What is the format of the Endorsement® Exam?
There are two parts to the exam:
- Part 1: consists of 60 multiple choice questions. The multiple choice questions are related to the competencies as indicated in the CT-AIMH Competency Guidelines® booklet such as:
- Attachment separation, and loss
- Pregnancy, infant and young child development and behavior
- Relationship-based therapeutic practice
- Infant mental health screening and assessment
- Disorders of infancy/early childhood
- Cultural competence
- Reflective practice
- Part 2: consists of three vignettes with corresponding questions; you will be asked to respond to two of the three vignettes. The number of vignettes may vary, depending on your category.
Time Allowed: you will have three hours to complete the entire examination. 90-minutes for Part 1 and 90-minutes for Part 2. If you need any accommodations: you must notify the exam facilitator or the Endorsement Coordinator in writing, at least 2 weeks prior to the exam, the specific accommodations needed.
The material covered requires knowledge about pregnancy, early development and clinical practice experiences. Both parts draw on cumulative learning experiences in college or university settings and specialized in-service trainings, as well as self-study (e.g. books and journal articles about infancy, early parenthood and infant mental health). Your supervised work experiences with infants, toddlers and families, and experiences within reflective supervision or consultation groups related to your work with infants and families will also contribute to learning that is reflected in the examination questions.
How should I study for the exam?
Studying for the test will vary from person to person. If you are currently engaged in relationship-based practice with infants and their families, receive reflective supervision and have consistently updated your knowledge and skills through specialized in-service training or enrollment in university or college course work specific to infancy, early parenthood and infant mental health, you will most likely be very well prepared. If you have not engaged in clinical practice or attended in-service trainings or university-based coursework specific to the promotion of infant mental health, you will find the test challenging. Click on these links for a Suggested Reading List or see the Reading List by Topic at the bottom of this page.
What happens if I do not pass the exam?
A passing score on Part 1 (multiple choice) of the exam is 80%. Applicants who receive a score of less than 80% will be invited to take the exam again in one year. In order to carefully protect the exam materials, applicants will not receive specific feedback related to the questions missed on Part 1.
Applicants who do not receive a passing score on Part 2 (response to vignettes/scenarios) will be provided specific feedback based on exam reviewers’ remarks. Those applicants will be invited to take the exam again in one year.
For those with various educational or work experience that has covered a lot of the material on the Suggested Reading List but who feel they need to focus on particular areas, below is a list of resources broken out by content area.
What if I need to request accommodations before taking the exam?
If you would like an accommodation for either part of the examination, you must submit a written request to the Endorsement Coordinator no later than 21 days (3 weeks) before your examination date. The request must detail the kind of accommodation being requested, as well as documentation of the need for an accommodation (i.e. an assessment from a professional), except for ESL accommodations, as no documentation is required for those. The Endorsement Coordinator will respond to the request at least 10 days before the examination date. We are committed to meeting the needs of all members but may not be able to grant every accommodation request. I will work closely with you to develop a plan that offers reasonable accommodations without compromising the integrity of the examination, your identity, or the identity of the Reviewers. In these instances, it may be necessary and appropriate to offer the exam on a different date in order to accommodate you. If the Coordinator is unsure of the appropriate accommodations for a special circumstances, the Coordinator may contact the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health Quality Assurance Director.
If your primary language is something other than English and you request an accommodation, you can have an additional 60 minutes for each section of the exam, i.e., a total of 2.5 hours for Part One and a total of 2.5 hours for Part Two. In addition, you may take a dictionary into the examination to assist in translation (e.g., a Spanish to English dictionary). ESL accommodations do not require documentation except for a written request for the standard extension of time outlined above. If more time than the standard extension is requested, further documentation may be required.
Helpful IMH Resources for studying for the IMH-E® Exam
- Book or digital edition available for purchase. Many Endorsement® Exam candidates have found the following book helpful: Case Studies in Infant Mental Health: Risk, Resiliency, and Relationships (Published through Zero to Three both as a book and as a digital download for $27.06). This book contains case studies and discussion questions that the readers can use to reflect upon how each case incorporates Infant Mental Health Services, the Infant Mental Health Competencies®, and specific skills and strategies.
- Basic Exam Study Pack (free). In response to many Endorsement® Exam candidates that were spending precious time searching for materials and journal articles to study for the IMH-E® Exam, the MN Association for Children’s Mental Health- Infant and Early Childhood Division, curated a Basic Exam Packet which is accessible for free in 3-parts here. This study pack does not include sample exam questions. This study pack is viewed as an essential body of work in the field of IMH that will be a go-to reference for years to come.
It is the hope of the packet creators that this Exam packet will provide you with easy access to important materials and a useful framework for which to base your Exam preparations around while saving you time. We encourage you to find study partners and groups in your own state and local area to support you during your studies and reflection on your work. In addition, we strongly suggest that applicants will engage their provider of RS/C to think together about their professional journey, capacity for reflection, and understanding of parallel process all in relation to readiness for the exam.
Suggested Reading List by Topic:
Pregnacy & Early Parenthood
Infant/Very Young Child Development & Behavior
Infant/Very Young Child/Family-Centered Practice
Relationship-Based Therapeutic Practice
Famly Relationships & Dynamics
Attachment, Separation, Trauma, & Loss
Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood
Psychotherapeutic Behavioral Theories of Change
Mental & Behavioral Disorders in Adults
Parent Infant/Young Child Relationship Based Therapies and Practices
Responding with Empathy
Observation & Listening
Screening & Assessment
Service Delivery Systems
Self Awareness/Contemplation/Emotional Response
Building & Maintaining Relationships
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