RESNA > Certification > Seating and Mobility Specialist (SMS) > About the SMS Exam

About the SMS Exam

The SMS certification provides professional recognition and value for rehabilitation professionals with advanced knowledge and experience. The exam consists of 165 multiple choice questions. 

The exam is administered via computer at Prometric test centers around the world. The exam is currently delivered in English.

Accommodations are available for candidates with special needs that comply with the American Disabilities Act (ADA). Candidates with special needs must request accommodations when they submit the Certification Application. Please contact RESNA to discuss available ADA accommodations.

The exam is preceded by a 10-minute tutorial, which provides instruction on navigating through the exam. At the end of the exam, candidates will receive a preliminary Pass/Fail grade.

For candidates who fail the exam, the score report will show the overall percentage score earned and will include diagnostic information about the candidate's performance in each of the five major knowledge domains from the Exam Content Outline.


There is a 90-day waiting period after taking the test before one can re-apply with the re-take application, after which the test taker can retake the test at the reduced rate ($125) for up to one year after the original test was taken.


For the SMS exam, there is one reported Pass or Fail score.

Scores are determined by converting the number of questions answered correctly to a scaled score that ranges from 100 to 600. You need a total score of 400 or above to pass the exam.

It is to your advantage to answer all of the questions. Your score is based only on the total number of correct answers. Candidates do not compete with one another and there is no limit to the number of candidates who can pass a given exam.

Passing the exam means you have demonstrated subject matter mastery at or above a level determined by the Professional Standards Board to represent the minimum baseline competency to receive the SMS certification.

If you receive a score under 400, you do not pass the exam. Not passing the exam means you did not demonstrate mastery of the knowledge required to receive the SMS certification. Your numerical score is reported along with a diagnostic message for each of the domains included in the exam. The diagnostic messages are intended to help you identify areas of strength and weakness. Diagnostic messages (i.e., Proficient, Marginal, Not Proficient) are offered to help focus unsuccessful candidates study for subsequent exams.

What is a scaled score?

A scaled score has been mathematically transformed from a raw score (i.e., the number of correct answers) to a standardized scale. For every possible raw score on a test form, there is a corresponding scaled score. This transformation is similar to converting from pounds to kilograms. The weight of the object has not changed, only the units being reported.

When multiple forms of a test are used, or when results are compared over time, scaled scores allow accurate comparison between possible differences in test form length or difficulty. Scaled scores offers a fair assessment of everyone, regardless of when they took the test or which version they took.

What is a passing score?

The passing score is the number of items candidates must answer correctly to pass the examination. The passing score is based on the results of a criterion-referenced process where a committee of subject matter experts discuss the minimum level of competency required to pass the examination during an established psychometric standard setting method, such as the Angoff method. This minimal level of competency is then maintained on future forms through a statistical process known as equating.