New PASC Exam Administration Format
The COVID-era has necessitated a lot of invention, and the Pediatric Audiology Specialty Certification (PASC) exam was no exception.
The PASC has historically been administered in-person each year at the AAA Annual Conference and Expo, impossible after AAA 2020 in New Orleans had to be cancelled in the interests of keeping us safe.
With 12 candidates waiting to complete the exam, the need for innovation and creativity was great. We are pleased to announce that the exam was successfully offered over a two-week window at 10 sites across the country—from Maine to California—in October.
Many thanks to the volunteer ABA proctors and hosts who made it possible! The next edition of Heard it Hear First! will congratulate the new PASC credential holders.
With this success and with AAA 2021 moving to a virtual meeting, the PASC exam will be offered in this format once again via a testing window in late April/early May 2021. The candidate handbook and online application can be found here.
Read more in this Audiology Today article (Nov/Dec 2019) where certificants discuss the importance of the PASC and their motivation for pursuing this credential.
The ABA Pediatric Audiology Specialty Certification® examination is designed to test a well-defined body of knowledge representative of professional practice in pediatric audiology. Successful completion of the certification examination verifies broad-based knowledge in the discipline being tested.
No examination or certification program can guarantee results of the quality of care provided by certificants. The certification examination tests only the individual's familiarity with the subject matter at the time of the administration of the examination.
The content of the PASC examination is defined by a national Practice Analysis study. The study involved surveying hundreds of pediatric audiology practitioners to identify tasks that are performed routinely and considered important to competent practice. The examination has been developed through a combined effort of qualified subject-matter experts (SMEs) and testing professionals who construct the examination in accordance with the PASC test blueprint derived from the Practice Analysis.
The PASC exam is administered as a paper and pencil exam and consists of 100 scored items plus 20 additional questions that are beta tested for future PASC examinations. The exam consists of single-answer multiple-choice items and multiple response items (also known as multiple true-false or "select all that apply"). All questions have four response options. Candidates will be permitted two and a half (2.5) hours to complete the exam.
There is only one correct answer for each multiple-choice test question and two or three correct answers for each multiple-response test question. All information needed to answer the question is presented to candidates and there are no "trick" questions. PASC exam questions are based on best practices and are supported by professional literature.
Exam Item Writers
Exam questions are written by PASC certificants who are subject matter experts, or SMEs. SMEs are current pediatric audiologists who work in a variety of clinical settings of varying size and complexity. SMEs receive special training to write test questions and then volunteer their time to develop them. These draft questions are then checked and revised by a second group of PASC certificant reviewers before being validated and ultimately added to the live question bank for pre-testing. These additional questions are being pre-tested for future use on certification exams. About 40 percent of draft test questions will eventually become questions found on the PASC exam, and each year approximately 25 to 30 percent of the exam's content is changed.
No two candidates come to the exam with the same knowledge base. Since experience and educational backgrounds are unique, these differences must be taken into consideration when determining a study method. The majority of individuals become involved in some form of exam preparation. Because the exams measure mastery of the application of the body of knowledge, it is impossible to train or teach to the exam. The best preparation is to understand the knowledge requirements (Test Content Outline) and their application to pediatric audiology practice.
An audiologist who has met the eligibility requirements to sit for PASC should have the knowledge and experience needed to take and pass the examination. However, the ABA does recommend that you review the content areas covered on the exam by using the Test Content Outline. You might want to review the Test Content Outline for topics or subtopics with which you are less familiar. If you find a particular area with which you are not familiar or comfortable, that would be an area on which to focus your study or review. Or, you may want to do a surface review of all the content areas, even those you believe you know well.
Tips for Exam
- Review the Test Content Outline against what your own personal, professional experience has been
- Once you have identified areas for review, select and read a publication off of the Resource Reading List that addresses the areas you have identified
- Form an informal study group with other colleagues in the area who are planning to take the examination. You can benefit from the diverse experience of others and provide an alternate perspective.
- Review materials independently, determining for yourself on which content areas to focus
- Participate in more structured review environments, perhaps with individuals who are already certified in pediatric audiology.
While there is not one "best way" to study, what is important is to develop your own plan for studying. Set aside some time each week for several weeks, or months, prior to the exam to devote to some form of preparation.
What is most important is that this type of review cannot be left until the last minute. A hasty, tense reading of a wealth of information will not be effective.
The exam content is described by content area and the number of scored items on the test in each area.
Sample Exam Questions
Following are sample questions in the same style and similar content as on the examination. Use the sample questions to verify your understanding of the topics in the examination. Answers are provided below.
To prepare for your PASC exam, you will want to review some resource materials and other references.
The publications on the Resource Reading List, or books of similar content, are all widely available and provide information on current, commonly accepted pediatric audiology practice. These references have been identified as being the most comprehensive and most closely related to information covered on the examination.
It is not intended that each candidate read every publication on the resource list. The list is provided as a guide, and the books and articles listed are used by item writers and reviewers during item development for this examination. However, reading any or all of the publications on this list, cover to cover, does not guarantee you will do well on the exam.
Although each exam item is drawn from facts that can be substantiated by professional texts, the exam is not an assessment of your knowledge of literature. Additionally, there is no single reference, or small group of references, that are associated with most of the questions on any given exam form.
The references listed below are intended as study aids only and may prove helpful in the review of the subject matter areas included on the PASC examination. The ABA does not intend the list to be exhaustive or to imply endorsement of these specific references, nor are the examination questions necessarily taken from these sources.
- AAA Clinical Practice Guidelines: Childhood Hearing Screening
- AAA Clinical Practice Guidelines: Diagnosis, Treatment and Management of Children and Adults with Central Auditory Processing Disorder
- AAA Clinical Practice Guidelines: Remote Microphone Hearing Assistance Technologies for Children and Youth from Birth to 21 Years
- AAA Position Statement and Clinical Practice Guidelines: Ototoxicity Monitoring
- AAA Practice Guidelines for Assessment of Hearing in Infants and Young Children
- Assessing Listening and Spoken Language in Children with Hearing Loss
- Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD) Guidelines
- Comprehensive Handbook of Pediatric Audiology
- Counseling in Audiologic Practice: Helping Patients and Families Adjust to Hearing Loss
- Counseling Persons with Communication Disorders and Their Families (6th ed)
- eHandbook of Auditory Evoked Responses: Principles, Procedures & Protocols
- Hearing in Children (6th Edition)
- Infection Control in Audiology
- JCIH 2019 Position Statement
- The NCHAM Book: A Resource Guide for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EDHI)
- Relationship Between Transducer Type and Low-Frequency Hearing Loss for Patients with Ventilation Tubes
The date(s) of the next exam administration have not been set. Please check back periodically for updates.