Computer Based Testing Information




Computer Based Testing Information

Measurement Research Associates is pleased to provide the opportunity for Board candidates to take computerized certification examinations at local testing centers across the country. Computer based testing allows candidates to take his or her certification examination in a convenient testing center saving time and money. The advantage is that these testing centers are located close to home, so travel expenses and time are saved. Further, the centers offer privacy along with a quiet and comfortable environment. Examination questions and visual images are easily viewable from the computer screen, and are generally of higher quality when presented on a computer. Entering responses to the questions is as easy as dialing a telephone number.

Advantages to the Candidate

Computer based testing allows the candidate to take the examination close to home in the comfort of well designed test centers on new computers while sitting in comfortable chairs. The lighting is designed to provide clear viewing of the computer screen. Because there is less travel, there is less expense in time and money. The computer screen offers the opportunity to use visuals that are more comparable to the images used in the clinical environment.


Advantages to the Board

A primary advantage of computer based examinations is the security. Computerization eliminates the need to ship written materials to various locations around the country. The extensive encryption makes it virtually impossible to break into the system. The test centers control security with regard to candidate use of unauthorized notes.


Fixed Form Computer Based Testing

Fixed form testing allows each candidate to take a specific group of test items as a form of the test. Depending upon the number of items on the test, there may be one or more sections. Each item is shown on an individual computer screen. If visuals or images are needed for the item, they may be shown on the screen with the text or on a separate screen that is reached by clicking a button. The advantage is that images are often easier to read on the computer screen than on the printed copy.

Candidates enter their answers for each item by typing the letter of the response or clicking the response. The advantage is that the answer is recorded directly in a computer response file for later analysis. The direct entry of responses insures that transcription errors are not made from scanning answer sheets, or due to a candidates failure to accurately mark a response. At this time, all Board exams are in fixed form format.


Computer Adaptive Testing

Computer adaptive testing constructs individualized examinations for each candidate based on their demonstrated level of knowledge and skill. The advantages are that all candidates take examinations which they find challenging improving the overall reliability of the examinations. None of the Board exams are currently delivered as adaptive tests.

The advantages of the format of computer adaptive tests is the same as the fixed form tests with regard to 1) administration of one item per screen with visuals and images attached; 2) entering responses directly into the computer; and, 3) testing at convenient computer centers.



  • I was very concerned about the computer based exam since I have never taken a computer-based exam before. However, the experience was great...the room was so much more comfortable than the useful hotel conference rooms where I have taken previous board exams. I like the small room atmosphere and the self-paced option (one can return from lunch and start the afternoon exam when ready). The questions were clear and easy to read.
  • The registration process was easy and handled very appropriately without any problems. I would continue using the Pearson Testing center. It was professional, close to home, quiet, easy to use, and I had very minimal travel costs. I wish all my professional exams used something similar.
  • Overall, it was very convenient to have the exam available at more than one center. The computer system was very easy to use and understand and the exam went very smoothly. Although I was somewhat hesistant before taking the exam, I think all medical specialties should consider testing in this manner
  • I was worried about the computer testing but it worked out much better than anticipated.
  • An excellent method to administer the examination that was comfortable, quiet, and less expensive overall.
  • As a 40 year-old MD, I've taken a lot of exams. This was my first computer-based exam and I thought the experience was great. I was fortunate to have a Pearson center very close to my home, even though I live in a very small city. The staff there was friendly, competent, and efficient.
  • The computer-based testing was superb! I found it tremendously better than the bubble sheet testing from two years ago. Please continue.
  • I very much liked the computer based testing. My testing site ran extremely efficiently and was very convenient.
  • Taking the online tutorial for the computer exam made the mechanics of taking the computer exam easy.

Frequently Asked Questions
Computer Based Testing Tutorial
Examination Registration
Candidate Examination Rules

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