Exam Scoring

Passing Scores

The methodology used to set the minimum passing score is the modified Angoff procedure. This universally accepted procedure employs the judgment of HMD subject matter experts from around the country as well as the assistance of professional psychometricians from PSI Candidate Services to estimate the passing probability of each item on the examination.

Scaled Scores

Because of the need for security, multiple versions (or forms) of the HMDCB examination are created, each containing a different combination of questions. Although much care is taken to assure that all forms of the examination are similar, the difficulty of the forms will vary slightly. Each exam form can be thought of as a fixed measure of knowledge; imagine a measuring stick with increments of knowledge level instead of inches or centimeters. Since two exam forms may vary slightly in difficulty, the space between the increments of knowledge level may also be slightly different.

In order to account for differences, raw scores are transformed to scaled scores. Raw scores are the number of questions answered correctly; the range of possible raw scores is from 0 to 150 on the HMDCB examination. Scaled scores for the HMDCB examination range from 0 to 200. A raw score on one form of the exam may not represent the same amount of knowledge as that same raw score on a different form. However, the same scaled score on two different forms will represent the same amount of knowledge. The scaled score required to pass will always be 100; however, the raw passing score may vary depending on the difficulty of the form. Easier forms will have a higher raw passing score and more difficult forms will have a lower raw passing score. Scaled scores are used to provide a consistent measurement, so that from one test administration to the next, the same scaled score represents the same level of ability or knowledge.

Examination Results and Notification

Approximately 7-8 weeks after the end of the testing window, candidates will receive a written score report from HMDCB detailing the examination results. Feedback on performance in the major competency areas tested will also be provided. This delay is necessary to allow the HMDCB Examination Committee and PSI time to ensure the valid and reliable scoring of the assessment. Neither HMDCB nor PSI will report scores by phone, email, or fax.

"The HMDCB certification program is an important avenue to establishing one's expertise in the administrative and clinical skillset demanded of a hospice medical director. It helps to affirm the importance of physicians providing end-of-life care within the larger palliative and medical continuum of care."

Suzanne Karefa-Johnson, MD HMDC
Physician, Hospice of the Comforter, Altamonte Springs, FL