send an email to and specify which courses you plan to teach and the number of educator and student IDs you need.

3. Help your students prepare

Students interested in taking the Mastery Test should also prepare for the test on their own, especially if you are not covering all the material in the textbook in your class. They can use the publicly available student textbook and course materials for self-study. (The student textbook does not contain the answers.)

Refer to the IBM System z Mastery test information for students to help your students find a test center, request a test voucher, and register to take the test. You can request test vouchers for all your students in one email.

4. Enhance your own skills

To help you prepare to teach students about enterprise computing, we also recommend that you to take advantage of the training opportunities at our no-cost events.

Don't forget, you can take the IBM System z Mastery Test yourself. Follow the instructions from the student information page to find a test center, request a test voucher, and register to take the test.

If you have any questions, please contact the IBM Academic Initiative System z team at

For non-members

If you're not already a member, we encourage you to join the IBM Academic Initiative. There is no charge to join, the entire process takes only about 10 minutes, and there are many benefits to becoming a member:

  • Free access to IBM software, courseware, and online training
  • Discounts on conferences, IBM certifications, classroom training, and more
  • Access to a mainframe system for you and your students, at no charge

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