HOW WE CREATE EXAMS
EXAM DEVELOPMENT OVERVIEW
ARRT exams assess whether you have the knowledge and cognitive skills required of an entry-level technologist in today’s profession. To do so, we routinely survey each discipline, ensuring that our exam questions accurately reflect today’s practice standards.
But our exam development efforts don’t stop there. Our strategic multistep approach includes creating a pool of test questions, deciding which questions appear on each exam, and having a team of experts review and edit exam drafts. Learn more about each step of the process below.
DEFINING CURRENT PRACTICES FOR EACH DISCIPLINE
Our examination committees, which oversee the exam development process, consist of practicing technologists, supervising technologists, technologists involved in educational programs, physicists, and practicing physicians. Their backgrounds ensure we have representatives from a range of positions, geographic locations, and practice settings.
Their work begins by conducting periodic practice analysis surveys for each discipline. By surveying Registered Technologists (R.T.s), they determine the most up-to-date knowledge, skills, and job responsibilities required of today’s entry-level technologists.
Based on the results, they then create a task inventory, which is a comprehensive list of activities that entry-level technologists perform regularly. Next, our team of experts creates content specifications, which identify the areas to cover in each exam, and weight them according to importance. The content specifications only include topics that link directly to one or more activities from the task inventory.
WRITING EXAM QUESTIONS
We enlist the help of practicing R.T.s to create exam questions (often referred to as items). After selecting our item writers, we provide comprehensive training on writing appropriate exam questions. We then critique each item on technical accuracy, relevance to performing entry-level tasks, and conformance with the principles of question writing.
Once we accept questions for inclusion in an exam, we add them to our item bank. The bank is a pool of exam questions, from which we select items when creating forms of our exams. We’re always adding new questions to the bank to ensure our exams are current and of high quality.
ASSEMBLING THE EXAM
We have specially trained Exam Development Coordinators on staff who assemble the tests by selecting item-bank questions that meet the requirements of each discipline’s content specifications. Our examination committees then review the selections, so that the new exams are approximately as difficult as previous exams. They also check that each new exam covers all of the content from the discipline’s most current content specifications.
We produce a number exam drafts before approving a final version for use as a certification and registration exam.
LEARN MORE ABOUT VOLUNTEERING
We rely on hundreds of volunteers each year to help build certification and registration exams. Our volunteers come from across the country, work in a variety of professional settings, and have a range of experience. Learn more about how you can volunteer with ARRT.