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Examination SCORING

Although every state has a set passing score required for licensure, there is no set passing score for the ASWB examinations.

Because the actual items change from examination form to examination form, there is no way to establish a rigid passing score regardless of the version taken. Some administrations of the examinations will contain individual items that may be slightly harder or easier than other items on other administrations not by much, but by enough to make the establishment of one unalterable passing score impractical, and unfair.

To compensate for these variations, test administrations are equated, a psychometric process that accounts for the varying difficulties, and moves the passing score up or down accordingly. As a result, overall difficulties remain the same from test to test.

Once equated, the scores are provided to state boards as scaled scores. Scaled scores are basically raw scores (how many questions answered correctly) translated into the testing language of the particular licensing jurisdiction. If, for example, a state licensing law requires a score of at least 70 out of 100 in order to become licensed, the score on a 150 item test won't translate directly into that system, especially after it has been equated. Raw scores have to be adapted to the scaled scores system used by particular jurisdictions.