Members of the NCHSE Executive Council recently met at the offices of Precision Exams in Lehi, Utah, to work with the PE team on the review and validation of the National Health Science Assessment (NHSA) as well as the review of the fifteen supporting end of course exams. Careful attention was paid to ensuring that all NHSA test items were valid and directly connected to the eleven National Health Science Standards. Assessment content identifies the number of items constructed for each standard competency and the cognitive level test items it is going to address. Questions require simple recall as well as the integration of information from several sources, interpretation of pictorial material, prioritization of alternatives, and utilization of critical judgment in reaching a correct conclusion. Therefore, in addition to the National Health Science Assessment’s multiple choice questions, students will answer question types that provide more ways to present and process information. Students should be prepared to answer enhanced questions that might appear in the following formats:

• Multiple choice
• Labeling
• Matching
• Sequencing/Ordering

These enhanced questions may involve using the cursor to drag and drop and/or choosing an answer by visual picture depiction, etc. By delivering the test item content in multiple formats, the National Health Science Assessment is remaining current with testing standards that require critical thinking and problem solving. These differentiated test items provide partial credit points or are worth more than one point per question. Thus the 2019 National Health Science Assessment validation has resulted in a revised test blue print of 105 test items with a total point value of 110 points. Careful attention must be paid to a student’s test results, (i.e. a total score of 70 does not grant a passing score out of 110 possible points) to alleviate misinterpretation of a student being granted a National Health Science Assessment Certificate of Proficiency.

All newly revised 2019 NHSA Blueprint changes by standard are highlighted in red and can be found here: NHSA Blueprint. All assessment content is aligned to the National Health Science Standards.