Apple Exam Development Process
To ensure the validity, reliability, and relevance of Apple Certification exams, developers create exams in seven phases:
- Job Task Analysis definition: Tasks are translated into a comprehensive set of more specific and measurable skills and abilities. The resulting list of objectives, or the objective domain, forms the basis for the development of certification. Blueprint survey: The objective domain is transformed into a blueprint survey, in which technical and job function experts rate the importance of each objective. This helps to determine the appropriate number and types of items to include on the exam. Contributors may be Apple Certified Professional or Apple Certified Trainer candidates recruited from within Apple or through online forums. Based on contributor input, exam developers prioritize and weigh the objectives.
- Item development: Exam developers write the exam items according to the prioritized objectives. Developers review and revise items to ensure that they are:
Items that meet these criteria are included in the item pool.
- Technically accurate
- Clear, unambiguous, and relevant
- Not biased toward any population, subgroup, or culture
- Not misleading or tricky
- Testing for useful knowledge rather than obscure or trivial facts
- Alpha review and item revision: A panel of experts reviews each item for technical accuracy.
- Beta exam: The reviewed items are beta-tested. During the beta exam, candidates comment on items. The beta exam allows Apple to evaluate the quality of the item in an actual exam situation, and helps ensure that only the best content is included in the live exam.
- Item selection and cut-score setting: The results of the beta exam are analyzed to determine which items should be included in the live exam. This analysis focuses on many factors, including item difficulty and reliability. Apple works with a panel of experts to review the technical accuracy of questions and to determine the final item pool for the live exam. The panel determines the cut score (minimum passing score) for the exam. This score may differ from exam to exam, because it is based on the difficulty of the item pool and the expected performance of the minimally qualified candidate.
- Publishing: Apple Certification exams are published in one or both of two test engines owned by Apple’s test vendor, Prometric.
- Live exam: Certification exams are administered worldwide by Apple Authorized Training Centers (AATC) or Apple Authorized Training Centers for Education (AATCE).