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Frequently Asked Questions

Examination FAQ
How do I interpret the overall scale score on the Dr.TCM Candidate Performance Profile?

Scale scores are not percent correct scores and cannot be interpreted as a percentage. Scale scores are converted from a raw exam score. A one point change in the raw score can result in more than a one point change in the scale score. The scale score ranges from 100 to 700.

How do I prepare for my next attempt on the Dr.TCM examination(s) based on information provided in the Candidate Performance Profile?

You can use this information as an aid in self-assessment to help you focus your preparation and develop a comprehensive study plan for retaking the examination. Preparation for all examination sections is important to ensure that one does not improve some areas and inadvertently lower others. One can consult the Entry-level Occupational Competency document for more detailed information of all competencies expected of entry-level practitioners in each Practice Area. It is intentional not giving out specific examination content information.

How do I interpret the information on the Dr. TCM Candidate Performance Profile?

The Candidate Performance Profile is provided only to failing candidates. This document provides your overall result compared to a passing score of 450. A candidate needs to achieve an overall passing score of 450 in the scale score range from 100 to 700.

The Candidate Performance Profile also provides you with descriptive information how you performed by Practice Area compared to a minimum standard. This information is provided to illustrate your relative strengths and weaknesses on the examination by Practice Area. The performance comparisons of Not Yet Acceptable Performance and Acceptable Performance are provided as a general indicator of performance by practice area. You do not need to pass every section of the examination to pass the examination, as it is your total score that determines whether you pass or fail.

Is the Dr.TCM Exam a criterion referenced exam or norm referenced exam?

The Doctor of TCM Clinical Examination is criterion-referenced and not norm-referenced. Specifically, the scores and the pass/fail points are NOT set by “grading on a curve.” Expert educators and practitioners establish the criteria. The passing standard is maintained across administrations through a standard setting process which help control for subtle differences in the difficulty of items that appear on the different exam versions.

Does the candidate have an opportunity to make comments about the examination?

Yes, at the end of all examinations, candidates are invited to complete a survey which includes the opportunity to provide comments.

Can a candidate discuss the question items with their teachers and other students?

No, a candidate cannot discuss or communicate any information about the content of the examination to others, either immediately following the examination or at any time later. Communicating examination question items is considered a form of cheating and is dealt with accordingly.

How many questions does the acupuncturists and TCM herbalists written examination have?

Please refer to the Examination Blueprint under the examination resources section for more information.

What examination can I apply for if I have a 5 Year TCM Bachelor Degree?

In general, the Education and Examination Committee will consider an applicant to the Pan-Canadian Examination with a 5-year TCM Bachelor degree as meeting the requirements of 2 years of undergraduate education as per CTCMA Bylaws s. 48.1(a.1) and 3 years study in TCM acupuncture or herbology education depending on the program focus. Please refer to the Policy on Equivalency of 5-Year TCM Degree Program for further details.

On what basis does the College base examination policy on?

Development procedures, administration, and the analysis and reporting of results follow best test practices as established by the other health regulatory organizations and professional regulatory bodies.

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