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NCHSE – Health Science Certificate Lab

NCHSE – Health Science Certificate Lab

The second annual National Consortium for Health Science Education (NCHSE) Health Science Certificate Lab was open to students attending the 2019 HOSA–Future Health Professionals International Leadership Conference (ILC) in Orlando, Florida June 19-21, 2019. Over three days, 661 exams were delivered to 413 students who earned a combined total of 360 certificates (54% pass rate). Students were allowed to take multiple exams (average exams taken per student 1.6). If a student did not successfully earn a certificate, retakes were allowed after a 24-hour waiting period.

Precision Exams powered the lab with their testing platform, the National Health Science Assessment, along with other health science bundled exams. NGL|Cengage provided access to pre-exam study materials through their MindTap services. Twenty-one computers (20 computers in 2018) were available for students to earn certifications. The cost of the computer rental was covered by NGL|Cengage. Internet service was provided free of charge via Disney’s Coronado Springs Conference Center. HOSA provided the room for three days. NCHSE provided marketing through their print and online mediums. Three additional exams were made available for a total of 21 certificate opportunities. Participation in the certification lab nearly doubled from the initial offering in 2018. Overall, the attendance to the lab was higher than anticipated. At numerous times, there were multiple students in line waiting to participate. For the first time, international students from China, Canada, and Puerto Rico participated and earned certificates.

2019 Data:

  • Number of exams delivered: 661
    • Increase of 226 [34%] exams (2018 – 435)
  • Certificates earned: 360
    • Increase of 147 [41%] certificates (2018 – 213)
  • Pass Rate: 54%
    • Increase of 5% (2018 – 49%)
  • Number of students who participated in the lab: 413
    • Including 12 students from China, Canada, and Puerto Rico
    • Increase of 172 [42%] students (2018 – 241)
  • Average number of exams taken per student: 6
    • Decrease from the 2.7 in 2018, however, more opportunity for more students to participate.


Number of exams delivered by day: 2018 2019
Day 1 (4 hours), 1:00PM – 5:00PM 70 74
Day 2 (9 hours), 8:00AM – 5:00PM 167 330
Day 3 (7 hours), 8:00PM – 3:00PM 198 257

Testimonials from our participants

My experience during the lab was great, the personnel that were in charge were very helpful and nice. I plan on using my certificate in my resume, which I have done so recently. The certificate is a reminder that I adequately understand the material pertaining to medical terminology. My future plans and goals are to become a physical therapist because I became very intrigued in muscle functions at the age of 12. This interest lead me to enjoy learning about muscles and their movements, a personal family issue lead me to want to really try and help people. I gained a passion in wanting to help people so I combined both of my passions into one. That’s where becoming a physical therapist came about. The advice I have to future participants that will take these tests are that, you shouldn’t enter the testing area nervous just relax and use all the information you have mentally, apply it to the test and you’ll most likely pass the test.

-Eddie R

The lab was a wonderful opportunity to establish my knowledge on a broad range of subjects, and it was an efficient and informative process. After certifying in Food and Nutrition, I plan to utilize my certificate for resumes in part-time professions in the food service industry. However, in the long-term future, I am pursuing the career of a physical therapist, and I believe that an understanding of nutrition would be valuable to having a more holistic approach to recovery, beyond the localized injury.

-Erin C.


In partnership with Precision Exams and NGL|Cengage, the second annual National Consortium for Health Science Education (NCHSE) Health Science Certificate Lab was a resounding success as evidenced by both the earnest energy exuded by the HOSA students in the room as well as by the informal evaluations returned by 397 participants. Overall, the percent passing rate increased significantly for most of the 21 certificate exams, with the exceptions of Exercise and Sports Medicine and Introduction to Health Science. The most popular exams were Medical Terminology and Medical Anatomy and Physiology, which reflect the 2018 certificate lab numbers with Introduction to Health Science, Biotechnology, and Certified Nurse Assistant closely following. The highest performing exam pass rates were 21st Century Success Skills (92%), Dental Assistant I (82%), and Medical Assistant- Medical Terminology (80%). The National Health Science Assessment earned an excellent pass rate of 71%, which increased from the 2018 Certificate Lab in both number of students who took the exam and by pass rate. Clearly, the NCHSE Health Science Certificate lab not only provides a venue for students to document their achievements and return home from the HOSA ILC with a certificate of accomplishment, the certificate lab also demonstrates the rigorous learning that occurs in the health science classroom. These 21 health science exams provide the health science classroom with an appropriate assessment for any secondary health science education program. Assessment is an integral component of any comprehensive evaluation process to determine high quality health science programs and gives valuable information to inform classroom instruction. Please review the following results of the informal certificate lab evaluations for additional information.

The 2019 NCHSE HS Certificate Lab Evaluation asked the following four questions:

  1. Which health science assessment did you take?
  2. Did your health science course adequately prepare you for this assessment?
  3. How many semesters did you participate in a health science course? 1, 2 or 3 or more semesters
  4. Would you recommend the NCHSE Health Science Certificate Lab to other HOSA members?






National Health Science Assessment 16 11 5
Biotechnology 54 51 3
Certified Nursing Assistant 42 35 7
Dental Assistant – Dental Science I 14 13 1
Dental Assistant – Dental Science II 5 5
Dental Assisting – Dental Science III 4 4
Emergency Medical Technician 25 11 14
Exercise Science and Sports Medicine 11 1 8
Food & Nutrition I 23 10 10
Food & Nutrition II 4 4
Introduction to Health Sciences 29 27 2
Medical Anatomy & Physiology 52 48 4
Medical Assistant – Clinical and Laboratory Procedures 8 4 4
Medical Assistant – Anatomy and Physiology 11 10 1
Medical Assistant – Medical Office Mgmt. 7 4 3
Medical Assistant – Medical Terminology 15 14
Medical Forensics 12 9 3
Medical Terminology 80 66 13
Nutrition and Wellness (PILOT)* 2 2
Physical Therapy, Introduction* 3 2 1
21st Century Success Skills* 18 16 2

*Three new exams offered as part of the 2019 NCHSE Certification Lab


# of semesters of Health Science Courses 0 Semesters


1 Semester


2 Semesters


3+ Semesters


Would you recommend the NCHSE/PE Certificate Lab to other HOSA members? YES







Comments: This was an informal evaluation with participants responding voluntarily.

  • Please note that not all evaluations answered all the four
  • Of all the evaluations that answered “no” to their health science course adequately preparing them for the exam they took, 52 respondents either had no health science course or just 1 semester of a health science course(s), particularly with the EMT, Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Food and Nutrition 1, and Nutrition and Wellness exams. (Exams highlighted in yellow)
  • Eight evaluations did not specify if their health science course adequately prepared them for the exam they
  • 31 evaluations stated the student had no health science courses
  • Many evaluations included one or more exams in their single evaluation page therefore total number of evaluations will not equal the total number of exams or yes, no’s, and no comment.
  • Reviewing the evaluation responses it appears that some students took exams that they had no preparation for but either because the exams were free, or because the student was curious, etc. students felt empowered to take additional
  • Clearly respondents highly recommend other HOSA students to participate in the NCHSE Health Science Certificate Lab!
  • Precision Exams also provided all participants earning a certificate to document their certificates as a digital badge.


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