The Standard: Simulation-Style Content Details

  • Multiple equivalent forms of the exam.
  • 10 simulations per exam.
  • Designed to distinguish between abilities in information gathering and in professional decision-making. 
  • Five to eight sections per simulation; sections combine to provide access to approximately seventy percent of competencies (omitting those best assessed through supervision)
  • Contextualized knowledge, skills and judgment are assessed; simulations require candidate to utilize competencies interdependently, not in isolation, and at the levels of application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation, not at the lower level of knowledge.

Structurally, each simulation has three components:

(1) A brief scenario of two or three sentences that provides a realistic setting and introductory client information (e.g., age, gender, presenting problem(s));

(2) An information gathering requirement in which the candidate must gather relevant information for working with the client (e.g., family background, status of physical health, previous counselling), and

(3) A decision making requirement in which the candidate must make therapeutic judgments or decisions.

  • Each response option in each simulation is given a weight based on the level of appropriateness for good client care. 
  • The points range from +3 to -3. 
  • The point value is calibrated based on the degree to which the client may be affected, with +3 being of central importance for good client care and -3 being gravely damaging to client care. 
  • Cut scores are determined for each simulation through consensus processes by experts from multiple therapeutic modalities on the test development team.