Thursday, September 17, 2009
Writing Exam Questions for the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Exam
I just spent the larger part of a day writing 15 questions for the Federation of State Massage Therapy Board's licensing exam (the MBLEx). Perhaps I should back up a bit. Back in the spring, I submitted an application to be a question writer for the MBLEx. I was (and am) a big supporter of the exam. From everything I could tell looking in from the outside, it was offering a very fair, consistent and well written test of how well prepared a massage therapist was to enter the profession. The test was fairly new, but our graduates were giving great feedback about it and I liked the way the FSMTB was comporting itself (to use a $5 word!).
So when I heard they were looking for content experts to write exam questions, I submitted my application right away. The application process included providing credentials, references, and a personal statement about why I wanted to be involved. I got chosen to participate and I'm really happy about it.
I signed a non-disclosure, confidentiality agreement. I got trained in the procedures. And then today I sat down to get started writing questions.
I have a new and HUGE respect for all the work that goes into this exam now! My submissions are, as required by FSMTB, researched and documented, and worded in a way that is hopefully clear and meets testing protocols.
The next step for my questions is to go to committee where I understand they will get extensively edited and rewritten. Then to more review before finally making it to what I can best describe as market testing. After much review and re-working, they will potentially be part of the MBLEx.
I'm completely impressed by this organization and delighted to be serving the cause of improving the licensing process for our profession. Even if I'm a little brain dead! Next time I'll know not to tackle 15 questions in one day.