Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
about Certification

Updated 7/10/17

When is the next CSP exam? 

See table below.

What are the requirements to sit for the exam?
Your eligibility is dependent upon your level of education completed and number of hours of experience.  For example, most psychometrists have a 4-year college degree.  In such cases, the degree from a regionally accredited institution AND a minimum of 3000 hours of testing, scoring and associated administrative experience under the supervision of a licensed psychologist or neuropsychologist or equivalent is required.

Candidates who meet either of the following criteria are eligible to sit for 
the Certified Specialist in PsychometrySM examination

A Bachelors degree from a regionally accredited college or university and a minimum of 3000 hours of testing, scoring and associated administrative experience earned under the supervision of licensed psychologist or neuropsychologist or equivalent. 

-OR-

A Masters or Doctoral degree from a regionally accredited college or university with documented course work in a related field and a minimum of 2000 hours of testing, scoring and associated administrative experience earned under the supervision of licensed psychologist or neuropsychologist or equivalent.

A total of 2000 hours is equivalent to one-year of “full-time work experience.”  To qualify, work experience must include substantial time spent in testing, scoring and associated administrative activities performed under the supervision of a licensed psychologist or neuropsychologist or equivalent.  Periods of work that include significant time devoted to tasks unrelated to psychometry do not qualify.  The required hours of qualifying work experience may have been earned at any time during the five (5) year period immediately prior to the date of application.


Employers are accepting the CSP credential with a BA/BS degree in lieu of a MA degree when hiring psychometrists (see). 


Where will future exams be held?
Subscribe for exam updates at the bottom of this page.

Below are the possible future CSP exam dates - some are in conjunction with the following conferences (subject to change):

Registering for the CSP exam is separate from the NAP conference registration.

 2017  2018  2019   2020 
Las Vegas, NV - April 1st (early afternoon) TBD TBD TBD 
Charlotte, NC - June 24th (early afternoon) NAP/AACN - San Diego, CA - June 21st (tentative) NAP/AACN - Chicago, IL - June 6th (tentative) NAP/AACN - Washington, DC - ? (tentative) 
  NAP/NAN - Waltham (outside Boston), MA - October 26th  New Orleans, LA - October 18th (tentative)   TBD TBD


How does becoming certified help me?
Increasingly employers are preferring certified psychometrists - especially as a hiring requirement.  Being certified gives you an advantage.  In every occupational field having verifiable credentials sets you apart from the rest of the pack and gives you a leg up on the competition.  Currently, employers are preferring certification while others are requiring certification, more experience &/or greater education - this is common in professions as they mature.  Psychometry is no different.  The question is, do you want that advantage?

I work for the federal government (VA, DoD, Army/Navy, etc.), how will obtaining the CSP benefit me?
In the near future it appears the federal government may be raising the pay scale from a maximum of a GS-9 to GS-12 for those how hold the CSP credential.

The contracting company in charge of screening applicants for DoD positions in Virginia will ONLY review applications from CSPs - this is expected to become the minimum standard across the nation.


 Starting in 12/2015, the DoD civilian employees can add their CSP credential to their personnel file (DCPDS) via MyBiz+.  The CSP credential will be listed under "Certified Psychometry Specialist" and can easily be searched using "psychometrist" in the search field.


Does my school(s) have to send my official transcript(s) or can I provide a copy?
An official copy from you is acceptable.


Is the CSP exam a "Board" certification?

Yes.  Whether a credential is identified as being "boarded" or not makes no difference - they are the same.  As a CSP you can state you are a "board certified psychometrist" because it is the Board of Certified Psychometrists who confer the CSP credential.  


How long does the exam take?

Each examinee will have up to 150-minutes (2.5 hrs) to work on the exam.

What is the exam format? 
130-140 multiple-choice items - 10-20 of those items are unidentified experimental items randomly interspersed and do not count toward the exam results (the passing score is based on the 120 exam items).


What is the passing score for the examination?
 
The passing score is 70% of the 120 exam items. The exam is not scored on a "curve," therefore the candidate pool does not determine the passing score.


Are there any other requirements to maintain my certification?
 
Yes.  
CSP renewal requirements include successfully completing Continuing Education Units (CEUs).   Every two (2) years all CSPs must obtain a minimum of twenty (20) hours of CEUs, of which at least three (3) hrs of CEUs must be in Ethics.  These CEUs need to be earned in ethics, psychometry, psychological, neuropsychological, neurological or mental health related fields. 

 
Starting in 2015 the minimum CEUs is 20, of which 3 must be in Ethics.


For example, if you attend the 
NAP Annual Conference you can accrue CEUs.

If you passed the certification exam in 2016, you will not be required to fulfill the CEUs till the end of 2018. (Please note, there will be random audits of CSPs.)

Is graduate course work eligible for CEUs?
Yes - starting in 2016 the BCP will accept graduate level courses from accredited schools for CEU.  The CEU Committee has developed the policy for accepting those credits - conditions apply.  See CEU Chart for specifics - more details are available for CSPs on the CEUs page.


 Every CSP is required to keep their contact information current on this website.  Failure to do so may mean reminders to renew may not be forwarded appropriately causing a potential lapse in the credential which may lead to the loss of the CSP certification.

 

I work only with children; I don't think I should have to be examined on the adult tests. 
All examinees take the same exam.  The information on the exam is specific to psychometry, regardless of the population you work with in your setting.


How long before I hear if I passed?
 
In 6-8 weeks you will be notified via postal mail Mail (no information will be provided by phone, email or fax).


Upon successful completion of the CSP exam, the applicant’s CSP designation will be considered active as of the date of the exam that the applicant passed.


Can Canadians take this exam?
 
Yes, providing all the same requirements are met.  This is true for any English-speaking applicant regardless of where they practice. Your supervision in Canada must be by a certified psychologist or neuropsychologist or equivalent.  (Please note, questions with regard to ethics may include questions involving HIPAA & CMS.)


What is the cost to sit for the exam?
 
Please refer to the 
Handbook for current exam rates and related details.


Is the exam available online?
 
No.  Security is very important and therefore all examinees are required to take the exam in person.


Is there a study guide to prepare for the exam?
 
Sorry, at this time there is no prep guide or course available.  This is a long-term project currently under construction and the first version may be available for the 2018 exam. 

In the meantime please use the Handbook in your CSP exam preparation.


Every CSP is welcome to contribute to the Study Guide project - if you are interested please see our Study Guide page for more information.  CSPs can earn CEUs for their contributions.  Please share your knowledge and experience to this important learning and application tool as part of our profession.



I have not tested very much in the last year or so but I used to work full-time as a psychometrist. With that past experience can I use those years to qualify to sit for the exam?
 
Yes - please refer to the 
Handbook for specifics: "Periods of work that include significant time devoted to tasks unrelated to psychometry do not qualify. The required hours of qualifying work experience may have been earned at any time during the five (5) year period immediately prior to the date of application."


Is the certification recognized by organizations such as APA, AACN, NAN and INS?
 
The Certified Specialist in Psychometry exam (CSPe) has been developed to meet the strict national standards of certifying professional occupations.  The CSPe conforms to the Standards for Educational and Psychological Tests published jointly by the American Educational Research Association, the National Council for Measurement in Education and APA.  It has been designed and constructed to be consistent with and in compliance with the joint standards.  The CSPe was developed in the same method as other professional credentials such as the EPPP and ABPP.  APA does not approve any examinations.  APA does sponsor a few of its own certification examinations through its own subsidiary organization called the College of Professional Psychology.  NAN does not recognize any certifications or credentialing, either for psychometrists or psychologists.  Neither the EPPP or ABPP are accredited.  The CSP is a Board certification.


Are we responsible for administration/scoring issues only, or will there be any questions regarding interpretation of tests?
 
No.  Test interpretation is not within the scope of traditional psychometry.  However, you should  understand what tests purport to measure.


How much neuroanatomy are we going to be expected to know?
 
The basics of gross neuroanatomy. 


How much statistics do I need to know?
You will not need to compute statistical information using formulas (e.g., ANOVA), but you do need to understand the relationships between statistical norms.  Make sure you understand the chart at the end of the Handbook.


As a psychometrist are we responsible to know about APA, NAN, ACA or other Codes of Ethics?

Please refer to both the Code of Ethics for Psychometrists published by the 
BCP and adopted by NAP.  In addition, it is helpful to review the APA, ACA, NBCC, MSW ethics guidelines - even though they all share a great deal of the same information they often apply well to psychometrists.  The impending CSP Exam Study Guide will also include a chapter on Ethics.


I have worked as a psychometrist for over 20-years including training psychology interns, post-doctoral fellows and other staff on assessment issues.  I have published several articles as the principal author in peer-reviewed journals.  I would like to know if I can be grandfathered-in as an experienced psychometrist?
No.  Everyone is required to meet the same criteria.  There have been several seasoned psychometrists with over 30-yrs experience who also were required to meet the current certification criteria.  There is no grandfathering regardless of years of experience, supervision/training of others, education, publications, etc.  


My facility/employer does not require me to be credentialed, why should I obtain CSP?

In 3/2011, Cincinnati Children's became the USA's first facility to require the CSP credential for advancement as a psychometrist.  Increasingly facilities and employers are imposing minimum standards for hiring psychometrists - this is the typical trend within professions that a credential is first "preferred" followed by "required."   Psychometrists are reporting their employers are requiring the CSP credential and most prefer psychometrists have a performance-based credential.  Advancement within psychometry also includes the CSP requirement depending on the facility.  Several psychometrists have reported they were hired because having the CSP set them apart from other candidates and were hired because they were able to show they had successfully obtained the CSP credential.  CSPs, as well as f
ederal government psychometrists, may also earn a higher salary with their credential.  See Testimonials page.


I am supervised by two psychologists.  My immediate supervising psychologist is not licensed but their supervisor is, which one should I use in my Attestation document?

The requirement in the Handbook states it has to be a "licensed" psychologist ("certified" in Canada) or equivalent.


My supervisor(s) has passed away, how can I complete the required supervision attestation?
Please complete "Appendix A: Supplemental Attestation of Psychometry Supervision and Professional Experience" located in the Handbook to complete your application.


With my CSP can I purchase level C qualification test materials?
No.  Level C still requires a licensed PhD qualification.  However, PAR allows level B purchases by CSPs (include copy of your CSP certificate with purchase).  This CSP benefit was arranged by Mike Malek-Ahmadi 
(past NAP President) in 2007 with Bob Smith, PAR CEO.


How can I communicate with other CSPs?
The BCP has set up a Discussion Group for active CSPs.

I have been a psychometrist for several years.  How many years of experience do you recommend to sit for the exam and how much studying should I commit?
Study Time:  Each psychometrist has to decide how much to study for the exam.  We have heard the range varies a great deal, from none to 6 months.  We cannot say with any certainty what is appropriate for you.  Please see the tables below for details.

Experience:  There are several who barely had the minimum number of hours experience to sit for the exam and passed - see table below.

Education:  Educational backgrounds also varied - see table below.

We believe one of the reason more are passing the exam in latter years is in part due to the addition of the exam outline in the Handbook assisting examinees in their studying focus. 



The moral:
Studying is as important as is experience.


2005-2016 CSP Education Information

CSP Educational Level

Raw

Ratio

Graduate Degree**

161

(52.27%)

Bachelor’s Degree*

136

(44.16%)

Doctorate

7

(2.27%)

High School Diploma***

3

(0.97%)

Associates Degree***

1

(0.32%)

N = 308

*     - includes BA, BS, & BFA
**   - includes MA, MS, MBA, & M.Ed.
*** - Effective 2007, the initial grace period ended and the minimum educational
         requirement to sit for the CSP Exam is a 4-yr degree from an accredited college
         or university.


 2015 Passing Rate by Education level 2016 Passing Rate by Education level
 79% for Master's level 73% for Master's level
 70% for Bachelor's level 65% for Bachelor's level
 100% for the one Doctoral level again 100% for the one Doctoral level


Those who reported being a NAP member were 88% more likely to pass the CSP exam.


Year

% Passing Rate

Exam Reliability

Years of experience by those who passed

Years of experience by those who did not pass

2005

66

na

9.9*

7.5*

2006

67

0.80

7.2

2.5

2007

67

0.80

9.1

5.2

2008

67

0.80

3.5

2.6

2009

82

0.84

3.4

1.5

2010

85

0.83

2.1

1.7

2011

77

0.90

2.9

2.4

2012

70

0.73

5.1

5.3

2013

83

0.80

4.5

4.3

2014 

81 0.86 2.8 1.9
2015 

76

0.86

3.4

1.5

  2016

 66 

 0.84 

 2.5

2.9

*This is a common pattern in credentialing, the more senior professionals tend to sit for the exam in the earlier years.


 As a comparison, the passing rate for ABCN candidates (for the ABPP credential), is 66% (AACN - Board Certification in Clinical Neuropsychology (2008), Armstrong, K., Beebe, D., Hilsabeck, R., & Kirkwood, M. - pg 43.).  The authors also state that physician's have a similar passing rate for their board exams. 


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