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All About the Angoff Score

Here at Relias, we receive countless inquiries about the Angoff (pass/fail) score displayed on our Relias clinical assessment results pages. If you have wondered about the Angoff score you are seeing and how it is created, then wonder no more. We wanted to focus a little time on the Angoff score, and why it is so important to us.

What is an Angoff Score?

The Angoff score is the lowest pass/fail cutoff score that a minimally qualified candidate is likely to achieve on a test.  The score is calculated by using a panel of experts to determine the difficulty of each test question included in an assessment.

The Angoff method is used by many well-known entities in order to establish the minimal pass/fail cutoff for job knowledge assessments, including the NCSBN for the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-LPN examinations, the AACN for the CCRN examination, the FSBPT for the NPTE examination, and many others.

Is There a Difference Between an Unmodified Angoff and a Modified Angoff?

Yes! Once the Angoff score (or pass/fail cutoff) is established by the panel of experts, the score is called the “unmodified Angoff.”  The exam is then published for use by healthcare facilities and medical staffing agencies across the country.

Once a sufficient sample size (approximately 300 test takers) have completed the assessment, Prophecy performs a statistical review of the results from the sample using software called TVAP©, which includes a review of item difficulty levels, differential item functioning, Cronbach Alpha, and overall adverse (discriminatory) impact for minorities and protected groups.  If we find any alarming statistics or excessively difficult items, modifications are made, including (but not always) lowering the Angoff score by one or two CSEM’s (Conditional Standard Error of Measurement), to adjust for any unreliability of the test itself.  After this review and adjustments to the test plan (if any), the unmodified score becomes a “modified Angoff.”

Do A and B Versions of Clinical Assessments Have the Same Angoff Score?

No. The two versions cover exactly the same content or knowledge domains, however each version consists of different test items from the item bank.

Relias always recommends that the “A” version of an assessment be given to the candidates first.  If the candidate does not meet the Angoff score, we recommend that the “B” version of the same assessment be administered.  As such, the “A” version quickly reaches the required sample size (in order to do the statistical analysis), long before the “B” version reaches the same size.  Therefore, especially for newly released assessments, you may see a modified Angoff on the “A” version of the assessment long before you see a modified Angoff for the “B” version.

Relias’ goal is to help each of our clients determine which candidates are a best match for their organization. Our assessments help determine which candidates possess the clinical job knowledge, behavioral attributes and interpersonal communication skills, that work together in order to provide high quality care and customer service to your patients.  In addition to the benefits of providing the Angoff scoring methodology for the clinical assessments, our clients also minimize risk and liability from discriminatory lawsuits, because we are able to provide comprehensive technical reports for each specialty assessment, including necessary documentation and statistics required as part of an EEOC, Department of Labor, or OFCCP audit.  The assessments also meet all requirements as set forth in the Federal Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures, for pre-employment selection devices.

For more information, please visit Federal Uniform Guidelines.

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