Scoring for all candidates takes place after the test administration window closes. Scores are computed based on the correct responses recorded by candidates. It is to the candidate’s advantage to answer every question on the examination. There is no penalty in the scoring formula for guessing. The individual score report will indicate whether the candidate passed or failed the examination. Scores will range from a minimum of 200 to a maximum of 800. The minimum passing score on BPS examinations is 500. Pass/fail decisions are based on the total score indicated on the score report, not on performance in the domains.
BPS creates new versions, or forms, of all of its tests on a regular basis. In assembling the new forms, BPS and its testing consultants follow best practices in certification testing so that all forms are comparable in content and difficulty. Once the examination forms have been equated, a procedure called scaling is used to convert the actual number of correct answers, or raw scores, to a uniform scale. These converted scores are called scaled scores. Equated, scaled scores ensure that all candidates for a BPS specialty certification demonstrate at least the same level of knowledge in order to pass the examination.
The passing standards, or cut scores, used in BPS examinations were established using criterion-referenced procedures that are widely used in certification. Criterion-referenced passing standards link the score required to pass a test to the minimum level of knowledge required for specialty certification. Each BPS specialty certification program has its own passing standard.
In order to protect the security and integrity of the specialty certification examinations, neither BPS nor its testing agency release examination questions, individual answer strings, or the answer key to any individual or organization. Efforts are made by BPS, its Specialty Councils, and its testing agency to produce completely accurate examinations; however, if a candidate believes there is an error in an examination question, the concern should be noted in the candidate comments of the exam and the candidate should contact BPS immediately after the examination.