English language exams:
The Foundations of Oriental Medicine, Biomedicine, Acupuncture with Point Location, and Chinese Herbology examinations are administered in computer adaptive format, commonly referred to as computerized adaptive testing (CAT). Each exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions with a 2.5-hour time limit. Adaptive testing allows the NCCAOM to provide year-round testing and preliminary exam results. Adaptive exams have long been used by other healthcare testing organizations and has been proven to be an efficient and reliable testing method.
In an adaptive exam questions are selected for candidates according to the assigned domain percentages from the exam content outline. Within each domain, questions are selected to match candidate ability. What this means is that a candidate’s correct or incorrect answer to a question determines the next question they receive. If a question is answered correctly, the next question selected is more difficult. If a question is answered incorrectly, the next question selected is easier. Because the correct or incorrect answer to each question is used to select the next question, candidates are not able to change their answers to previous questions.
There are many benefits offered by adaptive testing. These include access to year-round testing, no exam registration deadlines, preliminary results provided at the test center, and expedited exam results delivery to state licensing Boards (upon candidate request). In addition, adaptive testing allows for more precise measurement of candidate ability using fewer questions than traditional linear exams. This feature allows adaptive exams to be shorter and therefore less expensive for candidates.
Foreign language exams:
Exams in Chinese and Korean are administered in computer-based, linear format. Questions are preselected for candidates according to the assigned domain percentages from the exam content outline. Once all items have been answered, candidates can review and change any of their answers within the remaining allotted time. However, preliminary results are not provided at the test center. Official result notification letters will be mailed approximately 45 business days after conclusion of the exam administration period.