FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
About Computer-based Testing (CBT):
What is CBT?
CBT stands for Computer‐Based‐Testing. It is a method of exam delivery by use of a computer at a proctored vendor site, or in a Live Remotely Proctored setting.
Who is PSI and why did you choose them as our computer-based testing provider?
PSI administers more than millions of exams a year worldwide for more than 350 clients. They are a leader in computer-based test administration with best-in-class testing facilities and a trained, fully certified testing staff.
Why did you convert your exams from paper‐and‐pencil to computer-based testing?
The change provided a wider range of testing times and locations which will help you get your CHES® or MCHES® certification faster.
Will the exam continue to be offered in paper-and-pencil format?
No. The last paper-and-pencil exam was administered in April 2018.
When did the change to CBT take place?
When will the tests be offered?
Test sites are typically open seven days a week. Seats are on a first‐come, first‐served basis, so schedule early for the greatest amount of options.
When are the testing windows?
Testing windows are set within the examination months of April and October of each year. Each window will be open for 10 days. The April 2023 exam window will run from April 20-29, 2023 and the October 2023 exam window will run from October 13-22, 2023
Will I have the choice of taking the exam in paper‐and pencil or computer‐based format?
No. The CHES® and MCHES® exams are only offered in a computer‐based format, with two modalities: Live Remote Proctoring, or at a PSI Test Center location.
Has the application/registration process changed with computer-based testing?
The application review and eligibility process will be directly handled by NCHEC. There are three registration periods: early bird, regular, and late registration. However, scheduling of the time and place of your examination will take place through PSI. It can all be completed online or by phonat e 855-340-3713.
When are the application deadlines for the computer-based testing?
See our Schedule and Fees pages for CHES® and MCHES®.
What if I send in an incomplete application (application without a transcript)?
An incomplete application may delay the processing time. A consequence may be that you will not be approved in the window you requested and may have to wait until the following cycle's testing window.
Who will be reviewing the exam applications to determine if candidates are eligible to take the exam?
Applications will be reviewed, and deemed eligible or ineligible by the NCHEC Exam Coordinator. The exam coordinator may request additional or supporting information to help determine eligibility by contacting you directly after the initial review.
Where can I get the application for a computer‐based‐test?
Applications are completed online on the NCHEC website. If you want one mailed to you, please contact our office at 888.624.3248.
How do I schedule an exam?
You can schedule an exam with PSI once you’re approved to sit for an exam by logging into your account at www.nchec.org, login or calling their 1‐855-340-3713. Please have your legal name and Candidate ID when calling to schedule. You must have received your authorization to test email to schedule your exam. Instructions for scheduling are included in your eligibility determination email.
How do I reschedule an existing test appointment, and is there a fee associated with the request?
There are options to reschedule your testing date through your online portal or call 855-340-3713. Rescheduling less than 48 hours before the exam is not permissible. If you cannot make your exam appointment, you will be considered a No-Show, and exam fees will be forfeited.
Can candidates cancel their testing appointments after they have been scheduled?
There is an option to withdraw/cancel your application if the request is made more than 30 days prior to your testing date. You will be refunded the cost of the exam, minus a non-refundable $100 application processing fee. If you withdraw or cancel within 30 days of your scheduled examination, you will forfeit all exam fees. All candidates found eligible must schedule a testing appointment; if not, exam fees will be forfeited.
Will I receive an Admission Ticket for the exam?
No. An admission ticket is not required. PSI will provide you with an email confirmation of your appointment when you schedule your exm, and an email reminder approximately 72 hours prior to your appointment.
Can I register and schedule my exam before completing the Education requirement?
Yes. Using the 90-Day registration option when you submit the application, you can sit for the exam prior to completing your final semester. Visit www.nchec.org to read the full rules of applying as a 90-day student.
Where are the exams administered?
Exams are administered at PSI professional testing centers; OR, via Live Remote Proctoring in your home.
What do I need to bring with me to my exam appointment?
A current government-issued identification (e.g. photo ID or driver’s license, passport). Military ID's are accepted at PSI testing facilities only. The ID you provide needs to exactly match what PSI has in its records. A computer-based calculator will be available. You will not have access to your personal belongings except for medical comforts.
Do I need to be experienced or proficient with computers?
No. The computer-based testing format is very user-friendly. Prior to testing, candidates can access an online tutorial to become familiar with the computer-based testing format and practice with sample questions.
What are the typical hours of operation for a computer-based testing center?
The normal hours of operation at computer testing centers are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but could vary by location.
Can I take a break during the exam?
One break will be allowed during an exam but will be counted against your allotted time.
What can I not bring to the exam?
- Food and drink (including water) are not permitted in your examination room.
- Books or other personal belongings are not permitted in the exam room. You will be provided a locker to store these items.
What do I need to provide in order to get special accommodations during testing?
Documents must be legible and must indicate the disability. Documents also must explain the required accommodation. Additionally, documents must indicate the address and contact information of the learning specialist who administered the diagnosis for the candidate.
Are there extra costs to me for the special accommodations I am requesting?
No. There is no fee associated with approved accommodations.
When will I need to submit my documentation in order to receive special accommodations for a test?
Supporting documentation must be submitted with the accommodations request through PSI BEFORE an exam appointment is scheduled.
Are individuals with disabilities accommodated in the computer-based testing centers?
Yes. All U.S. testing centers are fully accessible and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAA). You must submit your request for special accommodations to PSI BEFORE you are able to schedule your exam appointment.
How much time will I have to complete the exam?
You have the standard 3 hours to complete the exam. This does not include the time taken for the tutorial, or to take the exit survey. You must report to the examination site 30 minutes in advance of your scheduled appointment time. This is a timed exam, and any breaks you take during a test session are at your discretion; you will not receive any extra testing time to make up for those breaks.
Does it take more time to complete a computer‐based exam compared to paper‐and‐ pencil?
Experience with computer‐based testing reveals that it takes less time to complete an exam. This is primarily because you don’t have to bother with an exam booklet or transferring your answer on an answer sheet.
What kinds of questions will be used on the computer-based exam?
The content and format of the questions on the computer-based are comparable to those used for the paper-based exam. The exam questions are multiple-choice, with four answer choices and a single-best answer. There are stand-alone multiple-choice questions as well as sets of exam questions associated with short scenarios.
Is the computer-based exam more difficult?
No. The computer-based exam is not easier or more difficult than the pencil-and-paper format. The exam maintains the same content outlined in the most recent Health Education Specialist Practice Analysis, which represents the knowledge and abilities required to deliver services.
What is the test format of the computer-based exam?
Exams are administered in the standard multiple choice format, much like how it was offered in the paper‐and‐pencil format. The content of the exams will remain the same as the paper-based version.
When taking the computer‐based exam, will I have the option to return to a question to review or change my answers?
Yes, this option is called, flagging. You can flag questions and come back to them in the Review section where you can also review the entire exam before ending the session.
Are headphones provided?
Yes, noise-cancelling headphones and/or earplugs are available but optional.
During the exam, can I skip questions and return to them later?
Yes. Questions can be marked and returned at a later point in the exam. Be sure to answer all questions, as only answered questions are scored.
If I fail the exam, can I take it again?
Yes, but not during the same testing window. You must wait until the next testing window to retest. An exam retake fee (at a reduced rate) will also apply, but only for the testing window immediately following the current cycle.
Do you offer CBT tests in Spanish?
No. All tests are given only in English; however, an on-screen English/Spanish glossary of terms is available in the computer-based tests.
Do you offer a review course to assist with exam preparation?
We do not offer a review course for the exam. However, for the convenience of those interested in pursuing certification, we have compiled a list of exam review course providers that can be found at www.nchec.org. These courses and their providers are not endorsed or recommended by us.
Can I use scratch paper?
Yes. Scratch paper is available at the computer testing center for taking notes during the exam and a bulit in white board is available for remote online testing.
When do I get my test scores? When do I get my certificate?
For the CHES® exam, preliminary, unofficial exam results are provided upon completion of the computer-based exam at the testing center. After your results are made official (usually 4 weeks after the exam closes), you will receive a certificate by mail. Expect your certificate to arrive approximately 5 weeks from your test date to allow for processing and mailing.
Note about MCHES® Scoring: Due to the smaller number of eligible MCHES® candidates, this exam is officially scored after all candidates have completed the exam in order to provide the most reliable scoring results as advised by expert psychometricians, and to protect the validity and accuracy of the exam.
Note about CHES® Scoring: The pass score will be determined prior to you taking the exam.
Where can I find exam statistics for previous exams?
Exam statistics for previous exams are available on https://www.nchec.org/ches-exam-background-and-scoring.
How much does the computer-based exam cost?
Refer to the CHES® or MCHES® fee schedule found at www.nchec.org, or in the Applications Process section of these FAQs. For the computer-based test, there is a discounted early-bird fee period, a regular exam fee period, and a late registration period for each of the exam cycles.
What if I fail to appear for the exam?
If you fail to appear for the exam (no-Show), you will forfeit the entire exam fee. Certain allowances are made for medical or other emergencies, on a case-by-case basis. Your request for such a waiver must be made in writing and supported by verifying documentation from a third party. For example, in the case of a medical emergency, a written statement from your physician which clearly states that you were physically unable to appear for the exam due to personal or immediate family medical issues is required. If another type of emergency, then you must provide third-party verification for your late withdrawal notice or the reason you were unable to sit for the scheduled exam. Your request must be received within ten business days after your exam date. Requests received after the ten business day timeframe, or not supported by verifying documentation, will not be reviewed. Requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis after the ten business day timeframe.
What if I have other questions about your computer-based testing?
Send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 888.624.3248.