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Write Exam Questions

ASIS frequently receives inquiries regarding participation in the certification item-writing workshop.  There are many who enjoy the process and wish to be involved on an ongoing basis and there are others who are curious and wish to experience the process at least once. The PCB is pleased to have such strong interest from certificants and has been diligently working to allow easy access to interested, eligible participants.

How are exams developed? View presentation

What is Item Writing? In simplest terms, item writing is the method of creating, editing, and/or updating exam questions. To make a proficient item writer, one must have knowledge and understanding of the material being tested. The most commonly used format for item writing (for certification, licensure, and achievement examinations) is multiple-choice item. Only the reference book assigned to each writer can be used to write questions!

Eligibility Requirements:

You can assess your eligibility by answering the questions below: 

  • If you already achieved an ASIS designation, are you planning on earning another soon?
  • Are you currently (or plan to be) involved in any type of exam preparatory program within the next 3 - 4 years?

If you answered YES to any of the questions above, you are NOT eligible to participate at this time.

Please note: Information is verified by the certification department. It is also mandatory that all writers sign and return Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest Agreements before they are given access to item-writing tools.

How to Become an Item Writer:
All eligible participants should have familiarity with the exam Domains of Study, the training process mainly involves usage of the Remote Item Writing (RIW) software and techniques for preparing structurally sound test questions.   Writers will have access to a live or pre-recorded webinar and will continue to be able to retrieve pre-recorded training at their convenience.

Writers will also be able to test their skills by submitting 5 trial items for review after they've viewed the RIW training. If at that point they determine that item writing is for them, they will be assigned a PCB contact person/mentor who will provide feedback and guidance on whether items are acceptable or need a little extra work. Some item writers may naturally move at a faster pace, but overall writers become better as they continue to submit items and remain open to feedback.

All test items are edited for accuracy, conciseness and clarity, and if needed returned to the author for improvement, or discarded because they lack relevance.

Is a cost involved such as purchasing reference materials?
No, the only requirement is your time. Access to online protected reference materials is provided and each writer is assigned an experienced reviewer who provides feedback and progress on their item-writing skills.

Item-writing is a great way for all those who complete the process to earn 15 CPEs!


Is this a time-consuming process?

The RIW software allows 24/7 access that is convenient for you. An item session remains open for the duration of the item-writing period (approximately 2 – 3 months). During this time, most writers are expected to submit no less than 15 approved items. It's also a great way for all those who complete the process to earn CPEs.

So, are you ready for the challenge?
Becoming part of our item writing panel is a very rewarding experience. You receive unique training to become a major contributor in the exam-development process. Most importantly, the items will be written by security professionals, like you, for other security professionals. In addition, as an item writer you'll have the ability to interact one-on-one with the PCB and see firsthand some of the obligations and requirements that are needed to establish a sound, quality-driven program. Those participating in any areas of exam development will state that it is an eye-opening experience.  View test question preparation.

Are you ready to become an item-writing volunteer?  Contact the ASIS Certification team!