Over the past few years, the NBCE has listened to the growing student voice and counsel from our academic partners speaking to the need to improve access to testing. As an organization the NBCE takes our role in helping safeguard the integrity of licensure testing seriously, which is why we engaged in a period of research and introspection to answer two critical questions:

How do we improve access to testing without sacrificing the integrity of NBCE Exams?
Since the current cost of test development is high, are there smarter systems we can implement that will allow us to increase exam production without increasing costs?

And because our commitment to excellence compels us to go one step further:
Can we accomplish both while maintaining the accuracy, integrity, and validity of testing?

This path of inquiry led the NBCE to the conclusion that only by upgrading our computer-based testing systems for the Part I and II exams and rethinking our approach to the Part IV exam, can we remain responsive to student voices while maintaining the integrity of exams.


Computer-Based Testing

Triple the number of testing opportunities annually for the Parts I, II, III, and Physiotherapy exams.

Proposed Solution:
Moving towards adaptive exam delivery and increasing the number of unique exam forms while also reducing the resources required to produce exam forms. This requires providing a single score for Part I and a single score for the Part II exam instead of the current practice of providing scores for each domain. This will allow us to better utilize our item bank and decrease the overall length of these exams while maintaining exam validity.



Part IV Exam

Produce a more efficient exam that better mimics real-world patient encounters while maintaining fairness, reliability, and validity of the exam and providing more testing opportunities.

Proposed Solution:
Developing a blueprint for the Part IV exam that reduces the number of stations while increasing the amount of content covered in each station.

» Researching the benefits and impact of a centralized testing location through financial analysis and obtaining feedback from stakeholders.

Open Comments Survey