NBME Conducts Standard-Setting for New Health Coach Exam

January 2017

On December 18th, GRS Academy Health Coach learners sat for the first-ever health coach examination by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME).

Because this was the first time anyone had taken the exam (known as the Professional Examination for Health Coach, PEHC), the NBME recently conducted what is known as a “Standard-Setting Study,” to determine what should constitute a passing score. The study involved a one-day meeting at which a panel of NBME experts and Academy representatives (including several of the Academy’s highest-performing learners) reviewed the exam and learners’ scores, and ultimately agree upon the appropriate level for a passing score.

Of the 150 questions on the original test, ten questions were eliminated as misleading or inaccurate. Preliminary exam results of the remaining questions revealed a normal distribution of the scores—indicating excellent alignment between the course and the exam. The panel assessed each remaining question for ‘Relevance’ to the Health Coach professional in China and ‘Difficulty of the Item for the Borderline Candidate’. Through this process, the passing threshold was determined, so that learner scores could be calculated. Learners are expected to receive their results by next month.