The CEBN examination development methodology is competency-based, an approach recommended for high stakes assessments such as testing graduates of health professional programs.
The CEBN is supported by several foundational activities such as a practice analysis survey, and a practice panel review of exam questions to ensure relevance and currency. In addition, the examination development process includes pilot testing and rigorous psychometric analyses of the results. There is a direct link between examination content and the day to day practice of a registered nurse in Canada. More details are provided below.
Reliability is supported in a number of ways. First, all CEBN items will be pilot tested to ensure that they have acceptable psychometric properties including item discrimination. Second, the examination forms contain a sufficient number of items to support internal reliability. Third, detailed test administration procedures, security guidelines, and test taking environments that meet international best practice standards guide the administration of the CEBN.
The CEBN is offered in both English and French. In line with Canadian standards for high stakes examinations, a linguistic adaptation methodology is used rather than a simple translation to ensure test equivalency and fairness.
To ensure fairness, and equivalent test taking conditions, detailed test administration procedures, security guidelines, and test taking environments that meet international best practice standards guide the implementation of the CEBN.
In addition, to enhance reliability, sampling includes a wide swath of the domain with a large sample of independent items and the selection of the Angoff method for the cut score.