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Computer-Based Testing Policy


The National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) examinations are intended to be delivered under standardized conditions. Although, Pearson VUE strives to maintain an optimal testing environment, candidates who experience a testing irregularity because of environmental factors or technical difficulties should communicate the issue to the on-site test center administrator as soon as possible. The test administrator will attempt to resolve the irregularity. Unless the irregularity prevents the examination from being delivered, candidates are expected to continue testing.

All candidates will have an opportunity to submit an online incident report regarding any testing irregularity at the conclusion of the examination while at the Pearson Professional Center. If a candidate is unable to complete an incident report at the end of the examination, then the NBEO will accept incident reports at: www.NBEO@optometry.org up to 72 hours after the examination. Upon receipt of any notification that an irregularity has occurred, the NBEO will examine the situation on an individual basis and determine whether action is warranted. If the NBEO does not receive an incident report within 72 hours of the examination, then no action will be taken and NBEO will not investigate.

Late Arrivals or Missed Examinations

Candidates should arrive at the test center 30 minutes prior to their scheduled appointments to allow adequate time for the check-in procedures. Candidates who arrive more than 15 minutes after their scheduled appointment times will be denied admission and are not eligible for a refund of the exam fee. Rescheduling outside of the published testing date(s) will not be allowed.

Test Center Closure

In the rare event that a test center is unable to open because of unexpected events, including but not limited to, technical difficulties, local emergencies, severe weather, or a power outage, Pearson VUE and/or the NBEO will make every effort to contact candidates as quickly as possible. To ensure such contact, it is critical that candidates maintain accurate email address and phone numbers in their NBEO and Pearson profiles and update as necessary so that such information remains accurate. If a test center unexpectedly closes, then registration fees will be refunded and candidates will be asked to schedule for the next examination administration.

Test Center Irregularities Impacting Examination Start Time

If there are technical difficulties or other potential issues at the Pearson Professional Center that delay the examination start time, this information will be communicated to candidates upon arrival to the testing center. Candidates will be notified of the estimated wait time and will be periodically updated regarding the status of the appointment start time. Pearson VUE will contact the NBEO immediately if there is any delay and candidates will be asked to wait for their examination to begin. Candidates should submit an incident report documenting their exam delay at the conclusion of their examination and will have 72 hours for reporting. If the NBEO does not receive an incident report within 72 hours of the examination, then no action will be taken and the NBEO will not investigate the situation. Candidates who are unable to wait for their examination to begin will receive a refund of exam fees and will be asked to schedule for the next examination administration.

Interruptions During Testing

If an examination is interrupted because of a testing environment issue, then Pearson VUE will attempt to restart the examination as soon as possible. In the event of a technical difficulty, the examination software is designed to resume from the point of interruption with the same amount of time remaining. In some circumstances, Pearson VUE may need additional time to troubleshoot and resolve an issue before testing can resume. Candidates will be encouraged to wait for the examination to resume and to report the incident at the conclusion of the examination. Candidates will have within 72 hours of the examination to submit an incident report. If the NBEO does not receive an incident report within 72 hours of the examination, then no action will be taken and the NBEO will not investigate the situation. If candidates are unable to complete the examination, then the following options will apply:
  1. Invalidate Examination: Candidates choosing this option will have their examination score cancelled, will receive a refund of the examination fee, and will be eligible to schedule for the next examination administration. If a candidate chooses this option, such candidate’s results will be erased without scoring and no performance feedback will be given.
  2. Score the Examination: Candidates may elect to have their examination scored, and in such case their score will stand and they will not be eligible for a refund of the examination fee or a free re-test at the next administration. However, the NBEO has the right to invalidate a score if there is evidence of a serious administrative irregularity.
Unscheduled Breaks During Testing

Candidates may be provided with scheduled break periods at predetermined times during their examination session. However, the NBEO recognizes that candidates also may need to take an unscheduled break from testing while the examination clock continues to run. Extended absences, multiple breaks, excessive cumulative time away from testing, accessing of locker, accessing of study material, usage of electronic devices, or any other non-standard behavior that may be perceived as an impropriety will be documented for security purposes and communicated to the NBEO.

Pursuant to the Candidate Exam Conduct and Exam Security Agreement, access to examination material is prohibited at all times, including both scheduled and unscheduled breaks.

NBEO Right to Invalidate an Examination Due to Irregularity

The NBEO also has the right to invalidate candidate scores if there is evidence of other exam administration irregularities not specifically mentioned above. Should the NBEO determine that such an irregularity exists, the examination may be invalidated and the candidate may be eligible for a refund of the examination fee. In such case, the candidate will be eligible for the next examination administration.

Failure to Comply with Test Administrator Instructions and Test Center Rules

All candidates are expected to adhere to test administrator instructions and test center rules at all times. This includes compliance with check-in procedures and exhibiting proper decorum in all areas of the test center. Candidates failing to comply may be subject to dismissal from the test center and/or invalidation of their examination. Candidates with an invalidated examination due to a candidate’s failure to comply will forfeit all fees paid.

General Matters

The NBEO will review all incident reports on an individual basis and determine whether action is warranted.

NBEO shall not be liable to any candidate for inconvenience, expense, or other damage arising out of the administration, scoring, or delays in score reporting of an examination.
Copyright © 2017 National Board of Examiners in Optometry, Inc. All rights reserved.

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