The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) announced the relaunch of the newly updated Board Certified Master Arborist (BCMA) exam effective February 1. In response to user feedback requesting a better exam experience and accommodation for the global reach of the program, ISA performed an intensive and highly successful review, revision, and assessment of the exam in order to meet these expectations.
The revision process began with the BCMA Test Committee’s evaluation of exam questions to be used in the updated exam, which included assistance from a professional in test development. The committee was provided direction on how to write good exam questions that clearly and correctly test the knowledge and skill level required to become a Board Certified Master Arborist. BCMA Test Committee Chair Larry Costello stated, “The goal was to develop a challenging yet fair exam that accurately tests knowledge in concert with experience in tree management principles and practices.”
Once the test questions were reviewed and revised, the next step was to run a beta exam process to measure the reliability of the exam. Beta tests require a minimum number of participants for successful measurement and ISA was able to double the minimum number required. Those individuals who took the beta test and achieved the new passing score earned the BCMA credential. Test takers who did not meet the passing score will be allowed a free retake once the new exam has launched.
“The relaunch of the BCMA exam is very exciting for ISA and the credentialing community. I cannot thank the 300 beta test takers, the BCMA test committee, and ISA staff enough for their efforts to make the relaunch possible,” said Kevin Martlage, ISA director of professional development. “I am extremely confident that the team involved with the evaluation and relaunch process addressed the expectations of the board and met the necessary objectives.”
As of February 1, ISA is accepting applications for the updated exam. The application handbook is available on the ISA website. For questions regarding the International Society of Arboriculture BCMA exam and credentialing program, review the list of frequently asked questions or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.