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Exam Score FAQ

 
A: NCBTMB has set the passing score for the Board Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (BCETMB) at 300 – scaled.
 
A: The passing score was established using a systematic procedure called a cut score study, which employed the judgment of a representative group of certified massage and bodywork professionals from across the country. Upon completion of the cut score study, the group recommended a standard to the NCBTMB Board of Directors that reflected what they believed a certificant needs to know about tested content, at minimum, to receive a passing score. After reviewing the results of the cut score study and the group’s recommendations, the NCBTMB Board of Directors determined the passing score(s) for the BCETMB.
 
A: NCBTMB does not report raw test scores. It reports candidate performance using a scale score. A scale score is a transformed raw test score (i.e., the number of test questions answered correctly). A candidate’s scale score is obtained in two steps. First the candidate’s ability is estimated based on performance on the set of questions answered and the difficulty level of these questions. The ability measure is then transformed into different measurement units (i.e., a scale score). This is something like transforming inches into centimeters – the distance measured does not change, only the units used to express that distance.
 
A: NCBTMB does not report raw test scores. It reports candidate performance using a scale score. A scale score is a transformed raw test score (i.e., the number of test questions answered correctly). A candidate’s scale score is obtained in two steps. First the candidate’s ability is estimated based on performance on the set of questions answered and the difficulty level of these questions. The ability measure is then transformed into different measurement units (i.e., a scale score). This is something like transforming inches into centimeters – the distance measured does not change, only the units used to express that distance. A scale score of at least 300 is required to pass NCBTMB's examination. Scale scores range from a low score of 100 to a high score of 400. Please note that a scale score is neither the number of questions answered correctly, nor the percentage of questions answered correctly.
 
A: If the number of questions answered correctly (a candidate’s raw score) was reported on score reports, there would be a different passing score for each form of the test because of the differences in test difficulty. As you can imagine, this could potentially become very confusing to candidates. In order to keep the passing standard constant across test forms within a testing program, while allowing the number of correct answers necessary to pass an examination to vary in accordance with test difficulty, scaling is used to report candidate test performance (i.e., scale scores).
 
A: The score report lists the passing score, candidate’s scale score and their pass/fail status. A scale score of 300 or above will be reported as Pass, whereas a scale score below 300 will be reported as Fail. In addition, candidates will receive diagnostic information on their performance in each content area of the test in a bar chart. The bar indicates the percentage of items a candidate answered correctly for that content area. Diagnostic information is designed to help identify those areas that may need further study. In preparation for retaking the examination, it is recommended candidates perform an in-depth review and study of the content areas where they missed several questions.
 
A: The Board Certification exam is comprised of 160 questions. The content area(s) and their associated weights for each respective examination program are detailed below.
 
A: If another version of the exam were taken, a candidate probably would obtain a slightly different score because no single test measures with perfect accuracy and consistency. The content consistency of the NCBTMB tests is about 0.93, based on an index that varies from 0.00 (no content consistency) to 1.00 (perfect content homogeneity). This index indicates that the test a candidate will take measures relatively similar, yet still different, kinds of content.
 
A: If a candidate were permitted to take the same version of the test a second time, the estimate of consistently passing or failing may be determined through a statistic known as the pass-fail classification reliability index. The probability of obtaining the same passing or failing classification following repeat testing of the same test form is about 0.90. This number indicates that if a candidate were to take the test a second time without further study or review, their test performance would have a moderately high probability of receiving the same passing or failing classification.