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Exam Day: What to Expect

Prometric Testing Center Regulations

Physicians using Prometric testing centers must abide by the Prometric policies stated below related to security and use of computer equipment and facilities. While at a Prometric testing center, candidates must comply with Test Center Administrator (TCA) directions at all times. Failure to comply with Prometric TCA directions or security and computer equipment usage policies may result in expulsion from the testing center and denial of access to any American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) examination in the future. A copy of the Prometric Testing Center Regulations can be found here.

What time should I arrive at the Testing center?

You must arrive at the testing center 30 minutes before your scheduled examination start time.

What if I arrive late or fail to appear for my examination?

The Prometric Testing Center proctor has the discretion to deny access to latecomers, including individuals who do not arrive at the testing center 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time. Those who are denied entrance and those who fail to appear may contact the ABP.

What if I need to reschedule my examination?

Examination appointments may be rescheduled online up to 30 days prior to the initial test date without incurring a rescheduling fee. If an appointment is changed less than 30 days prior to the test date, Prometric will assess a fee that must be paid prior to rescheduling another examination. Examinations scheduled within testing windows can only be rescheduled within that window. Rescheduling and/or cancelling examinations less than five days prior to the appointment may result in a substantial rescheduling fee.

What can I expect when I arrive at the Testing Center to take my examination?

Metal detector wands are in use in all Prometric testing centers, and wanding is a requirement for testing. You will be scanned prior to each entry into the testing room to ensure that you do not have any prohibited electronic devices. If you refuse wanding, you will not be admitted to the testing room unless you have a medical exception. The Test Center Administrator will be required to submit a report to the ABP for anyone declining to be scanned.

Upon arriving at the testing center:

  • You will need to show a valid photo ID confirming your identity. The name must be an exact match.
  • You will be provided a secure individual storage locker for your personal belongings; many items are prohibited from the testing room. See the list of prohibited items below.
  • You will be asked to read “Prometric Testing Center Regulations,” agreeing to the security terms of the administration of the examination.
  • You will be asked to empty and turn your pockets inside out prior to every entry into the testing room to confirm that you have no prohibited items.
  • You will be asked to roll up long sleeves to confirm the removal of your watch.
  • You will be provided with two laminated note boards and two markers.
  • You will be asked to sign your name and mark the time in the test center roster just prior to entering the testing room.

Upon completion of the registration process, you will be escorted to a computer workstation in the testing room where the TCA will launch your examination. The only items you will be permitted to bring into the testing room include:

  • Your photo ID
  • Your storage locker key
  • Soft earplugs
  • Center-supplied tissues
  • Center-supplied note boards and markers

 

What photo ID will I need?

One form of acceptable identification is required for admission to the testing center. The identification must be current and include a recent photograph and signature. If the photo identification is not signed, a second form of identification with a signature must also be presented. Those who do not present acceptable identification will not be permitted to take the examination. Identification documentation will be captured and validated to determine authenticity. All identity information captured at the testing center is purged from Prometric systems at the close of each business day.

PLEASE NOTE: Falsifying information required for admission to the examination or impersonating another examinee is strictly prohibited.

Acceptable forms of identification include:

  • A valid (not expired) government-issued driver's license with your photograph and signature (Candidates who do not drive may have an identification card issued by the agency that also issues driver's licenses.)
  • A valid (not expired) government-issued identification card with your photograph and signature
  • A valid (not expired) government-issued passport with your photograph and signature
  • A valid (not expired) United States military identification card with your photograph and signature
  • A valid (not expired) hospital identification card with your photograph and signature

Unacceptable forms of identification include:

  • A Social Security card
  • A United States permanent residence card (green card)
  • A credit, debit, or ATM card

IMPORTANT: The name on the current identification must exactly match the name listed in ABP records. Example: If a physician's name is listed as Jane Jones in ABP records, and the physician's legal name is Jane Jones Smith, identification must also list the name as Jane Jones (or Jane Jones Smith). If that physician presents identification reflecting the name Jane Smith, she would not be allowed to sit for the examination. Even a small difference in first name is a problem.

What items are prohibited in the testing room?

  • Calculators
  • Watches (remaining test time will be provided on your examination screen)
  • Recording devices
  • Photographic equipment
  • Study material
  • Cellular telephones
  • PDAs (personal digital assistants)
  • Purses
  • Wallets
  • Pagers
  • Hats and other head coverings, except those for religious purposes
  • Coats
  • Bags (eg, plastic, paper)
  • Tissues not provided by the test center
  • Pens and pencils
  • Beverages
  • Food
  • Medicine or cough drops
  • Tobacco products
  • Any other product determined by the TCA to be a disturbance to other testers or a threat to the security of the examination

PLEASE NOTE: The use of any medical device, such as an asthma inhaler or insulin pump, within the examination room must be pre-approved by the ABP prior to scheduling your examination appointment.

What material will be provided by the TCA?

  • Headphones (per request)
  • Tissues (per request)
  • Note boards and markers

Will I be required to agree to a non-disclosure policy?

Yes. Before your examination can be viewed on your computer screen, you will be presented with the ABP Honor Code, which is the ABP's non-disclosure agreement (NDA) relevant to examination confidentiality. You will be asked to review and acknowledge your agreement and compliance to the honor code by clicking "I agree." If you click "I disagree," you will have one more opportunity to affirm. If you click "I disagree" a second time, your examination session will be terminated, your examination fee will be forfeited, and you will be asked to leave the testing center.

The materials developed by the ABP for its in-training, certification, and maintenance of certification examinations and other certification activities are copyrighted as the sole property of the ABP and may not be reproduced in any way. Reproduction of copyrighted material, in whole or in part, is a federal offense. Irrespective of copyright, any attempt to distribute ABP certification, maintenance of certification or in-training exam materials, in whole or in part, undermines the fairness of the certification process and will be considered unethical, unprofessional, and dishonorable, and will constitute grounds for the ABP to disqualify the resident, fellow, candidate, or diplomate from future examinations and/or other certification activities, invalidate current activities, revoke certificates, or take any other action deemed appropriate by the ABP and its legal counsel.

Will I be given the opportunity to take a tutorial?

Yes. If you have never taken a computer-based examination at Prometric, it is highly recommended that you review the brief tutorial on the ABP's Web site to become familiar with the functionality of the computer-based examination. You will also be able to review a tutorial during your examination at the testing center. You will have 15 minutes to review the introduction and tutorial before your examination begins. The time used to review the tutorial will not be counted against your examination time.

If you are taking the Pediatric Cardiology Examination, you should use the link in your portfolio to access the tutorial.

What is the schedule for examination day?

The examination is divided into examination sections containing multiple-choice questions. The appointment time includes registration, introduction, tutorial, the examination, optional breaks, and a survey.

General Pediatrics Certification Examination Day Schedule*

Action Time Allotted
Registration Arrive 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time
Introduction Up to 2 minutes
Honor Code (Non-disclosure Agreement) Up to 3 minutes
Tutorial Optional; up to 10 minutes
Examination Section 1 1 hour and 45 minutes
Break Optional; up to 15 minutes
Examination Section 2 1 hour and 45 minutes
Break Optional; up to 60 minutes
Examination Section 3 1 hour and 45 minutes
Break Optional; up to 15 minutes
Examination Section 4 1 hour and 45 minutes
Survey Up to 15 minutes
Total Appointment Time Approximately 9 hours
 

Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Examination Day Schedule*

Action Time Allotted
Registration Arrive 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time
Introduction Up to 2 minutes
Honor Code (Non-disclosure Agreement) Up to 3 minutes
Tutorial Optional; up to10 minutes
Examination Section 1 2 hours
Break Optional; up to 30 minutes
Examination Section 2 2 hours
Survey Up to 15 minutes
Total Appointment Time Approximately 5 hours
 

Subspecialty In-Training Examination (SITE) Day Schedule*

Action Time Allotted
Registration Arrive 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time
Introduction Up to 2 minutes
Honor Code (Non-disclosure Agreement) Up to 3 minutes
Tutorial Optional; up to10 minutes
Examination Section 1 2 hours
Break Optional; up to 30 minutes
Examination Section 2 2 hours
Survey Up to 15 minutes
Total Appointment Time Approximately 5 hours
 

Subspecialty Certification Examination Day Schedule*

Action Time Allotted
Registration Arrive 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time
Introduction Up to 2 minutes
Honor Code (Non-disclosure Agreement) Up to 3 minutes
Tutorial Optional; up to 10 minutes
Examination Section 1 2 hours and 15 minutes
Break Optional; up to 30 minutes
Examination Section 2 2 hours and 15 minutes
Survey Up to 15 minutes
Total Appointment Time Approximately 5 hours and 30 minutes

 

*Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) accommodations may alter the examination day schedules.

What can I expect during the examination?

To ensure a high level of security throughout your testing experience at Prometric:

  • You will be monitored at all times.
  • All testing sessions will be video and audio recorded.
  • TCAs will periodically walk through the testing room and continuously monitor testers through observation windows for irregular behavior.

What if I need assistance during the examination?

If you need assistance at any time during your examination, raise your hand to alert the TCA. Examples of instances where a tester requires assistance include:

  • Hardware or software problems or distractions that affect your ability to take the examination. If an error message is displayed on the computer screen, DO NOT clear the message.
  • Need for an additional note board or marker
  • Need for assistance for any reason

What happens if there are technical difficulties with my examination?

On rare occasions, candidates may encounter technical difficulties at the testing center. If you experience a technical difficulty, notify the test-center administrator immediately. Test-center personnel will make every effort to correct any difficulties as quickly as possible.

In the event of a technical problem, back-up systems are in place to ensure that no testing time is lost. Should you experience any technical difficulties, please raise your hand to notify the TCA that there is a problem. The TCA will follow established procedures to resolve the problem. The nature of the problem will also be reported to the ABP.

If you encounter technical difficulties that could impact your score, please ensure that you file a report with the TCA before you leave the testing center. In addition, you must notify the ABP in writing within three business days of your examination date.

Am I permitted to take a break during the examination?

Yes, breaks are permitted. There are two kinds of breaks permitted: scheduled and unscheduled breaks.

Scheduled Breaks

Scheduled breaks are available between examination sections. Scheduled break time does not count against your testing time. You can only take a scheduled break after a section of the examination is complete. Once the section is complete, you will not be able to return to any of the questions in the section. Candidates may decline the scheduled break and continue to the next section of the examination, or only use a portion of the break time allotted. The allotted amount of time for your break will be displayed on your monitor. For specific information regarding the sections and breaks for your examination, please see "What is the schedule for examination day" section.

Unscheduled Breaks

If you need to take a break during the timed portion of your examination, you may take an unscheduled break. The examination timer will continue to count down during unscheduled breaks. No additional time will be provided to complete your examination.

What do I need to know about leaving the testing room?

Upon leaving or returning to the testing room for a break:

  • Your photo ID must be presented to test center staff and the test center roster must be signed, and the time marked, each time you enter and exit the testing room.
  • You will be asked to empty and turn your pockets inside out prior to every entry to the testing room to confirm that you have no prohibited items.
  • The use of phones and other electronic devices during unscheduled breaks is strictly prohibited.
  • You are not permitted to access any study material or discuss the examination when taking breaks during an active examination session. This includes access through any verbal communication, electronic means (eg, cell phones, smart phones, internet), or written material. In fact, use of any electronic devices while the examination session is active is prohibited.
  • You are not permitted to leave the immediate vicinity of the testing center or rest rooms while an examination session is in progress.
  • Repeated or lengthy departures from the testing room for unscheduled breaks will be reported by the TCA.

What other rules and regulations should I know about?

  • Unauthorized possession, reproduction, recording, discussion, reconstruction of content from memory, or disclosure of any materials, including, but not limited to, examination questions before, during, or after an examination or other certification activities is a violation of the ABP’s honor code and federal copyright laws. Failure to comply may result in the invalidation of examination results, exclusion from future examinations, revocation of certification, or any sanction deemed appropriate by the ABP and its legal counsel.
  • Any jewelry or clothing such as sweaters or other light outer wear worn into the testing room must be worn at all times while testing or placed in the provided locker.
  • You must conduct yourself in a courteous manner at all times when on the premises of the testing center. Exhibiting abusive behavior toward test center staff may result in criminal prosecution.
  • To protect the privacy of all testers, test center staff can neither confirm nor deny the presence of any particular individual at the test center.
  • Persons not scheduled to take the test are not permitted to wait in the testing center.
  • Weapons of any kind are prohibited.
  • All materials issued to you by testing center staff must be returned at the conclusion of your examination. This includes laminated note boards, markers, and tissues. Tissues must be discarded in view of test center staff.

What are examples of irregular or improper behavior?

TCAs are required to report any irregular or improper behavior by a candidate. Examples of irregular or improper behavior include, but are not limited to, giving or obtaining information, removing examination material from the test center, being disruptive, or violating any Prometric testing center regulations, the ABP Honor Code, or other ABP policies. TCAs may intervene to stop any observed irregular or improper behavior. Irregular or improper behavior during the examination, as evidenced by careful observation or subsequent statistical analysis of your responses, may result in the termination of your participation, invalidation of your examination results, exclusion from future examinations, revocation of certification, or any other sanction deemed appropriate by the ABP and its legal counsel.

Who else will be testing in the room at the testing center?

Prometric administers examinations for a variety of clients. As a result, examinees taking other examinations may be in the testing room at the same time that the ABP is testing.

What happens at the end of the examination?

You will be asked to complete a survey at the end of the examination. Once the survey is complete, you will be directed to exit the testing room and the TCA will provide a receipt.

How do I contact ABP with questions about Examination Day?

If you have any questions regarding your examination day, call the ABP at (919) 929-0461 from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Eastern Time or visit the Contact ABP page.