About the ATCBE

Art Therapy Credentials Board Examination (ATCBE) is a state-of-the-art professional examination that is developed by subject matter experts who are board-certified redentialed art therapists, in conjunction with contracted psychometricians who are experts in creating professional examinations for mental health professions. Exam development for the ATCBE is a multifaceted process with extensive infrastructure requirements and engagement by a wide group of board-certified art therapists. Most critically, exam development is an ongoing, cyclical process. Exam development includes the following components:

Job Analysis & Content Outline Development
Item Writing
Form Creation and Standard Setting
Item Review and Revision

Throughout these steps, Subject Matter Experts provide critical voice and external, autonomous oversight.

ATCBE JOB ANALYSIS

Part of the process of creating a professional exam requires that a “job analysis” be performed by surveying currently practicing professionals about the knowledge and skills they use in real-world practice. According to psychometric best practices, the ATCB performs a job analysis every few years, and the data is analyzed professionally to create the blueprint for revisions of the ATCBE. This study provides a basis for the ongoing revision of the ATCBE and ensures currency and relevance in the content of the examination. The most recent job analysis was finalized in 2017 and a new content outline has been released. Click for an executive summary of the 2017 Job Analysis Survey.

The ATCB has begun the work of developing a new job analysis, look for additional information about this important endeavor for our field. 

ATCBE KNOWLEDGE AREAS

The major content, or knowledge, areas of the examination are listed below. These areas were determined by the results of the ATCB’s national art therapy Job Analysis Survey.

Examinees should be able to apply the knowledge included in each content area to the various practice dimensions. The knowledge covered by the examination will be tested at three cognitive levels:

  • Basic understanding (recall)
  • Application (applying knowledge to a particular example)
  • Mastery (analysis, synthesis, and evaluation)

For example, some questions require factual recall; others require you to apply knowledge to a clinical scenario. The major knowledge areas are:

  • Theoretical Approaches
  • Intake and Evaluation
  • Assessment and Evaluation Instruments
  • Diagnoses and Populations
  • Art Therapy Environment
  • Professional Practice and Ethics
  • Clinical Skills and Application

View the complete ATCBE content outline here.

preparation guide was developed by the ATCB to provide information to art therapists who plan to take the ATCBE. Its purpose is to provide procedural information and to assist art therapists in developing an individualized approach toward exam preparation. Enhanced performance on the examination is neither expressed nor implied. The ATCB does not endorse or recommend any study guide or method published by any group or individual not directly related to the ATCB.

The ATCBE is typically composed of 200 multiple-choice questions. Of these, approximately 170 are used for scoring purposes. The remaining items are in development for future examinations. These development items are not identified by the examinee. Candidates have four hours to complete the examination.

STANDARD SETTING and CUT SCORE

The passing score for the candidates on the Art Therapy Credentials Board Examination (ATCBE) is calculated through the modified Angoff method of standard-setting. This method requires the standard-setting committee of the ATCBE to review and evaluate each question on the first test form published on a new content outline to determine the passing score that would be expected from a Minimally Qualified Candidate.

The passing score obtained through standard-setting on the first test form is applied to other ATCBE test forms through statistical equating. Statistical equating adjusts the passing score up or down by accounting for the overall difficulty of each test form. Therefore, statistical equating ensures fairness to all candidates by associating the cut score on a test form with the overall difficulty level of the items on it. With this standard procedure for determining the successful candidates on ATCBE, the passing scores may vary slightly for each ATCBE test form.

For implementing equating, the Psychometricians use a 25% overlap of items between the base form and the new test form. These common items constitute the equating link between the two forms. Second, they maintain the average difficulty level (p-value) for both the forms in close range. The Psychometricians make sure that the average difficulty of the new form is closer to that of the base form. After the base test form is attempted by a sufficient number of candidates, the Psychometricians use Livingston’s formula for linear equating—Y* = a (X – c) + d—which uses the mean and standard deviation of both base and new forms and the cut score of the base form to reach the cut score of the new form. These measures help the Art Therapy Credentials Board to ensure that the candidates who pass its examination have the knowledge and understanding expected from a board-certified art therapist.

ATCBE STATISTICS

The table below summarizes the total number of candidates examined and the total number of ATR-BC candidates and pass rates annually for the last four years. The total number of examinees includes candidates who took the exam for the purpose of state licensure.


Administration
Year

Total Number of
Examinees

Number of
ATR-BC Candidates

Pass Rate for
ATR-BC Candidates

2013

205

90

81%

2014

286

92

91%

2015

257

143

89%

2016

290

190

86%

2017

335

241

95%

2018

390

291

97%

2019

316

227

92%

2020

174

117

88%


For additional information about the Art Therapy Credentials Board Examination, please contact the ATCB National Office at exams@atcb.org or by phone at (877) 213-2822.