The Level III exam uses the essay format in the morning, and the item set format, with 10 item sets, in the afternoon.
The Level III exams are graded for 360 points, corresponding to the number of minutes on the exam. At Level III, the morning essay exam is 180 points and the afternoon item set exam is 180 points.
When you are preparing for the Level III item set exam, remember:
- Re-read the formatting conventions for writing multiple choice questions at Level I. These same “best practices” are followed for item set questions at Level III.
- You may mark up your exam book. Circle or underline important information in the vignette and write down your equations or logic. However, only your final answers recorded on the answer sheets are graded.
- Mark your answers on the answer sheet as you complete each question. Some candidates mark their answers in the exam book and wait until the end of the exam to complete the answer sheet. This is not an advisable strategy.
- If you do not know the answer to a question:
- You might be able to eliminate one or more choices based on what you know about the topic. There is no penalty for guessing.
- Use reasoning and logic. The concepts that you know on one topic often apply to another topic.
About the Level III Essay Questions
The Level III essay exam is given in the morning session and has a maximum score of 180 points. The essay exam typically has 10–15 questions, and questions may have multiple parts. The point value for each question is provided in the exam.
On the essay section of the Level III exam, you’ll see two types of questions:
- One requires that you write your answers on the lined page(s) following the question. For these questions, label each part of your answer clearly (A, B, C, or i, ii, iii, etc.)
- The other type asks you to provide your answers in a template following the question. Instructions in bold print (immediately preceding the question) direct you to the page number of each template.
Some questions contain a mix of these two question and answer types. Each essay question may have as few as one part or as many as 7-8 parts, so be sure to read and understand how to answer the entire question.