This article discusses a large variety of commonly asked questions regarding the National Consortium for Health Science Education (NCHSE) and their National Health Science Assessment (NHSA) powered by Precision Exams.
What is the NCHSE Health Science Assessment?
- The National Health Science Assessment is a knowledge-based exam designed to evaluate the extent of the candidate’s knowledge of the National Health Science Standards and Objectives.
Is there a sample exam?
- Yes, there are two versions of a 32-question sample exam. You can find a PDF version of the sample exam and associated answer key under the Support & Training tab on the Precision Exam NHSA link.
- You can also access a fully functional online version of the sample exam once you are registered and authenticated as a proctor in the Precision Exam system.
Is there a pre- (benchmark) and post-assessment available?
- Yes* Precision Exams provides a standard report that measures student growth between the Pre and Post NHSA exams.
*Must adhere to local and state regulations
Who can proctor the exam?
- Unlike other exams offered by Precision Exams, the National Health Science Assessment may NOT be proctored by a health science teacher/instructor or any individual that has a direct vested interest in the candidates/students’ scores on the assessment
What is the cost of the assessment per student?
- $12.00 per assessment for NCHSE member states
- $15.00 per assessment for NCHSE non-member states
How often is the assessment reviewed?
- It is reviewed annually.
What is the NHSA pass score?
- The passing score for the National Health Science Assessment is currently 70 percent. However, the life-cycle for each assessment differs depending upon several factors including the number of assessment forms, exam volume, exposure, and item rotations. For these and other reasons, passing scores are subject to change without notice.
How is the exam scored?
- The total possible points for the NHSA is 110 points.
- The passing percentage is 70%. Therefore the students must answer 77 of the 110 points correctly.
- Please reference the following information on the NCHSE website:
The National Health Science Assessment is remaining current with testing standards that require critical thinking and problem-solving. These differentiated exam items may provide partial credit points or are worth more than one point per question. Thus the 2019 National Health Science Assessment update has resulted in a revised exam blueprint of 105 exam items with a total point value of 110 points. Careful attention must be paid to a students exam 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.
Is the exam timed?
- The exam is not constructed as a timed exam. For administration reason, the exam is set to time out after 90 minutes. Over 98 percent of candidates finish within the allotted time. Time accommodations are made for students with a documented IEP or 504.
What if a student needs more time to finish the exam?
- All exams are on a 90-minute timer. If a student cannot finish the exam and needs more time, please call Precision Exams Customer Support (800‐470‐1215), and we can add more time to the student’s timer. However, students must finish the exam in one sitting. They are not allowed to leave the exam and re‐enter it at a later date. We do make accommodations for students with an IEP or 504, they may have as much time as needed and can take the exam over multiple days if necessary.
What is the policy on “retakes”?
- Students are allowed to retake the post-assessment as needed and will be charged at the same fee as the initial assessment. The policy for assessment retakes is determined by each state and not by NCHSE.
- Precision Exams Standard Retake Policy:
- 1st retake: 1-day waiting period
- 2nd retake: 3-day waiting period
- 3rd retake: 7-day waiting period
- Precision Exams Standard Retake Policy:
Are students allowed to use a calculator during the assessment?
- Students may use calculators that are provided by the proctor administering the assessment. Students are not to use personal calculators or cell phones.
Additional information may be found by reviewing the article: National Health Science Assessment (NHSA) - Getting Started & Exam Troubleshooting