Inside the Lab

Ep25: The Making of a BOC Exam

July 06, 2021 American Society for Clinical Pathology
Inside the Lab
Ep25: The Making of a BOC Exam
Show Notes

The ASCP Board of Certification (BOC) is the gold standard of certification for pathologists and laboratory professionals. And while the committees who put together these exams don’t want candidates to fail, they DO want to ensure that the right people are caring for patients. With that standard in mind, how is a BOC exam put together? 

On this episode of Inside the Lab, our hosts Dr. Lotte Mulder and Ms. Pat Tanabe are joined by Ms. Kathleen Finnegan, MS, MT(ASCP)SHCM, retired Clinical Associate Professor and Program Director at the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences at Stony Brook University of New York and Member of the ASCP BOC Phlebotomy and MLA Committees, Ms. Karen A. Brown, MS, MASCP, MLS(ASCP)CM, Adjunct Professor at the University of Utah’s Department of Pathology, Medical Laboratory Sciences Division and Member of the ASCP BOC Research & Development Committee, and Mr. Walter Oliveira, MASCP, MLS(ASCP)CMSI, Medical Laboratory Manager at the University of Virginia Health System, Chair of the ASCP BOC MLA Certification Committee and Member of the BOC Flow Cytometry Specialty Exam Committee, to discuss the making of a BOC exam. 

Our panelists describe the duties and functions of each exam committee, walk us through the anatomy of an exam question, and weigh in on how questions are developed and maintained. Listen in for insight on the benefits of computer adaptive testing and how the practice analysis helps the BOC keep their certification exams fair and current. 

Topics Covered
· The importance of earning an ASCP BOC certification and its benefits in terms of job prospects and professional success
· The group within ASCP’s BOC that oversees exam preparation and how that group is organized
· The anatomy of an exam question and why the BOC prefers comprehension, application and analysis questions over recall questions
· How computer adaptive testing (CAT) works and its advantages 
· How the practice analysis ensures that BOC exams are fair, valid and legally defensible and how the data collected from practice analysis surveys informs the examinations
· The exhaustive standard-setting process the BOC uses to determine an exam’s pass-fail line 

Connect with ASCP
ASCP
ASCP on Twitter 

Connect with Ms. Finnegan
Ms. Finnegan at Stony Brook
Ms. Finnegan on LinkedIn 

Connect with Ms. Brown
Ms. Brown at the University of Utah
Ms. Brown on LinkedIn

Connect with Mr. Oliveira
Mr. Oliveira on Twitter
Mr. Oliveira on LinkedIn 

Connect with Dr. Mulder & Ms. Tanabe
Dr. Mulder on Twitter
Ms. Tanabe on LinkedIn 

Resources
ASCP Board of Certification
National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
Inside the Lab in the ASCP Store