About the SMS Certification

FAQ’s for the Social Media Strategist (SMS) Certification

 

1) What subject matter will I be tested on?
2) What is the purpose of the exam?
3) Who developed the exam?
4) What is the format of the exam?
5) What are the exam eligibility requirements?
6) How much does it cost to take the exam?
7) Why is there a proctoring fee?
8) How do I apply to take the exam?
9) How has the passing point been established?
10) What score do I need to pass?
11) Will my score be kept private?
12) Can I review or appeal my exam results?



What subject matter will I be tested on?

The NISM Social Media Strategist certification exam will assess candidates knowledge within six content domains required of general practitioners in vocations of social media. They are as follows:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Compliance and Governance
  • Project Management
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Community Management
  • Research & Analysis

These content domains defined by the current NISM Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) Professional Job Study. Learn more by reviewing the NISM Candidate Handbook.

 
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What is the purpose of the exam?

The purpose of the NISM certification exams are to assess candidates’ knowledge in the six content domains of general social media practitioners as defined by the current NISM Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) social media vocation studies.

The questions are written, validated and reviewed by a panel of content experts in coordination with independent psychometricians, and are referenced in student manuals and other recommended study materials in an effort to obtain future accreditation.

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Who developed the exam?

Questions for the certification exam are prepared by the NISM Industry Advisory Committee made up of social media industry experts. Each question is validated by independent psychometricians, referenced to current resources from literature on or related to social media, and repeatedly edited for clarity and content. Questions also satisfy the exam specifications of the current IAC Job Study.

Questions are developed to assess the candidate’s knowledge on subject matter from the six professional roles of the social media practitioner. Each question is also subjected to editing for grammar and technical adequacy by experts from the IAC’s testing agency. Thus, content experts write the questions and validate their appropriateness for the exam, and experts in testing review the questions to ensure that the questions perform as intended.

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What is the format of the exam?

Our certification exams contains a combination of 165 scored items including:

• Stand-alone multiple-choice questions
• Focused scenarios, which consist of a scenario followed by related multiple choice question(s)

Following login, candidates are presented with an entry screen in to the exam. When candidates have completed the exam, they will submit it for scoring. Candidates have the ability to move forward or back throughout the entire exam. Candidates have a total of 3 hours to complete the exam.

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What are the exam eligibility requirements?

The minimum examination eligibility requirements are the prerequisites that all exam candidates must substantiate before being allowed to sit for the NISM Social Media Strategist certification examination. Candidates must show that they met at least one of the following two requirements:

    • Minimum of 64 credits (or an associate degree)

Candidates who have studied in areas such as Marketing & Communications, Business or Computer Science are ideal candidates. However, candidates from all areas of study who have at least an associate degree (or at least 64 academic credits) will be eligible to sit for the SMS exam.

OR

    • Minimum of 2 years of business experience related to social media

Candidates with experience in community management, social media management or related vocations are ideal candidates for the SMS certification. However, all applicants who have at least 2 full years of business experience related to social media in their application will be allowed to sit for the exam.

*All exam participants must be at least 18 years of age.

Application Points

To demonstrate that each applicant has reached these minimum eligibility requirements a points system has been implemented during the application process to ensure that candidates have a clear understanding of whether they have achieved minimum eligibility. This points system is described within the online application form. Learn more by reviewing the NISM Candidate Handbook.

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How much does it cost to take the exam?

Exam Vouchers – $295

At the end of the application, each candidate is required to purchase an Exam Registration Voucher. The price of this voucher is $295.

Proctor Fees – $65

The NISM Social Media Strategist exam is a proctored exam. This means that you must take an exam at one of our approved proctor locations. NISM currently works with over 250 proctored exam sites. Upon purchasing an exam voucher, you a proctoring fee will be added to your final purchase price. This fee will cover the expense for your proctor at your preferred testing site.

Additional Fees & Information

There are additional fees for denied applications, missing a scheduled exam date, and important information for those who fail their examination and wish to re-test that you can learn more about by reviewing the NISM Candidate Handbook.

 
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Why is there a proctoring fee?

In an effort to minimize the potential for academic dishonesty, and preserve the integrity of the examination, all exams must be proctored. Exam proctoring takes place at one of nearly 250 testing locations across the nation. Participants may choose their desired proctoring site during the exam registration process.

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How do I apply to take the exam?

The NISM Social Media Strategist exam applications are accepted continuously on a year-round basis. Candidates will be required to test at a proctored testing site that is selected during the application process.

Candidates must apply online, and pay via credit card.  Once a candidate has submitted an application, and it has approved, the candidate will receive an Exam Voucher, along with instructions on how to schedule an examination appointment and other pertinent information about the examination.

 
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How has the passing point been established?

The passing point for our certification exams is determined by a criterion-referenced approach called the Angof-Modified technique. This technique is currently considered by testing professionals to be one of the most defensible criterion referenced methods available for setting passing points. It relies on the pooled judgments of content experts.

The criterion used to judge each item is, “What is the probability that a minimally acceptable candidate will answer this item correctly?” This question prompts the judges to consider a group of minimally acceptable candidates and what proportion of that group will answer each item correctly.

The average determined probabilities are then multiplied by the total number of questions on the exam. The result then represents the “minimally acceptable” score for passing. The final passing point for the exam is based on this pooled judgment and the calculation of the standard error of the mean. Item analysis for each question and reliability indexes are also calculated for each section of the exam.

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What score do I need to pass?

Candidates are scored only on those items that have been aligned to the exam specifications of the current IAC Job Study and validated for scoring. The exact point value for each question is determined as a function of the weight assigned to its content category as well as the number of questions in that content category.

Pass/Fail results are not provided to the examiner immediately upon completion of the examination. Score reports, and certificates for those who pass are mailed to candidates via USPS mail within 2-4 weeks from the day of the examination. The score report indicates the maximum possible score for the exam, the minimum score needed to pass and the actual score obtained by the candidate. Candidates may use their unique student identification number to contact NISM and verify their Pass/Fail status. Exam scores are not posted on the NISM website.

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Will my score be kept private?

The exam score is confidential and will not be disclosed unless the IAC receives a written request to do so from a candidate or is directed to do so by subpoena or court order. A candidate wanting scores released to another entity must indicate in writing which particular scores may be disclosed and identify specifically the person or organization to which the scores should be revealed. No candidate scores will be given by telephone, fax or electronic means for any reason.

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Can I review or appeal my exam results?

For security reasons, exam material is not available for review. Candidates who have comments about an exam question should mail their comments, Attn: Exam Processing, National Institute for Social Media, PO Box 19620, Minneapolis, MN 55419. When advisory committees meet to revise the exam, they will have available to them information provided by candidates. The committee will not respond to comments individually.

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