Tips for Taking Exams

Certification examinations measure an individual's mastery of the body of knowledge appropriate for safety professionals. Most accrediting organizations use exclusively four option multiple-choice items in certification examinations because they:

  1. are flexible and adaptable.
  2. are more reliable than other formats
  3. can measure skills, knowledge and abilities (SKA's)
  4. provide good sampling
  5. have low chance scores
  6. can be machine scored

Multiple-choice items consist of three parts:

  1. Stem - The stem states the problem or question to be answered.
  2. Correct Answer - The correct answer is one of four potential options which represents the only correct response or the best correct response.
  3. Distractors - Three distractors serve as incorrect responses. They are plausible, yet wrong, or not the best possible option.

The following is an example of the parts of a multiple-choice item:

Stem: Which of the following is a hazardous physical condition?
Correct Answer: a. unguarded machine
Distractor: b. ignoring safety rules
Distractor: c. working while under the influence of alcohol
Distractor: d. failing to report a hazard

Items used on most certification examinations are developed by qualified safety professionals. The process of item development, item review and validation and examination review ensures that items are clear, grammatically correct and technically accurate.

Copyright ©2000-2015 Geigle Safety Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Federal copyright prohibits unauthorized reproduction by any means without permission. Students may reproduce materials for personal study. Disclaimer: This material is for training purposes only to inform the reader of occupational safety and health best practices and general compliance requirement and is not a substitute for provisions of the OSH Act of 1970 or any governmental regulatory agency. CertiSafety is a division of Geigle Safety Group, Inc., and is not connected or affiliated with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).