Ebel Method of Standard Setting

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The Ebel method of standard setting is a psychometric approach to establish a cut score for tests consisting of multiple-choice questions. It is usually used for high-stakes examinations in the fields of higher education, medical and health professions, and for selecting applicants. How is the Ebel method performed? The Ebel method requires a panel of […]

Certification Exam Delivery: Guidelines For Success

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Certification exam delivery is the process of administering a certification test to candidates.  This might seem straightforward, but it is surprisingly complex.  The greater the scale and the stakes, the more potential threats and pitfalls. For starters, you need to make sure the exam was developed well in the first place.  Learn more about that […]

What is a Cutscore or Passing Point?

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A cutscore or passing point (aka cut-off score and cutoff score as well) is a score on a test that is used to categorized examinees.  The most common example of this is pass/fail, which we are all familiar with from our school days.  For instance, a score of 70% and above will pass, while below […]

Nedelsky Method of Standard Setting

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The Nedelsky method is an approach to setting the cutscore of an exam.  Originally suggested by Nedelsky (1954), it is an early attempt to implement a quantitative, rigorous procedure to the process of standard setting.  Quantitative approaches are needed to eliminate the arbitrariness and subjectivity that would otherwise dominate the process of setting a cutscore.  […]

Psychometrics: What is it, and why do we need it?

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Psychometrics is the science of educational/psychological testing.  It studies how tests are developed, delivered, and scored.  Psychometricians tackle fundamental questions around assessment, such as how to determine if a test is reliable or if a question is of good quality, as well as much more complex questions like those listed below.  The goal of psychometrics […]

Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE Exam)


An Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE Exam) is an assessment designed to measure performance of tasks, typically medical, in a high-fidelity way.  It is more a test of skill than knowledge.  For example, I used to work at a certification board for ophthalmic assistants; there were 3 levels, and the top two levels included both a knowledge […]

Exam Development for Professional Credentialing

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The exam development for professional credentialing – Licensure & Certification Tests – is incredibly important.  Such exams serve as gatekeepers into many professions, often after people have invested a ton of money and years of their life in preparation.  Therefore, it is critical that they be developed well, and have the necessary supporting documentation.  So […]

NCCA Accreditation of Certification Programs: What Is It?

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NCCA Accreditation is a stamp of approval on the quality of a certification program, governed by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).™  This is part of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence™, the leader in the world of professional credentialing.  Note that Certification is different from Licensure, Microcredentials, and other terms. What do we mean […]

What is the Beuk Compromise?

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The Beuk Compromise or Beuk Adjustment is a method for a “reality check” on the results of a modified-Angoff standard setting study.  It is well-known that experts will often overestimate examinee capabilities and choose a cutscore that is too high – in some cases, so high that even the experts themselves would fail the exam!  […]

What is test equating?

test equating

Test equating refers to the issue of defensibly translating scores from one test form to another.  That is, if you have an exam where half of students see one set of items while the other half see a different set, how do you know that a score of 70 is the same one both forms?  […]