New examinations are constantly in preparation and the Examinations Institute is always eager to receive ideas for new exams as well as volunteers to work on ACS exams that are planned. While there is some variation, most exam writing committee volunteers participate in a similar process.
There is an initial meeting where the content coverage of the exam to be developed is discussed and set.
Individual write items (and there may be small group editing by email).
The whole committee meets to edit and select items for two trial tests. For most exams, this means that twice as many items are produced on trial tests as are needed on the released exam.
The final meeting, held after trial testing has provided enough data from student performances, is where committee members discuss the statistical measures related to the items on the trial tests and choose the set of items for the released exam. Minor editing may take place on a few of the items.
If you are interested in conducting research related to assessment of student learning in chemistry, you may also want to consider becoming an Institute Fellow and spend a semester or longer working at the Exams Institute. The Institute routinely has funding for individuals who would be interested in supplementing sabbatical pay and requests for this level of involvement are considered on a case-by-case basis.