How to Best Use DRTs for National Certification Success!
Thank you for choosing Barkley & Associates to assess readiness for your national certification exam! Please take a minute to carefully read this information. Make sure to refer to it again in the future to maximize the use of our Diagnostic Readiness Tests (DRTs).
For NP students, Barkley & Associates’ DRTs are designed with several goals in mind. These include:
- Assessing your mastery of concepts within a nurse practitioner specialty (e.g., FNP, AGPCNP, PNP-PC, AGACNP, PMHNP, WHNP, and ENP)
- Identifying your specific strengths within the curriculum
- Pinpointing subject areas that warrant further review and remediation
- Introducing you to the quality and rigor of Barkley & Associates’ work
No matter if you take a DRT at the beginning of the last semester, or as a study tool when you truly begin focusing on national certification, be prepared for a challenging test. It’s important to remember that DRTs are meant to test a student’s readiness to take and successfully pass national certification at a particular point in time.
The grading scale of our DRTs is set toward the concept of Mastery Learning. Because of the extensive pilot testing of each item, along with the tight psychometric properties of each test, achieving ≥ 80%, not only on your total test percentage score but within every subject area, is strongly correlated with mastery of the material.
I’ve heard that people can pass national certification by sometimes scoring less than 80% on the DRT.
TRUE. However, please consider statistics. If a student initially scored 52% on a DRT and after much study and remediation (with a quiz partner) is now scoring in the 70-80% range, things are looking very positive toward national certification success.
Based on statistical analyses from thousands of students, that’s just how predictable our DRTs are.
How to Best Plan to Take a DRT:
The 100-item best-answer multiple-choice DRT is designed to be administered with a 100-minute testing period, followed by a 45-minute review session. The 45-minute review session includes a comprehensive analysis of incorrect answers and detailed rationales for remediation.
Plan for a quiet, uninterrupted block of at least 2 ½ hours to give the exam your undivided attention and adequate time for remediation.
What to Note in Your Score Report:
There is a wealth of information available in your score report to assist you with future study! The detailed score report provides your overall percentage score and a breakdown of subject areas and domains of knowledge based on current national averages.
DRT Rating Scale
≥ 80 = Strong performance; indicates mastery of material
70-79 = Fair performance; needs improvement/remediation
60-69 = Unsatisfactory performance; needs focused remediation
≤ 59 = Extremely deficient performance; needs much remediation
It is most important to consider national data when interpreting DRTs. While these exams were conceptually constructed to assess “mastery” of knowledge at 80%, a more diligent look at national data gives you an idea of how you perform compared to others around the country. Both total average score and sub-scores of each topical category should be analyzed.
Not surprisingly, many initial scores on DRTs usually do not meet the 80% mark. There are numerous extraneous variables that come into play, some more obvious than others.
The most common extraneous variables affecting test scores on DRTs include the amount of preparation, the selected test setting, and the point at which the test was taken in your course of study.
Most students take a DRT with no preparation, and some may choose to take a DRT before completing a course of study. Thus, while test results are valuable at this point for future remediation, it is again important to remember that these exams measure performance at a certain place in time in your studies.
As you transition from graduation toward your national certification exam, priorities shift, and adequate review and preparation become the primary focus. Such is seen in the test results of subsequent DRTs taken by students after graduation and for many, after attending a national certification review/clinical update course.
Over the years of administering these tests to thousands of students in hundreds of programs across the nation, Barkley & Associates has acquired both statistical data and much anecdotal evidence that remediation based off our DRTs leads to improved student performance on national certification exams.
Evidence from these years of score reports strongly supports that there is a direct correlation in students’ final DRT scores and passing national certification exams. Data gathered on the thousands of students who purchase additional DRTs and attend a live or online certification review/clinical update course each year confirm that the closer one scores to the 80% mark, the much stronger one’s likelihood of successfully passing national certification.
Thank you for choosing our company for your certification review/clinical update needs. We wish you the very best in your studies and new career!