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The Board of Certification (BOC) examination is designed to assess a candidate's knowledge in the six domains of athletic training as defined by the current Role Delineation Study. Historically, this exam has been a three-section pen-and-paper test consisting of a multiple-choice section, a written simulation section, and a practical examination section. In June 2007, the BOC began administering the test as a completely computerized, integrated examination. Initially, the computer examination was in two parts, lasted 4 hours, and was composed of a multiple-choice section and a hybrid questions section consisting of four problem-based scenarios with numerous multimedia questions. Beginning with the July/August 2009 window, Part I was composed of a minimum of 125 multiple-choice questions, 15 unscored multiple-choice questions, 5 stand-alone "alternative" items, and 2 five-item focused testlets; Part II was composed of four hybrid problems. In February 2010 the BOC announced the construction of the examination was again changing. This new examination format contains a combination of 175 scored and unscored (experimental) items. The items include multiple-choice questions, stand-alone alternative-item types, and focused testlets consisting of alternative item types.

Development and construction of an important credentialing exam, such as the BOC, is complex. Understanding this complex process may assist you in preparing for and successfully completing this exam. Therefore, details of the exam's content and information regarding its construction are discussed in this chapter.


When you arrive at the test site and complete the required paperwork, you will input your log-in information to access the exam. You will be presented with an entry screen. The exam contains 175 scored and unscored (experimental) questions. You will not know which questions are scored and which are experimental. The questions are:

  • Multiple-choice items

  • Stand-alone "alternative" items

    • Those using newer item types (drag and drop, text-based simulation, multi-select, hot spot)

  • Focused testlets

    • A five-item testlet consists of a scenario followed by five key/critical questions relating to that scenario.

    • The questions can include any previously described item type

When you begin your examination, you can select to view a demonstration or you can skip the demonstration and directly enter into the first examination section.

Navigating the Testing Platform

The test questions are on a platform screen that has a series of buttons along the top (Fig. 3-1). The exact layout of these buttons may differ slightly depending on the screen resolution, browser, or operating system of the computer you are using (Box 3-1).


Test screen navigation buttons.

(Reprinted with permission from the Board of Certification, Inc. All rights reserved.)

BOX 3-1 Overview of Button Functions for Testing Screen

  • Navigation arrows: Allow you to move between the questions.

  • Go-To Button: Allows you to move to ...

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