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The Science Behind NPS Scoring Processes

–  Scaled scoring, a crucial component for providing a fair and accurate assessment of each candidate’s abilities. –


At National Performance Specialists (NPS), we are committed to upholding the highest standards in allied healthcare certification. A crucial aspect of this commitment is our robust and scientifically grounded exam scoring process. This process, developed in collaboration with psychometricians from ACS Ventures and informed by Subject Matter Expert Panels, ensures that our exams not only assess the competencies required in the healthcare field but do so with fairness and precision.


The Role of ACS Ventures and Subject Matter Expert Panels

Our partnership with ACS Ventures, a leader in psychometric services, plays a pivotal role in developing and maintaining the integrity of our exams. ACS Ventures brings a wealth of expertise in educational and psychological measurement, ensuring that our exams are valid, reliable, and fair. Complementing this expertise are our Subject Matter Expert Panels, comprised of experienced professionals in each certification area. These panels are instrumental in defining the competencies and skills that are critical for each certification, ensuring that our exams are aligned with current industry standards and practices.


Operational Pilot Exams and Preliminary Item Analysis

Before an exam is officially launched, it undergoes a rigorous testing phase known as the operational pilot exam. This phase is crucial for testing the validity of exam questions and their ability to accurately measure the competencies they are intended to assess. Following the pilot phase, a preliminary item analysis is conducted. This analysis scrutinizes each question, evaluating its performance and how well it discriminates between candidates who possess the necessary knowledge and those who do not.


Setting a Cut Score and Qualitative Analysis

Determining the cut score, the point that separates passing from failing candidates, is a critical step in the exam development process. This is not a decision taken lightly; it involves a comprehensive qualitative analysis, taking into account various statistical measures and expert judgments. The cut score is set to ensure that it accurately reflects the level of competency required in the respective healthcare field.


Understanding Raw Scores, Scaled Scores, and Equating

At NPS, we use a scaled scoring system for our exams, ranging from 200 to 800, with a passing scaled score set at 550. It’s important to understand the difference between raw scores and scaled scores. A raw score is simply the number of questions a candidate answers correctly. However, raw scores can be misleading due to variations in exam difficulty. This is where scaling and equating come into play.
Equating is a statistical process that adjusts scores on different exam forms so that they can be compared directly. This process ensures that a score on one form of the exam represents the same level of ability as the same score on another form. By converting raw scores to a common scale, we ensure fairness and consistency across different exam versions.


NPS’s Commitment to Confidentiality and Integrity

In line with our commitment to maintaining the integrity of the exam process, NPS does not reveal raw scores to candidates. This policy is in place to ensure that the focus remains on the scaled score, which is a more accurate representation of a candidate’s abilities and knowledge in relation to the established competency standards.

The scoring process for NPS certification exams is a testament to our dedication to excellence and fairness in allied healthcare certification. Through our collaboration with ACS Ventures, the insights from our Subject Matter Expert Panels, and our rigorous exam development and scoring procedures, we ensure that each NPS-certified professional has demonstrated the competencies necessary to excel in their field. Our scaled scoring system is a crucial component of this process, providing a fair and accurate assessment of each candidate’s abilities.

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The Science Behind NPS Scoring Processes

–  Scaled scoring, a crucial component for providing a fair and accurate assessment of each candidate’s abilities. –   At National Performance Specialists (NPS), we are