Test Development

Customized for Your Needs

Developing a valid, reliable, and fair assessment requires a significant amount of research, planning, and many specialized skills. The IBCE has expertise in both the chiropractic and testing fields. The many decisions made in collaboration with your experts produce culturally and regionally appropriate examination procedures and results.

Test development is a process of producing a measure of some aspect of an individual’s knowledge, skills, abilities, attitudes, or other characteristics by developing questions or tasks and combining them to form a test, according to a specific plan (AERA, APA, & NCME, 2014). Test development procedures are best described in five separate, but highly integrated areas: Test Format, Test Plan, Test Assembly, Test Administration, and finally, Test Scoring and Reporting. In addition, two important groups of decision-makers are necessary: the Test Committee and the Standard Setting Committee. These committees are made up of local, experienced chiropractors, regulators, and educational experts who act in collaboration with the IBCE.

Test Format

Based on the planned use of the exam results, test format specifications are made. The format specifications delineate the format of test items, the response format, and test delivery format. The intended level of difficulty (mastery, minimum competency, etc.) must also be defined through psychometric specifications. The IBCE is available to guide your local experts in all of these decisions about the format of your test.

Test Plan

High-quality content is a vital component for a valid and credible test. The knowledge, skills, and competencies that are to be assessed and their relative weightings comprise the test plan. These are determined by a survey of chiropractic instruction in combination with an analysis of chiropractic as it is practiced in your region. The IBCE will help you develop a test plan for your examinees’ use as they prepare for your exam.

Test Assembly

Once the test’s format and plan have been determined, sufficient questions that assess the desired knowledge, skills, and competencies must be gathered. Usually test items are gathered from educational institutions or written by the subject matter specialists. Item-writing rules are specified by the assessment committee and provided to item writers. Alternatively, the questions can come from college course exams, or tests that have been previously administered to similar groups. Your local test committee will review and select test questions based on the subject matter weightings and the desired difficulty level of your test plan.

Test Administration

Standardized policies and procedures for giving the test (time limits, instructions, security, etc.) and for the post-examination review (analysis of statistics and comments) are then developed. Standardized procedures help to ensure consistent exam delivery, scoring, and reporting, which are essential for fair testing. You may wish to use a pilot test to ensure that all planning challenges have been addressed. The IBCE will aid you in developing scoring methods before you administer the first test. You will be able to determine the frequency of test administrations based on the number of test-takers you expect and the availability of equivalent versions of your exam.

Standard Setting

Standard Setting (cut score development) is a critical part of educational, licensing, and certification testing. Standard setting is a methodology used to define levels of achievement or proficiency and cut scores corresponding to those levels. But what is a cut score? A cut score is simply a score that serves to classify the test-takers into categories—those who score below the cut score into the next lower level of proficiency and those who score above the cut score into the next higher level of proficiency.

Immediately after your newly developed test has been given, a local committee should meet to determine the passing score. This diverse group of experienced practitioners, instructors, and/or association members will go through several time-tested steps to arrive at a recommended minimum passing score for the test.

Test Scoring and Reporting

The IBCE will score the exams for you and provide you with the scores and reports on how well your test-takers perform cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Test scoring is a set of psychometric procedures that help to arrive at a valid, reliable, and fair score for each of your examinees. Using these statistical methods, the IBCE can assist you in designing future versions of the test in order to ensure a consistent difficulty level.

The IBCE is available to assist you in every step of the process of developing the right exams to meet your needs.

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