March 2008

For certification examinations, the time allotted for computer based tests varies due to the number of items and item complexity.  Although the time to take the exam varies among candidates, there is no identifiable pattern of candidates' who pass and those that fail in relation to the amount of time used.

Phil Higgins
Coordinator, Computer Based Testing

Time Usage and Candidate Outcomes on Multiple Choice Examinations

With the use of computer based testing, it is possible to keep a very accurate record of the amount of time used by candidates and their pass or fail outcomes.  These are certification examinations designed to measure candidate ability in a specific area of practice using specific content guidelines.  The table shows that passing or failing the examination does not depend on the amount of time a candidate uses to complete the examination.  Some candidates complete the test rapidly and pass, while others fail. Some candidates review until time runs out and still fail. These certification examinations are not meant to be speeded tests.  The actual amount of time it takes for a candidate to complete the test depends on his/her ability and work patterns.

Multiple Choice

Total testing time  - hours

Number of Items (time per item)

Min time used

Max time used

Mean time used


Percent Fail

Exam 1



(1.2 per)

2 hrs.

19 min.

4 hrs.

3 hrs.

49 min.



Exam 2



(1.2 per)

2 hrs.

3 min.

6 hrs.

4 hrs.

32 min.



Exam 3



(1.5 per)

2 hrs.

39 min.

7 hrs.

5 hrs.

27 min.



Exam 4



(1.2 per)

55 min.

3 hrs.

2 hrs

24 min.



Exam 5



(1.2 per)

1 hr.

28 min.


2 hrs.

48 min.



Time Allocation for Oral Examinations

Monitoring time usage for oral examinations is more difficult.  Time usage depends upon the examiner's ability to allocate time so that all of the pertinent cases and clinical tasks are covered.  These oral examinations are for certification.  Standardized cases provide the content for the examination, and within each case are clinical tasks on which the candidate is rated.  The number and type of tasks graded within each case depends on the field of practice.  The table shows how several oral examinations allocate time for each case, and the total oral examination. There is substantial variance among exams; however, examiners are trained to cover the pertinent tasks within the time allotted, so that there is complete data for all candidates.  The depth of the examiner discussion with the candidate undoubtedly relates to the time allotted.


Oral Exam

Total Exam Time

Time per case

Number of cases per candidate

Number of tasks tested in each case

Exam A

3 hours

30 minutes



Exam B

2 hours

20 minutes



Exam C

1.5 hours

30 minutes



Exam D

2 hours

12 minutes



Exam E 

1.3 hours

7 minutes




Measurement Research Associates, Inc.
505 North Lake Shore Dr., Suite 1304
Chicago, IL  60611
Phone: (312) 822-9648     Fax: (312) 822-9650

Rasch-Related Resources: Rasch Measurement YouTube Channel
Rasch Measurement Transactions & Rasch Measurement research papers - free An Introduction to the Rasch Model with Examples in R (eRm, etc.), Debelak, Strobl, Zeigenfuse Rasch Measurement Theory Analysis in R, Wind, Hua Applying the Rasch Model in Social Sciences Using R, Lamprianou Journal of Applied Measurement
Rasch Models: Foundations, Recent Developments, and Applications, Fischer & Molenaar Probabilistic Models for Some Intelligence and Attainment Tests, Georg Rasch Rasch Models for Measurement, David Andrich Constructing Measures, Mark Wilson Best Test Design - free, Wright & Stone
Rating Scale Analysis - free, Wright & Masters
Virtual Standard Setting: Setting Cut Scores, Charalambos Kollias Diseño de Mejores Pruebas - free, Spanish Best Test Design A Course in Rasch Measurement Theory, Andrich, Marais Rasch Models in Health, Christensen, Kreiner, Mesba Multivariate and Mixture Distribution Rasch Models, von Davier, Carstensen
Rasch Books and Publications: Winsteps and Facets
Applying the Rasch Model (Winsteps, Facets) 4th Ed., Bond, Yan, Heene Advances in Rasch Analyses in the Human Sciences (Winsteps, Facets) 1st Ed., Boone, Staver Advances in Applications of Rasch Measurement in Science Education, X. Liu & W. J. Boone Rasch Analysis in the Human Sciences (Winsteps) Boone, Staver, Yale Appliquer le modèle de Rasch: Défis et pistes de solution (Winsteps) E. Dionne, S. Béland
Introduction to Many-Facet Rasch Measurement (Facets), Thomas Eckes Rasch Models for Solving Measurement Problems (Facets), George Engelhard, Jr. & Jue Wang Statistical Analyses for Language Testers (Facets), Rita Green Invariant Measurement with Raters and Rating Scales: Rasch Models for Rater-Mediated Assessments (Facets), George Engelhard, Jr. & Stefanie Wind Aplicação do Modelo de Rasch (Português), de Bond, Trevor G., Fox, Christine M
Exploring Rating Scale Functioning for Survey Research (R, Facets), Stefanie Wind Rasch Measurement: Applications, Khine Winsteps Tutorials - free
Facets Tutorials - free
Many-Facet Rasch Measurement (Facets) - free, J.M. Linacre Fairness, Justice and Language Assessment (Winsteps, Facets), McNamara, Knoch, Fan

To be emailed about new material on
please enter your email address here:

I want to Subscribe: & click below
I want to Unsubscribe: & click below

Please set your SPAM filter to accept emails from welcomes your comments:
Please email inquiries about Rasch books to books \at/

Your email address (if you want us to reply):


FORUMRasch Measurement Forum to discuss any Rasch-related topic

Coming Rasch-related Events
Oct. 6 - Nov. 3, 2023, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Facets),
Oct. 12, 2023, Thursday 5 to 7 pm Colombian timeOn-line workshop: Deconstruyendo el concepto de validez y Discusiones sobre estimaciones de confiabilidad SICAPSI (J. Escobar, C.Pardo)
June 12 - 14, 2024, Wed.-Fri. 1st Scandinavian Applied Measurement Conference, Kristianstad University, Kristianstad, Sweden
Aug. 9 - Sept. 6, 2024, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Many-Facet Rasch Measurement (E. Smith, Facets),