The NETA Certification Exam is what is known as a criterion based exam.  Criterion based examinations have only one score that counts:  did the candidate meet the criteria (pass) or not (fail)?  A candidate taking a criterion based examination is trying to demonstrate that they have enough knowledge that they can safely and effectively perform the job.  The criterion based exam is not designed to rank people.  Instead, it is designed to identify those who have met the predefined criteria.  In contrast, there are norm referenced tests, which measure a candidate’s achievement. A test taker’s knowledge is being measured and compared against other test takers.  The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is a classic example of a norm referenced exam.

The following is a general outline of the exam development process employed by NETA.  This is to ensure that NETA-certified enrichment teachers meet minimum standards of knowledge as well as possess the skills necessary to provide safe and effective instruction in the enrichment classroom setting.

1.     Practice Analysis:  The development of valid exams begins with a clear and concise definition of the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for competent job performance.  NETA employs a focus group in the initial stages of exam construction.  A group of enrichment industry experts analyzes the specific job requirements in order to develop an outline of the tasks, knowledge and skills required to perform the job effectively.  This study is then forwarded to a second group of enrichment industry experts for a validation survey.

2.     Validation Survey:  A representative cross-section of enrichment industry experts is surveyed to determine the validity of the practice analysis.  These experts include school administrators, enrichment teachers with a minimum of four years of work experience in the industry, school principals, school district officials, university professors, parent groups, parks and recreation departments, providers of enrichment programs and enrichment company owners.  These experts then lend their input to help further define the performance domains as well as submit ideas for questions for inclusion in the exam.

3.     Item Writing and Exam Construction:  A panel of enrichment industry experts develops exam questions which are derived from the practice analysis study.  The questions are subjected to editing for grammar, technical adequacy and efficacy in assessing a candidate’s knowledge on the subject matter.  The questions are then reviewed and selected for inclusion in the exam.

4.     Cut Score Determination:  The passing score is determined as a standard for public protection and is derived by using a modified Angoff Method.  Each question is rated by a group of industry experts using criterion-referenced procedures.  The experts estimate the percentage of minimally competent professionals that will answer each question correctly.  The passing score is then calculated and based on the overall degree of difficulty.

5.     Continual Exam Evaluation:  Before an exam is administered, it is subjected to a battery of pre-testing to ensure content validity, weighting, and minimize potential sources of error and bias.  Following an exam administration, there is continual evaluation and analysis of each question to help
sure validity.  If a question is determined to be flawed, it is reworked or replaced.
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The NETA Certification Exam is a three-part examination, consisting of 100 questions per part (300 questions total). In each part of the exam, there are suites of thematically similar questions used to determine a candidate’s knowledge of job/performance domains common to enrichment teaching. The following is a condensed list of the themes that provide the basis for questions posed to candidates in the NETA Certification Exam.

SECTION A – 100 questions, 3 points each
• Legal liabilities, professional protocol and procedures
• Creating a safe environment and proper use of equipment
• Classroom management
• Transferring custody of children
• Supervision of children
• Reporting child abuse
• Food, medications and injuries
• Understanding corporal punishment

SECTION B – 100 questions, 3 points each
• Ethics and fair business practices
• Legal rights of children and parents
• Professional on-site conduct and procedures
• Student management techniques and appropriate discipline
• Student safety and confidentiality
• Special needs students and aides

SECTION C – 100 questions, 2 points each
• Criminal background checks
• Building classes
• Jobs acquisition and employment status
• Interviewing techniques, materials and attire
• Enrichment venues
• Enrichment as an industry
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  • Exam Scores.  When taking the NETA Certification Exam, you will not be penalized for guessing and are encouraged to answer all questions to the best of your ability.  Exam scores are confidential and they will not be given out over the phone, fax or email.  You can expect to receive your exam score in the mail approximately four to six weeks after taking your exam. 
  • Minimum Passing Scores.  The minimum passing score for the NETA Certification Exam is 690 (out of 800).
  • Pencil to Paper Exam Re-scoring.  If you do not pass the exam, and you feel there was an error in scoring, you have the option of requesting that your answer sheet be re-scored.  Your request to have your exam re-scored must be submitted in writing to NETA no later than 30 days after you receive your exam scores in the mail and must be accompanied by a $30 re-scoring fee made payable to NETA.
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Only candidates who achieve the minimum passing score of 690 will be awarded certification.  If you pass the exam, you will receive a NETA certification certificate and a wallet card approximately four to six weeks after receiving your exam results.