What are the National Restaurant Association Culinary Exams?
The National Restaurant Association Culinary Exams are all-new, knowledge-based exams brought to you by the most trusted organizations in the industry, the National Restaurant Association, and Pearson. As an advocate for the restaurant and foodservice industry and as the “restaurants’ champion,” with hundreds of thousands of members strong, the NRA is the most recognized name in the industry.
This exciting new offering features two separate and distinct certificates, primarily for culinary students in a post-secondary environment:
- National Restaurant Association Cooking
- National Restaurant Association Baking
Certificates demonstrate students’ mastery of competencies
Schools and students can now take advantage of these extraordinary new cooking and baking certificates! Finally, a standard by which individuals can be evaluated and rewarded. By earning a certificate, students have proof of their mastery of baking and/or cooking knowledge; and employers can feel more secure knowing they have the core competencies needed. These certificates, provided by the National Restaurant Association, are a lasting recognition of a student’s accomplishment and serve as a resource to be used in the job search process. See a sample cooking certificate or sample baking certificate.
Developed through meticulous analysis, a team of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) from academia and industry has ensured that these unique exams focus on the key concepts critical for success in the industry.
Based on the core objectives found in market-leading textbooks like On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals (Labensky, et al) and On Baking: A Textbook of Baking and Pastry Fundamentals (Labensky, et al), a detailed analysis of the common course objectives and outcomes were completed in order to identify the critical competencies required for a student in a culinary arts program.
Since these exams are based on common course objectives and outcomes, you can use any market-leading textbooks that are similar to On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals (Labensky, et al) and On Baking: A Textbook of Baking and Pastry Fundamentals (Labensky, et al) for students to earn these certificates.
From there, SMEs developed a comprehensive pool of test questions and critically evaluated each other’s work. A professional test item writer then reviewed and edited all the items and prepared them for a validation workshop.
At the validation workshop, the entire SME panel reviewed and approved each test item for the format, content, relevancy, cognitive demand, and correct answer. Final changes were made at this time and the specific questions for the exams were selected. A base form was used to set a passing score using a modified Angoff procedure.
How it all works
Implementation is easy and seamless. Most schools won’t have to change any of their current practices or curriculum.
One of the first critical steps is to ensure that all pertinent educators become registered NRA Culinary Exams instructors. The entire process takes approximately 15 minutes and can be completed online. Click here for details.
Since the exams are based on commercially available textbooks, you will want to make sure that students are using one of the following for the respective certificate:
- National Restaurant Association Cooking Certificate
- Use On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals (Labensky, et al)
- Use Professional Cooking (Gisslen)
- National Restaurant Association Baking Certificate
- Use On Baking: A Textbook of Baking and Pastry Fundamentals (Labensky, et al)
- Use Professional Baking (Gisslen)
Similar to other NRA products, the exams can be administered online or offline (pencil and paper) — meeting the needs of instructors and students. Exams are to be administered in a proctored environment by a registered instructor.
Answer sheets and online vouchers are available for purchase separately or conveniently packaged with On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals and On Baking: A Textbook of Baking and Pastry Fundamentals. See the available options.
The NRA processes all exams with full assistance in administration, support, and customer service.