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The Board of Certification (BOC) examination is designed to determine if an individual possesses the knowledge and skills necessary to perform tasks critical to safely and competently practice as an athletic trainer. This examination assesses a candidate’s knowledge in the five domains of athletic training as defined by the current BOC Practice Analysis. As stated in earlier chapters, the Practice Analysis delineates into domains and tasks the knowledge and skills of athletic trainers. The BOC examination question types, mode of examination content delivery, and question content have changed over the years. Historically, the BOC examination was a three-section pen-and-paper test consisting of a multiple-choice section, a written simulation section, and a practical examination section. However, in June 2007, the BOC began administering this test in the completely computerized, integrated examination format used today. The current BOC examination consists of a combination of 175 scored and unscored (experimental) test questions. These questions include stand-alone multiple-choice questions, stand-alone alternative items, and focused testlets. You are allowed 4 hours to complete your examination, and you can navigate forward and backward through all the examination questions.

Development and construction of an important credentialing examination such as the BOC examination is complex. However, understanding this complex process may assist you in preparing for and successfully completing this examination. As such, details of examination question development and scoring, information on navigating the examination’s testing platform, and the question types used in the examination are discussed in this chapter.


Practice Analysis

The Practice Analysis serves as a job description of a certified athletic trainer by defining the current knowledge, skills, and abilities required for practicing athletic trainers. For the BOC examination, the Practice Analysis is an integral part of ensuring that the certification examination is valid. To be judged valid, an examination must relate to specific measurable objectives. In college, you are given examinations to determine if you are proficient in the objectives of a course. Likewise, the BOC examination is administered to determine whether you show proficiency in the content of the Practice Analysis. Therefore, the BOC certification examination protects the public by ensuring that only competent practitioners who have met specific criteria relevant to the practice of athletic training become certified.

Each question in the BOC certification examination is based on the most current Practice Analysis. Questions are developed to assess the candidate’s knowledge on subject matter from each of the five athletic training domains within the study. The 175 examination questions are distributed by domain according to predetermined percentages, as detailed in Table 3-1.

TABLE 3-1.Percentage of Questions in Each Domain

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