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Adverse Testing Conditions

During an examination administration, unanticipated circumstances may arise. Candidates must obey all test center professional staff instructions for the safety of all affected by an emergency.

Some events may be considered to be an Adverse Testing Condition (“Adverse Testing Condition” or “ATC”). An ATC is a situation that occurs during an examination administration that the NBOME determines, in its sole discretion, is outside the control of the candidate and significantly interrupts the normal administration of the examination and substantially affects the candidate’s performance on the examination. Examples include extensive delayed start of an examination, repeated test interruptions, significant or repeated equipment/technical malfunctions, and/or disruptive test center environment. However, candidates should be aware that there is a brief transition time between examination items. This transition time is normal and does not constitute an adverse testing condition.

If during an examination a candidate brings to the attention of the test center professional staff any testing condition that they believe has or will substantially and adversely affect their performance on the examination, and the condition is not resolved to the reasonable satisfaction of the candidate at the test center, the candidate may either:


In either case, the candidate must:

  1. Promptly report any interruption of the examination to the test center staff on the day of the examination, AND
  2. Directly provide to the NBOME, via email to clientservices@nbome.org, credible and verifiable written evidence of the incident within 10 calendar days following the date of the examination. Simply making a comment in the post examination survey regarding any possible ATC does not qualify as written notification. Please reference “Adverse Testing Condition” in the subject line of your email.

The NBOME will initiate a review and communicate with the candidate. The NBOME will place the scoring process “on hold” until the NBOME has completed its review of the matter.

After completing its review of an alleged ATC, the NBOME in its sole discretion may proceed with scoring or not scoring the examination and may offer the candidate the opportunity to retake the examination in part or in its entirety as determined by the NBOME in its sole discretion.

If the candidate fails to notify both the test center staff and the NBOME of any claimed ATC within ten (10) calendar days after the completion of the exam, the candidate thereby waives any claim or right to any recourse they have against the NBOME; the test center; or their employees, agents, or representatives arising out or relating to that claimed ATC.

If an ATC at a test center is universally adverse to all or most candidates, as determined by the NBOME in its sole discretion, the NBOME may offer to all candidates so affected an option to reschedule the examination for a mutually agreeable future date without the candidate incurring any additional fee. For any rescheduling thereafter, the candidate will be responsible for the associated fees. If the NBOME is unable to reschedule the examination when this option is offered, then it is the responsibility of the candidate to make the new test appointment for a mutually agreeable future date.

Candidates may appeal a decision regarding a reported ATC. This appeal must be made to NBOME in writing within 10 days of receipt of the decision from NBOME and should be sent to clientservices@nbome.org. Only a single appeal is permitted.


Bulletin of Information 2023-2024