Blueprint Development


The test blueprint outlines the relative weight of each objective and determines the number of test items that should be included for each objective. The more important an objective is the more items there should be on the exam representing that objective. Less important objectives should be represented by fewer test items. This process prevents item writers from indirectly determining the content coverage based on the items they choose to write. The blueprint process informs the item writer the exact number of items that should be written to a particular testing objective.

How is a Blueprint Developed?

Using the Test Objectives created during the Job Task Analysis (JTA) workshop, CMS creates a survey, which is prepared for administration using a web-based survey application. A URL to the web-based survey is provided to a targeted group of SMEs. This URL provides access to the blueprint survey along with instructions for completed the survey. After a determined number of responses are received, CMS calculates weightings for the test objectives and recommends the number of items that should be written per objective. The testing organization determines reviews these recommendations and makes a final decision on the number of items that are needed each exam for each objective. This decision finalizes the blueprint for an exam.

What outcomes should you expect from a Blueprint development effort?

The final Blueprint product includes:

    1. Feedback on testing objectives
    2. Section level weighting
    3. Objective level weighting (importance, relevance, and frequency)
    4. Target number of items per objectives for each form
    5. Target number of items per bank for each objective

How can CMS help your organization?