Frequently Asked Questions About Licensing Exams

Educators and test development

CLEAR Exam Review (Winter 1995)
Norman Hertz

Question: What is the role of educators in the examination development process?

Answer: The role of educators should be minimized. Because a particular subject matter is taught in educational settings, it does not follow that it should be included on a licensing examination. A licensing examination is more than a "final" academic exam. A licensing examination should require candidates to apply the information acquired during their education. Many academic examinations only require candidates to respond with factual information. The purpose of licensing examination is so different from academic examinations that educators have a difficult time in making the transition.

In passing score workshops, educators often base their perceptions of the difficulty of the test items upon whether candidates "should" know the information because it is or is not taught. The perception of difficulty is different for practitioners because it is based on the difficulty that newly licensed practitioners have in acquiring full competence in the subject matter areas.

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� 2002 Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation