Performance based exam sample items

I occasionally have the opportunity to write/edit/implement and score performance-based exams. I also occasionally support performance-based exam candidates by responding to queries about the exams and their experience and explaining some of the inner workings of the exam world.

Here are a few fake questions, possible outcomes and resulting score.

Scenario 1:
Install a standard mirror located on shelf 1A on to the door located at space 2B. Fasteners are packaged with mirror.

Intended solution:
Take mirror w/ powerharness on shelf 1A and install on space 2B using the bolts and weatherstripping in a bag attached to the mirror.

Points awarded:
1 point for correct installation of weatherstripping
1 point for correct routing of power harness inside of door.
Note:
there are no points awarded for actually installing the mirror as it is determined that 99% of candidates achieve that properly
there are no points awarded for correct torque on mounting bolts or use of Loctite as information varied between mirror documentation, car documentation and follow-up bulletins

Candidate 1:
Notices paint doesn’t match between Mirror and door. Finds matching door paint and paints mirror. Installs but forgets to route powerharness around window guide and continues.
Outcome: 1 point. Spent 5 extra minutes on an unneeded task and may not have sufficient paint when is is required later.

Candidate 2:
Attaches mirror. Notices power functionality of mirror doesn’t work. locates a car the door might fit on, installs door and power wiring. Installs battery. Verifies power mirror now works.
Outcome: 2 points. spent 35 extra minutes and is likely to need to undo some of the tasks performed.

Candidate 3:
Quickly attaches mirror, carefully adds Loctite and torques bolts perfectly. Forgets weatherstripping and harness.
Outcome: 0 points.
Later writes angry letter after seeing “Mirror install” noted as area to improve on fail report. Claims the mirror was installed properly and demands the result be rechecked.

Scenario 2:
Install seats located in bin 37a into Car 2. Fasteners are already in the car. Supervisor states old seats repeatedly got wet during inclement weather. Resolve issue.

Intended solution:
Candidate notices car still has shipping parts installed in seat pan (which is an uncommon-yet-known issue. Blueprint for the exam includes a link to the removal documentation.) Remove shipping parts, reuse hardware to install seat.
Investigate sunroof with auto-close feature, notice it is not functioning due to blown fuse. Replace fuse.

Points awarded:
1 point for seats installed
1 point for fuse replaces with correct amperage

Candidate 1:
Reads item and skips forward to see what else is on the exam. Performs some of those items.
Returns later and finds there is no Car in space 2.
Outcome: 0 points. Also, if the later item involving Car 2 required seats, additional points may have been “lost” on that item as well.

Candidate 2:
Doesn’t know what to make of shipping parts in Car 2, decides Car 3 is the actual car for this scenario, installs seats. Doesn’t find a leak in Car 3.
Outcome: 0 points

Candidate 3:
Installs seats in Car 2 over the top of the shipping parts using ingenuity. Fixes fuse.
Outcome: 2 points. Note that if noticed by exam developers, this work around *might* be accounted for in the item by something like “make sure only required components are left installed”.

Candidate 4:
Installs seats. Notices seats are dry.
Outcome: 1 point.
Candidate writes in complaining the test is vague.

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One Response to Performance based exam sample items

  1. The Hammer says:

    Interesting insight, I suppose this is how the VCAP/VCIX exams are also marked.

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