For the NBEO Part I, II, and III examinations a total raw score is computed and then converted to a scaled score ranging from 100 to 900. A score of 100 represents the lowest scaled score, while 900 represents the highest possible scaled score. A score of 300 represents the overall pass-fail cutoff score. The use of scaled scores allows for direct comparison of scores from one examination administration to another because the passing standard will always be the same, a scaled score of 300.
The National Board recently changed its method of computing scaled scores under 300, that is, the failing scaled scores. In the past, the National Board has used two different equations for converting passing and failing scores. The new method uses a single transformative equation for all scores. Although failing candidates will see lower scaled scores, their raw scores are not affected and the number of items by which they failed to reach the pass-fail cutoff also is not changed. In other words, the change in scaled scores does not affect whether or not a candidate passed or failed; the raw pass-fail cutoff score is the same no matter how scaled scores are computed. Candidates with raw scores lower than the cutoff score have achieved a fail; those candidates with raw scores higher than the cutoff score have achieved a pass.
Sections and special examinations are reported on a 0 to 99 scale. On this scale, zero represents the lowest possible score, 99 represents the highest possible scores, and 75 represents the pass-fail cutoff score. These scores also are transformed using a single scaling equation.
Section scaled scores cannot be added to reproduce the overall scaled scores. This is because sections have a different number of items and overall point value. A simple sum of these scaled scores would skew the outcome.
The official score report consists of scaled scores and pass-fail decisions based on overall Part performance. Candidates also receive a supplementary diagnostic performance report that contains their raw scores for each section, as well as subscores within disciplines. The supplemental report is intended to help candidates identify areas of relative strength and weakness as well as to aid them in understanding how their performance on each discipline contributed to their overall Part Score.