Scoring Information

Criterion-Referenced Testing

The Board of Governors exam is a criterion-referenced examination. Each candidate is measured against a fixed standard of knowledge rather than against the performance of other individuals taking the examination. In contrast, a norm-referenced examination (e.g., SAT, GRE) is based on how individuals perform relative to the population that took the test. The passing score for the Board of Governors exam is based on a candidate's ability to demonstrate an acceptable level of knowledge; it is not related to the distribution of scores obtained during a particular administration of the exam. Therefore, a candidate's likelihood of passing the Board of Governors exam is contingent upon his or her ability to demonstrate competence in the healthcare executive field, rather than his or her competence relative to other examinees. Since the intent is to measure competence, not "book learning," exam questions assess application of knowledge, not just recall of facts.

How the Pass Point Is Set

A modified Angoff Method is used to determine the pass point for the Board of Governors exam. This method requires Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to rate the likelihood that an exam candidate would correctly answer each test question. Data from previous administrations of each question, along with discussion among the SMEs, are used during this process. The ratings for each test question are averaged across the SMEs and summed to determine the overall pass point for the exam.

Exam Results

The results of the Board of Governors exam are given as "pass" or "fail." It is not ACHE's policy to reveal an examinee's raw score. In order to provide developmental feedback for the examinee, ACHE offers information related to his or her performance in each category on the exam.

Reliability and Validity

Extensive test statistics are calculated in the process of determining test reliability and validity, including item analysis for every test item on the Board of Governors exam. Reliability is determined by calculating the Kuder-Richardson Formula, the Livingston Index, and the split-half reliability. Reliability coefficients above 0.80 are considered satisfactory for credentialing exams. The Board of Governors exam reliability coefficient—as determined by the K-R 20 and split-half methods—has consistently met or exceeded the standard over the years.


The American College of Healthcare Executives works with the Human Resources Research Organization to obtain assistance with the development and validation of the Board of Governors exam. HumRRO has been serving clients for more than 50 years.

For more information about earning the FACHE credential, visit the credentialing page or call ACHE’s Division of Member Services at (312) 424-9400.