Pass/Fail Standard

Exam Details

CVPM Examination Composition, Scoring and Reporting

The guiding principle in constructing the CVPM examination is job relevance – the content of the test is linked through systematic means to a well-defined representation of the profession. A content validity approach to test construction is used. The first step in the process is the practice analysis, which defines the relevant performance dimensions of the occupation. The VHMA regularly conducts practice analysis studies to identify the specific responsibilities required of veterinary practice management professionals and the skills and knowledge needed to perform these responsibilities (get the current CVPM Job Task Analysis Outline from the CVPM Documents and Resources page).

The test blueprint is developed from the practice analysis and forms the template for the examination (get the current CVPM Test Blueprint from the CVPM Documents and Resources page). Item writers are selected and trained. Item writers produce items following the guidelines and content assignments specified by training and the test blueprint. The items are then submitted for review. Accepted items are entered into the item database for use. Statistical analyses are conducted on each item and examination to determine the reliability and psychometric properties of the examination. 

Exam Breakdown

The examination is composed of true-false and multiple-choice questions about relevant management knowledge in Human Resources, Law and Ethics, Marketing, Organization of the Practice, and Finance. The majority of the questions are traditional knowledge-based multiple-choice questions; some will be scenario-based multiple-choice questions. For the scenario-based questions, the question stem will contain a scene or setting along with several possible behavioral responses to the situation.

The total number of questions on each examination may vary, but the maximum number of points on any examination will be two hundred (200). Some questions will be worth one (1) point each while others like scenario-based questions may be worth up to two (2) points each. Candidates are given three and one-half (3 1/2) hours to complete the examination.

Passing Standard

The Modified Angoff Rating Method is used to develop the pass point for each examination; the most widely accepted scientific method for determining a pass point. Simplified, when a test question is added to the examination database it is reviewed and rated by a Panel of Subject Matter Experts and given an individual difficulty rating.

When test questions are compiled to form the examination, (based on the test blueprint which identifies how many questions for each domain are on the examination), the examination pass point is determined from the individual difficulty ratings for the questions selected for that specific examination.

Depending on the composition of examination items, the pass point may fluctuate up or down a few points with each examination. Using this methodology there is no curve, and candidates do not compete against each other. There is no limit on the number of candidates who may pass or fail the test.

At the conclusion of the examination, process candidates will be provided with immediate notice of their score and status. The results will be displayed indicating pass or fail. A diagnostic report for each of the domain areas will also be provided. The diagnostic report will identify how many points were available per domain and how many points the candidate received per domain. A copy of this detail will also be emailed to the candidate immediately following the examination. We do not share specific test items or tell candidates which questions specifically they scored incorrectly on.

Administration of the Examination

The electronic examination is administered through High-stake Online Secure Testing (HOST) Locations throughout North America.

If at any time your examination is interrupted during the testing process please know that your data is not lost - the test platform redundantly saves your answers and location in the process throughout the testing period. If you are able to re-access the examination while you remain at the test center and no security breach is made, you will be allowed to continue the test form you started. If for any reason you leave the test center, upon your return you will be required to start the examination process over with a new test form. Please be assured that the test center proctors will be available to assist throughout the process.

CVPM Re-examination

Once approved, the candidates's application is active for two (2) years from the date of acceptance. Candidates have two (2) years to earn the CVPM certification before their application expires. Candidates that do not earn certification prior to their application's expiration must apply again to continue to take the examination.

If a candidate takes the examination but fails to earn a passing score they can re-take the examination. The candidate can only take the examination once per administration (currently quarterly). There is no limit on the number of times a candidate may take the examination within the two-year window (the active period of their application). A re-examination fee of $575 for VHMA members and $725 for non-members is required each time a candidate retakes the examination.

This policy provides candidates who fail the opportunity to engage in developmental activities to increase their proficiency and demonstrate mastery of the material. The objective of a criterion-referenced examination such as the CVPM is to certify that a person has mastered a specific topic(s), is proficient in a specific area, or has the knowledge and skill to practice safely and effectively. The goal is not to limit the number of proficient professionals, but to certify people as proficient. The retake policy provides opportunity for learning and development between occasions and also recognizes that situational factors may affect test performance on any single occasion and thus provides multiple opportunities to demonstrate mastery.