Examination Development

The development of an examination begins with an occupational analysis. An occupational analysis is a method for identifying the tasks performed in a profession or on a job and the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform that job. The results of an occupational analysis are used to form an examination plan. An examination plan consists of content areas. Each content area describes examination content in terms of the task statements and knowledge gathered during the occupational analysis.

All the Board's licensing examinations are developed and maintained by the Office of Examination Resources (OER). Test validation and development specialists at OER work with licensed clinicians (MFTs/LCSWs/LEPs) serving as Subject Matter Experts (SME), to develop licensure examinations that are valid and legally defensible.

To establish pass and fail standards for each version of the Standard Written Examination and Written Clinical Vignette Examination, a criterion-referenced passing score methodology is used. The intent of this methodology is to differentiate between a qualified and unqualified licensure candidate. The passing score is based on a minimum competence criterion that is defined in terms of the actual behaviors that qualified MFTs/LCSWs/LEPs would perform if they possessed the knowledge necessary to perform job duties.

By adopting a criterion referenced passing score, the Board applies the same minimum competence standards to all licensure candidates. Because each version of the examination varies in difficulty, an important advantage of this methodology is that the passing score can be modified to reflect subtle differences in difficulty from one examination to another, providing safeguards to both the candidate and the consumer.

License Type Year of Last Occupational Analysis
LCSW 2010
LEP 2009
MFT 2007