On January 30, 2013, NCEES presented a webinar to update its member licensing boards on preparations to implement computer-based testing for the FE and FS exams in January 2014. Watch a video of the presentation to learn about exam registration, testing windows, exam length, and how NCEES will supply reference materials to examinees.
The following is a summary of the answers to audience members’ questions during the webinar. The Q&A portion of the webinar begins at 32:00.
Examinees will be able to register to take the FE and FS exams year-round, but does the registration window for non-CBT exams (PE, SE, PS) still close just like it always has?
The paper-and-pencil exams will follow the same approval windows and registration deadlines that they always have. Only the CBT exams (FE and FS in 2014) will change.
How will NCEES or the boards investigate possible collusion at the centers?
Collusion rates should drastically lower once CBT is implemented. Because Pearson VUE manages exams for many different organizations, NCEES examinees are unlikely to be testing at the same time and place as another NCEES examinee. Pearson VUE also maintains secure environments in its testing centers. Still, some individuals’ exams may be flagged for further review in the instances of similarities or unusual activity.
Why will the FE and FS exams not be offered over four months out of the year after the switch to CBT?
Testing windows will be open for two months, closed for month, and the pattern will continue in that fashion throughout the year. The closed periods will allow NCEES and the boards time to evaluate what’s happening with the exams and identify any issues that emerge. In the future, NCEES may decide that the closed periods are no longer necessary.
For planning purposes, can we assume that boards will get at least 12 months’ notice before converting the PE or PS exams to CBT?
NCEES is required by official policy to notify boards at least 12 months in advance of any changes in the administration of exams.
If an examinee can take the exam three times in 12 months, does the examinee’s timeline start at registration or examination?
Because boards have varying waiting periods between registration and approval deadlines and exam dates, examinees’ timelines will include only their examination dates.
Will NCEES or the boards investigate possible cheating at Pearson VUE testing centers?
NCEES has a contractual agreement with Pearson VUE regarding security protocols and the information received on examinees. NCEES will conduct all necessary investigations, but boards will be notified and informed of investigative results and NCEES recommendations.
Examinees at Pearson VUE testing centers will be required to use a palm scanner as an identification method. How does the palm vein scanner work as a security tool?
Along with the usual forms of ID that examinees must currently present, Pearson VUE also uses scanners that map the veins in an examinee’s palm. This tool is especially useful because it eliminates the ability for examinees to employ proxy test takers after breaks. It will also identify examinees whose palm scans do not match their scans from previous testing experiences.