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Exam Glossary

Glossary of Terms

Active Question Bank – The full list of all the active written exam questions or clinical exam stations that are available to use on an exam.

Angoff method – A method of standard-setting study based on the expected performance of candidates. A panel of experts estimates the probability that borderline (or minimally competent) candidates will answer each question or station correctly. In this method, the passing score is the sum of the probabilities of each question, expressed as a percentage.

Board of Examiners – A group of physiotherapists from across Canada that is responsible for setting passing scores for the exams.

Checklist Items – The activities, or components or activities that the examiners are watching for during stations on the Clinical Component. The examiners give credit for each checklist item that is done correctly.

Clinical Test Development Group (CTDG) – A group of physiotherapists from across Canada that is responsible for reviewing and approving stations for the Clinical Component.

Communication Ratings – The three standard ratings about communication skills on the ten-minute stations. These ratings are:

  • The candidate was concise and used language that was understandable to the client.
  • The candidate used nonverbal communication (gestures, body language and eye contact) effectively.
  • The candidate demonstrated appropriate listening skills.

Content domain – The entry-level tasks and activities performed by physiotherapists in Canada, as identified in the Practice Analysis and listed in the exam blueprint.

Credentialling Evaluation Letter – A letter sent to internationally-educated physiotherapists who have completed CAPR’s credentialling process.

Entry to practise – The point in an individual’s preparation and training at which s/he is ready for licensure for independent practice.

Exam consultants – Testing and measurement experts (psychometricians) hired by CAPR under contract to provide advice and support for the exam program.

Five-Minute (Couplet) Stations – Stations on the Clinical Component that have two parts, a five-minute clinical encounter followed by a five-minute written station.

Inferences – The conclusions that are made based on exam scores.

Cronbach alpha coefficient -A measure of the reliability of an exam.

Multiple-Choice Question (MCQ) – A type of exam question that has a stem (the question) and several answer options. One option is the best answer; the other options are called distractors. The PCE Written Component uses MCQs with four answer options. Many of the questions on the PCE are associated with a vignette (a scenario).

Number of Stations Criterion – The requirement that candidates must pass a defined number of stations to pass the exam. The Board of Examiners sets the number of stations required to pass.

Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) – A performance exam that uses stations with standardized clients, so that each exam candidate performs that same tasks and activities.

Passing Score – The minimum score required to pass an exam.

Pass Rates – The percentage of candidates who pass an exam.

Performance Ratings – The three standard ratings about performance skills on the Clinical Component stations. These ratings are:

  • The extent to which the candidate treated the client with dignity and respect.
  • The extent to which the candidate demonstrated an organized approach with the client.
  • The extent to which the candidate demonstrated appropriate techniques with the client.

Recognition is a method of assigning credits to (recognizing) the applicant’s previous education, experience and pre-learning. Remediation is a method of acquiring education in the area(s) of deficiency.

Psychometric – Pertaining to measurement and evaluation. Psychometrics is the study of educational and psychological measurement, including measurement of knowledge, skills and abilities and the construction and validation of measurement instruments (tests).

Question – One multiple-choice item in the Written Component or one station in the Clinical Component of the Physiotherapy Competency Exam.

Standard Error of Measurement (SEM) – A statistical term used to estimate of the amount of random error in the measurement process.

Standard Score – A score on a scale with a defined mean (average) and standard deviation. CAPR uses a standard score scale with a mean of 500 and a standard deviation of 100.

Station Score – The candidate’s score in one clinical station.

Ten-Minute Stations – Stations on the Clinical Component that are ten minutes long.

Total Score Criterion – The requirement that candidates achieve a defined score to pass the exam. The total score is calculated by averaging the candidate’s scores across all 16 stations.

Written Station Score – The component of the score for a five-minute station that is calculated for the written part of the station. The Written Station Score is 50% of the total score for that station.

Written Test Development Group (WTDG) – A group of physiotherapists from across Canada that is responsible for reviewing and approving questions for the Written Component.