Individuals applying for the Certification Board of Nuclear Cardiology (CBNC) certification through the Alliance for Physician Certification and AdvancementTM (APCATM), the successor organization to CBNC, are in accordance with and subject to the APCATM policies. APCATM and CBNC’s policies may be different from other exam programs. Candidates must follow CBNC examination policies as covered in the How to Apply Guide, and APCATM Compliance policies and procedures.
The CBNC certification program examination is administered at Pearson VUE test centers in the U.S. and internationally. If you are scheduled to sit for the examination and need to verify the date and time of the examination or the address of the Pearson VUE test center you selected, please visit Pearson VUE at www.pearsonvue.com/apca. Be sure to have your examination Certification Number, which is provided in your Examination Confirmation Letter (ECL) email.
Arrival at Pearson VUE
Candidates MUST arrive at the Pearson VUE test center 30 minutes prior to the starting time of their appointment to allow ample time for check-in and storage of personal belongings. Candidates arriving more than 15 minutes after the examination appointment time may not be permitted to sit for the examination at the discretion of CBNC’s test vendor, Pearson VUE.
Candidates are required to present ONE form of identification to be admitted to the testing center. The identification MUST be a non-expired government-issued ID bearing your name, current photograph and signature (e.g., driver’s license or passport). If you do not have the required form of identification you will not be admitted to the test center. No exceptions to this requirement will be made. It is the Candidate’s responsibility to ensure that the first and last name on the application EXACTLY MATCH the first and last name on the current valid signature ID.
If you are testing outside of your country of citizenship, you must present a valid passport or some other form of non-expired government-issued ID bearing your name, current photograph and signature. If you are testing within your country of citizenship, you must present either a valid passport, driver’s license, national ID or military ID bearing your name, current photograph and signature. See the APCA ID webpage for details.
The Pearson VUE test center administrator will validate a Candidate’s identification by verifying that the name, photograph and signature on the Candidate ID match the Pearson VUE record. All Candidates will have their palm vein scanned prior to entering the testing room. If you are unsure about the requirements for admittance to the testing center call the CBNC program office prior to the examination at 240-631-8151.
The Pearson VUE workstation specifications have been reviewed and tested by the CBNC Board and meet or exceed requirements for nuclear cardiology. Some of the questions on the examination include images or movies which may take a few moments to load and during which time the screen may appear blank.This is not a malfunction of the workstation, but rather a delay in uploading the image. If a Candidate has a problem with a workstation he/she may request a workstation change if needed, provided the testing center has availability.
If the examination cannot be delivered due to a test center or workstation failure, power failure, hardware and/or software problems, weather, or conditions which arise from events or circumstances beyond the reasonable control of Pearson VUE or CBNC, Pearson VUE will use reasonable efforts to reschedule the Candidate for the examination within the test window dates. If the Candidate cannot be rescheduled within the test window, CBNC at its discretion may provide the affected Candidate with an opportunity to take the examination at the next scheduled examination date for a reduced or waived fee. This shall be the Candidate’s sole remedy. In no circumstance will CBNC reduce its standards or overturn a Candidate’s score as a means of correcting a problem in the administration.
Certification candidates will have four (4) hours to complete the examination content.The Certification examination is comprised of 160 multiple choice questions. This time includes five (5) minutes specifically allotted for the completion of the exit survey.
Recertification candidates will have two and one-half (2½) hours to complete the examination content. The Recertification examination is comprised of 100 multiple choice questions. This time includes five (5) minutes specifically allotted for the completion of the exit survey.
The examinations are administered in English. Each question has four answer options, only one of which is the best or correct answer. Many of the questions will have images related to them. These exhibits may include movies or still images, or figures or charts, and may be in grayscale or color. Some questions on the examinations are being pilot tested and will not be scored.
Following the examination is a brief survey, which you will have 5 minutes to complete. You are urged to respond to the survey as this will help make a better examination experience in the future. Survey responses are completely anonymous. If you complete the examination before the scheduled end of the testing period you will be permitted to leave the session early.
Tutorial on Computer-Based Format and Accessing Exhibits with the New Media Questions
A tutorial is available to help Candidates become familiar with the computer-based examination format.This tutorial is available here. This video demonstrates the Pearson VUE workstation computer screens as Candidates will see them during the examination.
Many of the examination questions have “exhibits” associated with the question text. These exhibits may include movies or still images, or figures or charts, and may be in grayscale or color. As of 2017 these questions are displayed in a format not seen on previous administrations and Candidates are urged to review the tutorial video PRIOR to arriving at the testing center to see how to access the exhibits associated with these questions and play them on your workstation during your examination. The tutorial will NOT be available as part of the examination appointment.
The tutorial does not address examination content (for content information see the CBNC Examination Content Outline).
What to Bring to the Test Center
Candidates are encouraged to bring as little as possible to the testing center. All personal belongings must be stored in a locker for test security purposes and may not be accessed at any time. Personal belongings include, but are not limited to keys, snacks/food, purses, wallets, all forms of cell phones, pagers, calculators, books, notes and any other electronic devices.
You are not allowed to access or review any electronic devices or study materials during the administration of the examination including the time you are on break. Pearson VUE will provide you with a pencil and paper or an erase board and marker, which will be retrieved at the end of the examination. Notes may not be taken to or from the test room. Violation of testing policies will result in disciplinary action according to APCA Compliance policies and procedures.
There are no scheduled breaks during the examination, but Candidates may take a break as needed to use the restroom. No one is allowed to access personal belongings in the locker at any time. Food/snacks are not permitted. The clock on the examination will continue to run during an unscheduled break. Candidates are NOT permitted to leave the building during an unscheduled break. It is prohibited to consult notes, study materials or access electronic devices during a break or at any other time once the examination has begun. Candidates will be required to sign in and out of the testing room and may be asked to provide photo ID upon re-entry. Violation of testing policies will result in disciplinary action according to APCA Compliance policies and procedures.
Issues During Your Examination
We do not anticipate any problems during the examination, but if a problem does occur, the Candidate MUST report the incident to the Pearson VUE test center staff at the time the examination is being administered and prior to departing the test center on the day of the examination. Candidates are advised to ask the Test Administrator (TA) for their name and the ticket number assigned to their reported issue or problem. Candidates are then required to notify CBNC in writing of the issue or problem with the examination within five (5) days of the scheduled examination time. This notification should include the ticket number assigned by the TA, the TA’s name and be detailed as possible. Email the information to CBNC@inteleos.org. CBNC cannot address administrative or technical problems if a complaint was not filed with the test center and with CBNC.
NOTE: Pearson VUE offers hundreds of thousands of examinations annually from hundreds of different organizations. The focus of test center personnel is to safeguard the integrity of the examination, not necessarily to assist Candidates. Therefore, if you experience any problems while at your testing center, CALL THE CBNC OFFICE AT 240-631-8151 and we will do our best to assist you.
By participating in this examination you agree not to discuss, debrief or disclose, in any manner, the specific content of the examination’s questions and answers to any individual. Noncompliance may result in disciplinary action.
Determination of Passing Score
A passing score is based on an expected level of knowledge; it is not related to the distribution of scores obtained during a particular examination administration (i.e., the examination is not “graded on a curve”). Thus, in any given year, a Candidate has the same chance of passing the examination whether the group taking the examination at that time tends to have high scores or low scores. In other words, each Candidate is measured against a standard of knowledge, not against the performance of the other individuals taking the examination. For more information about the examination scoring process and other examination development information click here.
Reporting of Scores
Scores are expected to be released and posted to your MY APCA account approximately 60 days following the end of the examination administration window. As soon as your score becomes available, you will receive an email sent to the email address you provided when you registered for the examination. If that email address is no longer accessible to you, please log into your MY APCA account to update it.
To ensure you receive notification regarding your score availability, add our email address @Inteleos.org to your address book and /or “Safe Recipient” list. Candidates receiving a passing score will be listed on APCA’s Directory of Certificants.
Candidates who applied as a “Testamur” and passed the examination are required to provide CBNC with documentation of having passed the Cardiology, Nuclear Medicine or Radiology board examination and a copy of their current medical license in order to be granted Diplomate status with CBNC. A copy of the letter from the certifying board or a print-out from the certifying board’s website will be accepted and may be emailed to CBNC@inteleos.org or alternatively uploaded into your MY APCA account – upon uploading your documents you must notify staff via email to request conversion and indicate that you have uploaded into the system. Once the required documentation is received by CBNC, your status will be changed to Diplomate on APCA’s Directory of Certificants and your certificate will be sent to you at the address on record. Regardless of when a Testamur becomes a Diplomate, his/her certification period is 10 years.
Request for Score Verification
If you have questions about the accuracy of your score, we can perform a score verification for $35 USD. Score verification ensures that the computer counted the correct and incorrect answers appropriately, but it does not review the questions and answers. When deciding whether to have your score verified, please keep in mind that the CBNC examinations are scored electronically with a high degree of accuracy, and it is unlikely that verification will alter your original score.
If you are interested in obtaining verification, please submit a completed Examination Score Verification Form within 30 days of the date on your score availability email for the examination in question.
Failure to Pass the Examination
Candidates who fail the examination may appeal their score by following the APCA Appeals Policy. The appeal must be for reasons related to the examination administration; Candidates were exposed to testing conditions severe enough to cause a major disruption. Appeals based solely on the belief that a Candidate prepare intensely and has practiced nuclear cardiology for years or for having missed passing by a number of examination points will not be considered.
In order to consider an appeal based on examination administration or a disruption in the examination process, the incident(s) must have been reported to the Pearson VUE testing center TA and to the CBNC/APCA office as described above under Issues During your Examination section above. Documentation to support your appeal must be submitted with your appeal request to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than five (5) days after your examination appointment.
Candidates who do not attend their scheduled examination appointment may appeal if they can verify their inability to have taken their examination based on extraordinary circumstances such as the death of an immediate family member or an unexpected illness (see APCA Appeals Policy). Appeals must be submitted to email@example.com no later than 30 days after the scheduled examination and must include any applicable supporting documentation. All appeals submitted are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.