Preparing for the Exam
Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist (Category III) applicants and Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Mentor (Category IV) applicants whose portfolios are approved must pass the Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement exam. The exam has two parts which include 60 multiple choice questions and essay responses. Applicants have 90 minutes to complete each part for a total of 3 hours to complete the entire exam. Applicants need a score of 80% or higher on both parts of the exam to pass and become endorsed. The exam is offered and reviewed two times per year.
Part One (90 minutes)
Part One includes the same 60 multiple choice questions for all Category III and IV applicants. The questions will cover the Endorsement Competency Guidelines, including:
- 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 Two (90 minutes)
Part Two includes essay responses to prompts, but prompts vary depending on the Level and track for which you are applying.
Infant Mental Health Specialist (Category III)
You will respond to two of three Clinical Vignettes: Your work experiences with infants and toddlers and families, where you are working from a relationship-based perspective practicing infant mental health, are crucial. Your experience of reflective supervision, individual or group, is also important to consider while responding.
Infant Mental Health Mentor – Clinical (Category IV)
You will respond to two of three Clinical Vignettes: One clinical vignette/Scenario is a supervisory vignette/scenario and must be answered from the perspective of the supervisor. One of two clinical vignettes/scenarios must be answered from the perspective of the infant mental health specialist/practitioner.
- Your work experiences with infants and toddlers and families, where you are working from a relationship-based perspective practicing infant mental health, are crucial.
- Your experience of reflective supervision, individual or group is also important.
- Your experience as a supervisor/consultant who has provided or is providing reflective supervision to practitioners working with infants, toddlers, young children and parents/caregivers is a third important guide.
Infant Mental Health Mentor – Policy (Level IV)
You will response to 1 Qualitative Question: You are encouraged to rely on your extensive leadership experience with the infant-family field ensuring the promotion and practice of infant mental health to respond. In particular, you are encouraged to consider:
- Systems development
- All that is required to promote change across systems
Infant Mental Health Mentor – Research/Faculty (Level IV)
You will provide a research response to 1 Qualitative Question: You are encouraged to rely on your extensive research and teaching experience in the infant-family field related to the study of pregnancy, infancy, early childhood and early parenthood; attachment security and relationship needs; risk and resiliency in the early years; caregiving practices; early assessment and intervention strategies, and the mental health needs of infants and toddlers, to name a few.
MI-AIMH has developed a list of suggested readings for applicants to guide them in their preparation for the exam. You can download this reading list here. MassAIMH has created study notes and access to some of the readings to MassAIMH members. Please click here to access them.
Some applicants have found value in forming study groups to prepare for the exam. MassAIMH maintains applicants’ confidentiality throughout the application process.