Schedule an Examination
Examinations indicated in an applicant’s NCCAOM®Authorization to Test Letter may be scheduled and taken in any order at the applicant’s convenience. However, all exams must be completed within 4 years of the application period.
Contact information for registration at a Pearson VUE Testing Center is provided in the NCCAOM® Authorization to Test Letter. The School Code is required during the registration process.
The NCCAOM English language Acupuncture with Point Location, Foundations of Oriental Medicine, Biomedicine and Chinese Herbology examinations are administered year-round.
The NCCAOM® Foreign Language Examinations are administered during specific two week periods announced in advance by the NCCAOM. All NCCAOM certification exams are administered at more than 250 Pearson VUE Professional Test sites across North America and abroad.
NCCAOM is committed to the integrity and security of its examination process. Applicants, candidates and Diplomates have a duty to maintain strict confidentiality with respect to the content of the examinations and comply with all examination security policies and procedures. Any breach of confidentiality that may compromise the security of the examination content, e.g., giving information about the examination to another person or receiving information about the examination from another person, including teachers/professors, before, during, or after the examination will be grounds for disciplinary action, including but not limited to denial or revocation of certification by NCCAOM. Likewise, any act, either intentional or unintentional, that violates exam rules will be grounds for disciplinary action by NCCAOM. Proctors are responsible for reporting to NCCAOM any candidates who:
- may have caused a disruption or interruption during the exam period, or
- violated procedural rules before or during the exam, or
- appeared to engage in a method of cheating or seeking unfair advantage either before or during the exam.
NCCAOM will review these reports and apply appropriate disciplinary sanctions. Strict adherence to NCCAOM examination policies and procedures is enforced without exception. Participation in any exam policy violation(s) occurring during or in connection with an examination, may be sufficient cause for NCCAOM, at its sole discretion, to terminate your participation, invalidate the results of your examination, seek monetary compensation, deny your application for certification, or take other appropriate action at any time, including but not limited to disciplinary action such as suspension or revocation of certification.
Violation of examination policies includes but is not limited to the following actions:
- Talking with anyone, except the proctors, inside or outside the examination room during the examination period.
- Giving information about the examination to another person before, during, or after the examination. This includes memorizing sections of the examination for use by others.
- Phone calls or communication by electronic or other means with anyone or anything inside or outside of the examination room during the examination period.
- Passing or attempting to pass information of any type to another candidate during or after the examination administration.
- Possessing any extraneous items during the examination period, including but not limited to: books, paper (including scrap paper), notes, note cards, post-it notes, measuring devices (including rulers and calculators), dictionaries (electronic or printed), beepers, cell phones, cameras, and other electronic devices.
- Writing on any part of the body or clothing before or during the examination period.
- Communicating with anyone other than a proctor in the case of a site irregularity in which you must exit the examination room (e.g., fire drill, power outage, medical emergency, etc.), except communications as required because of the emergency. This includes communicating with other candidates while waiting to re-enter the test site, looking at notes or books, and/or re-entering the test site without the expressed permission of the proctors.
- Accessing notes, cell phones, calculators, beepers, other electronic devices or individuals from any location either inside or outside the examination room including bathrooms, cars, snack areas, etc.
- Writing on the desk, other furniture, clothing, or body in the examination room before or during the examination.
- Allowing visitors into unauthorized areas of the exam site.
- Impersonating, or attempting to impersonate another candidate, or allowing another person to take the examination on behalf of the candidate.
- Failure to report any exam irregularities, cheating, or other inappropriate behavior. Cheating of any kind that has taken place before, during or after the examination must be reported. It is a candidate’s responsibility to report to NCCAOM any site irregularities or testing violations before, during, or after the examination takes place.
The Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine and Chinese Herbology certification programs each have a NCCAOM® Examination Study Guide which contains all of the examination preparation materials in one document. This includes: the NCCAOM Examination Administration Frequently Asked Questions; and suggested bibliographies and the examination content outlines for each examination.
The content outlines below should be used by candidates who are taking an NCCAOM examination on or after February 1, 2016.
Expanded Content Outlines
- 2018 – English – Acupuncture with Point Location exam expanded content outline
- 2018 – English – Biomedicine exam expanded content outline
- 2018 – English – Chinese Herbology exam expanded content outline
- 2018 – English – Foundations of Oriental Medicine exam expanded content outline
- 2018 – Chinese – Acupuncture with Point Location exam expanded content outline
- 2018 – Chinese – Biomedicine exam expanded content outline
- 2018 – Chinese – Chinese Herbology exam expanded content outline
- 2018 – Chinese – Foundations of Oriental Medicine exam expanded content outline
- 2018 – Korean – Acupuncture with Point Location exam expanded content outline
- 2018 – Korean – Biomedicine exam expanded content outline
- 2018 – Korean – Chinese Herbology exam expanded content outline
- 2018 – Korean – Foundations of Oriental Medicine exam expanded content outline
Abbreviated Content Outlines
- 2018 Acupuncture with Point Location exam abbreviated content outline
- 2018 Biomedicine exam abbreviated content outline
- 2018 Chinese Herbology exam abbreviated content outline
- 2018 Foundations of Oriental Medicine exam abbreviated content outline
Reinstatement Examination Content Outlines
Reschedule/ Cancel an Examination
The candidate must contact Pearson VUE at www.vue.com/nccaom or (888) 235-7649 to reschedule or cancel an examination at least one full business day (24 hours) in advance of the scheduled exam date. If the candidate does not cancel 24 hours prior and does not appear for an NCCAOM examination for which the candidate is registered, the candidate will forfeit the fees paid for the examination(s).
Pearson VUE will deliver a cancellation/rescheduling confirmation number. It is imperative this confirmation number be maintained by the candidate in case of a cancelation dispute.
Examination Day Details
Report Time and Start Time
The time printed on the Pearson VUE Admissions Letter is the candidate’s required report time. Allow sufficient time to find the test site and plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to the scheduled time. The NCCAOM does not have information on lodging, parking or phone numbers for the test sites. It is advisable to gather this information before the test day to avoid unnecessary delays.
Lateness on Day of the Examination
Candidates must arrive by the report time on the admission letter or you will not be admitted to the test site. After the appointed time has passed, Pearson VUE staff will exclude the candidate from taking the examination and therefore forfeiting the testing opportunity and fees. It will be necessary to reapply for another examination date and pay the examination fee(s) again.
Required Identification at the Pearson VUE Test Center
Upon arrival at the test center the candidate must present:
- NCCAOM® Authorization to Test Letter, and
- Driver’s license with photo and signature; or government identification with the candidate’s photo and signature, and
- A second personal ID [with the] candidate’s signature.
The name on the driver’s license/government ID and secondary ID must match the name on the NCCAOM® Authorization to Test Letter.
Identification must be valid (not expired). If the candidate does not present a driver’s license or government ID with photo and signature or the names do not match, the examination and fee(s) will be forfeited and it will be necessary to reapply for another examination date and pay the examination fee(s) again.
In the event of inclement weather, unforeseen emergencies or “Acts of God,” NCCAOM and its testing company will determine whether circumstances warrant the cancellation of an examination administration at a particular site.
The examination will not be rescheduled if the test center is able to open or if an alternate test location is arranged. Contact the testing company one day prior to the examination to determine if the test site will be opened or closed.
Should an examination be cancelled, candidates scheduled for that site will receive notification regarding rescheduling the examination date. Additional examination fees will not be incurred if your test is cancelled by NCCAOM or Pearson VUE.
Measuring devices, computers, calculators, cameras, dictionaries (electronic or paper), beepers, cells phones, notes, scrap paper or notepaper, and other such materials or devices, or any personal items (e.g., purses, pillows, etc.) are not allowed into the examination room. Individuals possessing any such materials or devices will:
- be ejected from the examination,
- forfeit all application and examination fees,
- be barred from applying for NCCAOM certification for up to five years, and
- be considered a new applicant if they choose to reapply.
It is the candidate’s responsibility to surrender these items voluntarily prior to testing. A locker will be available at the test center. A ring binder containing five sheets of erasable board and a marker will be provided and collected upon completion of the examination.
Clothing – Candidates are advised to wear clothing that will be comfortable for various temperature conditions at the test center.
Translators – Translators are not available or permitted at any test site.
Childcare – NCCAOM and Pearson VUE do not provide childcare while a parent/caregiver takes an examination.
Candidates will be audio and videotaped during the examination for security purposes. All candidates will be photographed and have a palm vein test at the test center. This is a standard procedure at Pearson Professional Test Centers.
Palm Vein Technology ensures:
- each test taker has a single record,
- represents a virtually error-free identification system that is non-intrusive to the user,
- increases accuracy and security around the candidate check-in (and out) process and
- verifies candidates as they enter (or exit) the test center.
All candidates will be given a checklist of rules to review. Additional fingerprints will be taken before seating in the examination room and if the candidate leaves the room at any time during the examination.
At the beginning of the examination, candidates must verify that the identification information (name and social security number) and examination category are correct as shown on the computer screen. Next, candidates will be asked to read and accept the terms of the
“I have read and understand the Examination Instructions. I have agreed to abide by the NCCAOM® Grounds for Professional Discipline and acknowledge that if I am caught cheating on this examination, including the sharing of information after the examination is complete; I will be subject to review by the Professional Ethics and Disciplinary Committee of NCCAOM. If I am found to have violated the NCCAOM® Grounds for Professional Discipline, I understand that my scores will be cancelled and I may not have the opportunity to test again.
Additionally, I understand that this exam is confidential and is protected by trade secret law. It is made available solely for the purpose of becoming certified by NCCAOM. I am expressly prohibited from disclosing, publishing, reproducing, or transmitting this exam, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, verbal or written, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose.
I am the candidate whose name appears on the initial screen and as an affirmation to the Statement of Acknowledgement I signed when submitting my application, I acknowledge that I am prohibited from transmitting information about NCCAOM examination questions or content in any form to any person or entity. I also acknowledge that if I suspect a violation on the part of others, it is my responsibility to report these actions to the NCCAOM.”
Candidates will have five minutes to accept the conditions; if the conditions and terms are not accepted within the allotted time; the session will end and cannot be restarted. Candidates will be required to reschedule and pay the full registration fee.
Candidates may access their exam results online 20 to 30 business days after completion of the examination and the foreign language exam results 45 business days after the end of the exam administration period by logging into their account on the NCCAOM website at www.nccaom.org. The official examination score results (pass/fail) are also mailed via United States first-class mail.
The NCCAOM exams are designed to test entry level competence to practice, not to measure excellence. For this reason, examination results are reported as PASS (with no numeric score) or FAIL (with a numerical scaled score) to indicate whether or not a candidate has demonstrated the knowledge required to meet standards of competence as defined by the profession.
Exam Scoring Information
To help aid in the better understanding of the scoring process used by NCCAOM the information below was originally prepared by our psychometric vendor, Schroeder Measurement Technologies (SMT). Document A: serves to explain the process that the Exam Development Committees use to determine the passing score. Document B: supplies an explanation for the equating of test forms and how the scores are scaled to the number which appears on your test score report. These documents are general explanations and do not discuss specifics about your examination.
Re-taking an Examination
Five Time Rule
Candidates are only allowed a total of five (5) opportunities to take an examination. After the fifth unsuccessful attempt to pass an NCCAOM examination (all formats and/or languages inclusive), the candidate has no subsequent opportunities to test with the particular exam.
Approved candidates who need to retake any NCCAOM examination must wait 45 days from the previous recorded test date. Candidates will not be allowed to reschedule their examination prior to the 45-day waiting period for any reason. NCCAOM recommends that candidates allow sufficient time to prepare for the retake of the failed examination.
The NCCAOM encourages candidates to obtain remedial education; through their school, a tutor, or through reputable test preparation services or publications that may be of assistance. Reminder, the NCCAOM Study Guides are available online free of charge.
Examination Complaint Process
- Candidates may submit concerns, believed errors in particular questions, or comments about specific aspects of the examination content. All complaints must be in writing and submitted to NCCAOM (examcontent @ thenccaom.org) within 30 days of taking the examination. The written complaint must include:
- candidates name,
- test date and location,
- examination module, along with a description of the specific examination question(s) or concern(s) and rationale for the complaint. Failing an examination alone is not sufficient grounds to submit a complaint.
- The question(s) of concern will be presented to the appropriate Examination Development Committee for review and consideration. The candidate will be notified in writing (via email) within 45 days of any resulting action of the inquiry. No information regarding the specific question will be discussed with candidates. The NCCAOM never releases copies of examinations or individual examination questions.
- If a candidate is not satisfied with the decision of the Examination Development Committee, only then a candidate may appeal the Pass/Fail status decision by sending a letter directly to the “Executive Office” at (executiveoffice @ thenccaom.org) describing the rationale for filing the appeal. The NCCAOM must receive the examination appeal within 30 days of the candidate’s receipt of NCCAOM’s initial decision. The Council of Examination Development Committees (CEDC), comprised of the Chairs and Board liaisons of all the EDCs, will review the appeal request at its next meeting. The Chair and Board liaison from the EDC that made the initial decision will recuse themselves from the appeal decision. The candidate will be notified of the CEDC’s decision within 30 days after the meeting at which the appeal was considered.
A hand score of an examination can be conducted to ensure that the responses that the candidate records are accurately scored. A hand score does not constitute a review of examination content. A hand score is simply a manual check of the computer scoring process. Candidates must request to have an examination hand scored within 30 days of the test administration. Requests must be submitted in writing to NCCAOM at (examcontent @ thenccaom.org) along with appropriate fee. Individual questions will not be discussed or considered during the hand score process.
Complete NCCAOM Certification
Passing all required NCCAOM examinations does not automatically result in certification. Candidates are not certified until all required documents are accepted and the candidate has received the official NCCAOM congratulatory letter along with a wallet-size identification card by USPS mail. Candidates may not represent or advertise NCCAOM certification until this official notification is received (approximately six (6) weeks after all requirements are met). Candidates may expect to receive an NCCAOM certificate, suitable for framing, approximately six (6) weeks from the date certified. At this time 25 states require NCCAOM certification for state licensure.
Once certification is achieved please visit the Diplomate Home Page on the NCCAOM website for information on how to use the NCCAOM credential and service marks and to learn about Diplomate benefits.
In order to maintain NCCAOM certification, Diplomates must recertify every four (4) years. Visit the Diplomate Recertification Page on the NCCAOM website for additional information.