Exam Development

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Exam Development

PTC has extensive experience with all aspects of the credentialing process and is the perfect partner to guide you through the examination development process.

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Strategic Planning
Whether you are seeking to establish a new certification program or improve an existing one, PTC can help you define and achieve your strategic goals. Comprehensive planning early on leads to a sound, organized, efficient, and cost-effective credentialing program.

Job Task Analysis
A valued and legally defensible credentialing examination is built upon a well-designed, current role delineation (also called the practice analysis, job analysis, or job task analysis). The periodic performance of a job analysis study is critically important to the validity and defensibility of a certification examination program and ensures that the certification program stays up-to-date and is reflective of current best practices. Our experts will guide you through the process including designing the study, facilitating meetings and focus groups with subject matter experts, development and administration of the survey, and data analysis.

Generation of Test Specifications
PTC’s psychometric experts will use the results from the role delineation study to develop a valid, legally defensible content outline/test blueprint that will include the test specifications for the examination. This document ensures the proper linkage of examination content to the body of knowledge defined and validated in the role delineation and guides the item writing and exam assembly process.

Item Writing & Review
Our psychometric staff is well-versed in item writing best practices, techniques, and measurement principles. We work with clients to determine item writing goals and develop appropriate assignments. PTC will train subject matter experts on item writing guidelines and will work with them to review and validate items to ensure they accurately represent the profession’s body of knowledge, are fair for candidates meeting the eligibility requirements, are free from bias and stereotyping, and conform to established psychometric standards. PTC’s editorial team will proofread items to ensure they have proper grammar and adhere to the program’s style guidelines.

Examination Assembly
PTC works with clients to determine an examination development plan and schedule. During the examination assembly phase, PTC would begin the process by preparing a draft for each new examination. Each draft exam would be constructed to meet the test specifications as supported by the job analysis study while also keeping in mind factors such as frequency with which items have been used, item performance statistics, and coverage of test content. PTC would conduct initial psychometric reviews and then will facilitate examination review meetings with subject matter experts selected by the client. Once the client subject matter expert panels have approved the final form, it will undergo additional proofreading and then the final examination would then be prepared for publication.

Standard Setting
PTC can assist clients in ensuring that pass/fail decisions are based on sound psychometric theory. We use criterion-referenced standard-setting methodologies to set appropriate passing scores.

Psychometric Analysis, Scoring, & Reporting
After examinations are administered, PTC provides extensive psychometric analyses, scoring, and reporting services. Item analyses, reliability studies, and summary statistics based on the performance of the form as a whole are produced to ensure quality. Data are carefully reviewed and compared with examination objectives as well as with historic data from previously administered forms. Post-examination reports are tailored with each client’s specific needs in mind. For more information on scoring and reporting, click here.