EMT Testing Philosophy
The purpose of testing in any situation is to gain a fair, valid and reliable evaluation of a student’s knowledge of a specific topic or area. Testing should be done in a manner that avoids bias and prevents unfair advantages. Testing demonstrates that a person possesses the knowledge and skills necessary for any given occupation or profession, as well as advancement to a higher level of practice.
Although it may seem obvious, a test should always challenge students to put forth their best effort, and tests are designed to reveal a student’s understanding of a particular topic.
In addition, tests must be developed to achieve a specific, identifiable purpose. A test review book (or application), purpose, should be to expose test candidates to the content and format of the test questions that will be used in a certification exam. In addition, the test must have a specific purpose or ‘target’, and test candidates need to be aware of that purpose. Just as important, instructors must know what the test specifications are in order to prepare students. Tests may be “achievement” oriented or “criterion” referenced. See “Use of Test Questions”. The “cut-score” or pass/fail score must be meaningful to an education program, developer and “user” of the test. See “Page name here”.
Why EMTs fail the NREMT Exam
EMT PASS and AEMT PASS were both developed because during Bill’s career he spoke with many National Registry candidates who failed the exam. In most cases, candidates failed because they did not have access to the full domain of knowledge required of EMTs or AEMTs. The candidate often did not have confidence in their knowledge base.
Many candidates had excellent “affective” skills (such as motivation, dedication, etc) and really desired to be EMTs, but failed because of a number of factors: gaps in education; non-comprehensive textbooks; use of weak, non-effective test preparation products; not being able to recognize quality test items; and not understanding the purpose of testing.
The ideal test preparation product needs to include the following:
- Rationales for items that candidates answered incorrectly
- Judgments regarding pass/fail must be based on calibrated items rather than being arbitrary
- Test plans (how test questions are presented) in the products must be useful to those who purchase the product
- There is no “summative” outcome; the purchaser must know the meaning of their outcome score
- The items or test questions must be written by an EMS education expert who possesses the expertise of item development
- The test preparation product contains a proper mix of easy, moderate and difficult test questions
- The test product must teach how to become “test wise”, or how to successfully take a test
- Provide instruction on test items, scores, and methods for improving the candidate’s knowledge
- The test product must be comprehensive by covering all of the points of knowledge necessary to be an EMT
EMT PASS and AEMT PASS are electronic applications that not only provide the above qualities, but also assess candidates’ current knowledge, allow them to learn via mistakes in a practice environment rather than when taking the actual National Registry exam, improve their test-taking skills, and obtain a meaningful practice score that ultimately results in passing the NREMT exam.
Bill knows that no one can produce a test equal to the NREMT; no team can produce a test equal to the NREMT; no test preparation product developer has access to actual NREMT test questions.
Bill, via his interactions with other certification agencies, knows the quality of the NREMT test, its individual items, and the psychometrics used by the NREMT are better than almost any national certification in any career field.
He also knows the NREMT is a certification agency, not an educational institution. Therefore, Bill wanted to develop an application that can help resolve the gaps in test readiness. EMT PASS and AEMT PASS are products that address the needs of most applicants for National Registry testing.