ACA Exam results are in

The results are apparently in the mail for the 2010 archival certification examination, as sponsored by the Academy of Certified Archivists

I received mine with the day’s mail at work today.  My overall score was 82%.  The passing score this year was 65%.  As I understand, the Academy will throw out those questions that everyone misses, which is what lowers the minimum passing score from 70% down to 65% this year.  In one previous year, the minimum passing score was 67%.

UPDATE, 8 Nov. 2010 : I stand corrected.  Contrary to my statement above, there is this note by Mary Elizabeth Ruwell in the latest [Fall 2010] ACA Newsletter :

Congratulations to all archivists who passed the exam this year! The average score on the exam was 72.89. The passing score was 65%. There seems to be some misunderstanding about how the exam is scored. ACA does not discard questions that everyone misses which then somehow affects the passing score.  The Exam Development Committee is guided by Dr. Holly Traver, Professor in the Cognitive Science Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, who ensures the reliability and validity of the certification examination. Before the 2010 exam was given, a survey of ten certified archivists was made to rate each item on the exam in terms of the likelihood that the least-competent test taker would get the test item correct (the Angoff Procedure) and this information is used to set the cut score on the exam. Dr. Traver receives all the exams and electronically scores them.  She conducts item analyses to assess reliability.  Each item is scored in terms of its difficulty, which is the percentage of test takers who got the item correct.  There is also a discriminability index, which is a bi-serial correlation between responding correctly to the item and one’s total test score.  Only then does Dr. Traver generate a report of the exam results and provide individual scores.
[Issue 71, page 3]

The notification letter also provide a breakdown of score by domain.  My best performance was in Domain 2 – Arrangement and Description, and my weakest area was in Domain 4 – Preservation & Protection.

One thought on how the Academy might make the scoring feedback more effective:
Provide some insight into how the rest of the testing population performed in each of the domain categories.  If I scored 93% in Domain 2, how did that score compare with the rest of those taking the test?

Regardless, I’m very pleased.

Now, what’s next?

P.S.  Be sure to check out the Facebook page that Tim Mottaz has set up for those studying for the next ACA exam:
Aspiring Certified Archivists–Study Group for Future ACA Exams

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About wsparkman

Director of the PCA Historical Center, St. Louis, Missouri.
This entry was posted in ACA Exam, Academy of Certified Archivists and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to ACA Exam results are in

  1. Mary Elizabeth Ruwell says:

    Hi
    Congratulations on passing the ACA certification exam!
    As Regent for Exam Development for ACA, I just thought I would explain about the scoring. The Exam Development Committee is guided by Dr. Holly Traver, Professor in the Cognitive Science Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. She ensures the reliability and validity of the certification examination. She has surveyed the questions from each domain on the exam to ensure that the content of the exam material matches the requirements of the job of an archivist. Before the 2010 exam was given, she made another survey of ten certified archivists to rate each item on the exam in terms of the likelihood that the least-competent test taker would get the test item correct (the Angoff Procedure) and this information is used to set the cut score on the exam. Dr. Traver receives all the exams and electronically scores them. She conducts item analyses to assess reliability. Each item is scored in terms of its difficulty, which is the percentage of test takers who got the item correct. There is also a discriminability index, which is a bi-serial correlation between responding correctly to the item and one’s total test score. Only then does Dr. Traver generate a report of the exam results and provide individual scores. I will check with her to see if we can add your question about the scoring feedback to our ACA results.

  2. wsparkman says:

    Ms. Ruwell:

    Thank you for that insight. I trust that nothing I said seemed to reflect negatively on the construction of the test. I recognize that it is quite professionally administered. In terms of feedback and the opportunity to learn from comparison, it does seem like it would be helpful to have a comparative column, showing a cumulative average score in each domain.

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