The passing standard for a participant in Online Longitudinal Assessment (OLA) is determined by multiple factors.
Each participant is administered a unique set of questions based on the OLA question assignment algorithm. The individual’s passing standard is determined from these questions. Other participants sharing the same practice profile (DR diplomates only) or specialty certificate are rarely administered the same set of questions, and therefore will not have the same passing standard.
The unique set of questions for each participant will consequently vary in difficulty from one person to the next. Since there are tens of thousands of OLA participants with different unique sets of questions, passing standards can vary widely. As of October 2020, the range of passing standards is 50% to 83%.
As questions are administered, they are individually rated by OLA participants who have volunteered to be question raters and who are answering the same questions. The average rating for a unique set of questions administered to a specific participant is the passing standard for that participant. A diplomate’s passing standard is first calculated after they have answered 52 scorable questions.
If the participant is meeting or exceeding that passing standard, their current cumulative score will indicate what percentage above the passing standard has been achieved. For example, if the average rating of the questions is 70 percent, the participant is required to answer at least 70 percent of the questions correctly within the set to meet the passing standard. If a participant’s current cumulative score indicates that they are 21 percent above the passing standard, then the participant would have successfully answered 85 percent of their questions correctly.
If the participant is not meeting the passing standard, their current cumulative score will indicate what percentage below the passing standard has been achieved. For example, if the current cumulative score indicates that they are 14 percent below the passing standard, then they would have only answered 60 percent of their questions correctly.
Anyone with questions about their OLA performance should contact one of our certification managers at (520) 790-2900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.