How do we create Exams? - RAHPC

Exam Development Overview

RAHPC exams assess whether you have the knowledge and cognitive skills required of an entry-level professional in today’s profession. To do so, we routinely survey each discipline, ensuring that our exam questions accurately reflect current 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.


Exam Format

The Council utilises a Multiple Choice Question format. Current research shows that use of well crafted and designed, in-context and up-to-date multiple choice questions provides a "VALID and OBJECTIVE MEASURE" of a candidate's clinical reasoning and thinking skills (NOTCE, 2017). The cases and multiple choice questions on the exam reflect a variety of clinical settings, clients, professional tasks or activities and roles, in realistic situations.

The Council exam presents a number of cases. Each case may stand alone or may be followed by approximately three to five items of multiple choice questions. The candidate is required to prudently read each case and use the content to assist in answering the affiliated questions.

Generally, each question is followed by three to four options, of which ONE is the best answer. The examination contains 100 to 200 questions designed to measure entry-level knowledge and application.

Defining current practices for each discipline

Our examination committee, which oversee the exam development process, consist of practicing professionals involved in educational programmes. Their backgrounds ensure we have representatives from a range of positions, and practice settings. Discipline-specific issues are addressed by experts in content development with wide experience in academia and practicum.

Writing Exam Questions

We enlist the help of practicing professionals to create exam questions (often referred to as items). After selecting our item experts, we provide comprehensive guidance 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 various forms of our exams. We’re always reviewing on regular basis and adding new items to the bank to ensure our exams are current and of high quality.

 We produce a number of exam drafts before approving a final version for use as a registry exam. 

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