ARDMS Examination Development
ARDMS Examination Development Steps
One of the most labor-intensive and rigorous activities at ARDMS is the development of a new exam. Below is a brief overview of the multi-year process it takes to bring a new ARDMS examination to the Sonography Community:
- Topic Proposed: The new examination topic is identified by ARDMS based on trends/advancements in sonography or recommendations through formal petitions by an organization(s) or group(s) of medical professionals.
- Needs Analysis Study: A study is conducted to determine if a need exists for the new examination or credential.
- Recommendation & Approval: Based on the results of the needs analysis study, the Examination Development Committee recommends the new examination to the Board of Directors for development approval.
- Examination Development Task Force (EDTF): Sonographers and physicians, knowledgeable in the subject area of the new examination, are initially appointed by the ARDMS Board of Directors. EDTF members are instrumental in the development, review, and editing of test content and questions.
- Job Task Analysis (JTA): EDTF members develop an extensive and detailed JTA survey that is sent to a representative sample of appropriate medical professionals to determine the frequency and importance of tasks performed for a particular sonography discipline.
- Exam Content Outline Development: Based largely on the results of the Job Task Analysis, the EDTF members develop a content outline for the new examination.
- Item (Question) Development: Using the content outline as a guide, item writers draft items (questions) for the new examination. Item Reviewers then review, edit and determine which items will be included on the pilot version of the examination.
- Piloting the Exam: A pilot version of the new examination is administered in proctored testing centers over a specified period. Pilot participants are not provided with their score upon completion of the pilot exam at this time.
- Standard Setting Study: EDTF members and other subject matter experts review the results of the pilot test to determine the passing standard/passing scores. Once the passing standard is determined, test takers from the pilot test are sent their examination score.
- Development of the Final Forms: Based on the results of the pilot test and standard setting study, the EDTF members assemble the final forms (or versions) of the new examination.
- Launching the New Exam: Like all existing ARDMS tests, the new examination is administered in proctored testing centers in the U.S., Canada and select international sites.