Candidates who pass the exam are notified that they passed. Candidates who fail the exam receive a score report that includes:
- Total score for the entire exam;
- Separate scores for each of the 5 core competencies;
- Separate score for all cross–cutting competencies combined
The examination was crafted to assess knowledge of core and cross-cutting public health competencies, regardless of academic concentration in preparation. However, NBPHE recognizes that the diversity of the field and our educational approaches to it vary considerably. As such, experts examine each item for its performance (i.e. was the answer coded correctly, was the correct answer chosen as expected or was the item clearly confusing), for its difficulty (again, based on performance and based on expert opinion), and for its usefulness in contributing to the overall score (i.e. if 100% of examinees answered correctly it is not an informative item). At the conclusion of this item analysis, NBPHE conducts a content–based analysis to generate statistical information for determining the minimum passing standard (Angoff and Hofstee procedures). A Standard Setting Committee determined the score required to achieve certification using results from the study and performance data on the exam.
The passing rates for CPH exams to date are: 84% in 2008; 74% in 2009; 88% in 2010; 86% in 2011; 84% in Feb 2012; 82% in October 2012.
Scores will be available 45 business days after the last day of the testing window. NBPHE delivers exam results electronically to candidates.