Pilot Program Allows 2021 Exam Candidates To Take Test At Home Or Office
American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM) certification candidates will have the option to take the 2021 certification exam remotely, providing test-takers flexibility and convenience at a time when public health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted traditional in-person testing methods.
During this one-year pilot phase, candidates for ABOM certification or recertification will have the option to take the test remotely or to take the test at a local test center through ABOM’s partnership with exam vendor PSI. Candidates can complete their application for the exam now and choose the live remote proctoring option when exam scheduling opens in November. In addition, ABOM is expanding the length of the test window from four days to eight days to allow even greater flexibility for exam candidates. The test will be administered during the window of February 18-25, 2021. Please note: Weekend test appointments will not be widely available for in-center test candidates.
The security and integrity of the obesity medicine certification exam remain a top priority for ABOM. Remote proctoring of the exam allows for monitoring of the individual test-taker’s testing area via video and audio. Each remote proctor monitors only a small group of candidates at one time. Strict protocols will be enforced to ensure that the remote environment is free from distractions and does not offer any advantage to the test-taker compared to the in-person test-center environment. Candidates choosing this option will need to have a computer, connectivity, and environment that is compatible with remote test delivery.
This new exam delivery option—offered through ABOM’s exam vendor PSI—ensures that those physicians who want to pursue ABOM certification can continue to advance their education and career goals during this unprecedented time while also protecting their health.
Following the one-year pilot phase, ABOM will determine if the remote proctoring option will be offered during future exam administrations.
“At a time when it has never been more important to increase the number of physicians trained to treat obesity, ABOM is pleased to offer this remote proctoring option so that candidates will not be forced to choose between seeking certification and safeguarding their own health,” said ABOM Executive Director Dana Brittan.
Remote Proctoring FAQs
May I schedule my remote proctoring exam now? No. Scheduling for all exams will open later this fall. Once you have completed the application process by submitting your application and having it approved by ABOM, you will be asked to take a survey to indicate your interest in the remote proctoring option. Following the completion of this survey and payment of the exam fee, you will receive further information about scheduling. Click here to begin or complete your application.
Q: How do I know if my home computer will work? During the scheduling process that will begin later this fall, you will be required to complete an online scan of your computer to determine compatibility with the remote proctoring system. If a part of your system does not pass the compatibility check, you may be able to resolve the issue by turning on a component like a webcam or microphone and adjusting your cookie settings. In some cases, you may need to identify another location or computer to use for the examination. Click here to access a preview of the computer compatibility check. Please note, this check will give you an idea of the process but you will be required to do an additional compatibility check before actually scheduling your exam.
Q. What are the specific technical requirements my computer must meet?
- Operating system supported: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, 32bit (x86) & 64bit (x64); Mac OS X 10.13 & higher
- RAM: Recommended +2 GB
- Free Disk Space: 1 GB
- Screen resolution: 1368×768 or higher
- Bandwidth: 300 Kbps upload & download
- Minimum web camera resolution: 640×480
- Download: Ability to download & install software
Q: How am I monitored while taking an examination at home? You will be paired with a remote proctor for the duration of your examination. The proctor will monitor you, your computer screen, and your environment using video and audio. Proctors are trained to flag and respond to any violation of set exam rules. Some of these rules will cause the proctor to send a warning through the chat interface and are considered a minor violation. Violation of other rules are considered major violations and may result in the proctor closing the examination session because of a threat to examination security.
The proctor documents every violation. If a test taker accumulates more than one minor violation, the violation may escalate to a major violation causing the proctor to end the examination session. The consequences of a major violation include the termination of your examination, forfeiture of your examination fee, and an investigation into the reported misconduct.
Q. What are examples of major violations that will cause immediate termination of my exam? Your examination will be immediately terminated for the following violations:
- Attempting to use another computer
- Attempting to use a telephone or mobile device
- Leaving the room for any length of time without permission
- Obstructing the view of the camera
- Moving out of the camera’s line of sight
- Someone else in the room during the exam
- Speaking to someone else during the exam
- Using reference materials
- Using other programs on your computer including but not limited to internet browsers, instant messenger, and recording software
- Changing spaces throughout the course of the exam
- Inability of the proctor to see candidate’s environment
- Issues with ID including not providing identification, invalid identification, not complying with proctor requests, and any inability of the proctor to verify
- Writing down, copying, or recording exam content
Q: What happens if there is a technology problem while I am taking my remote examination? PSI’s examination delivery system has historically remained live 99.9% of the time. In the rare instance that you do experience issues, the proctor will help you pick up where you left off if possible. Otherwise, ABOM and PSI will work with you to reschedule your examination. To help alleviate potential technical issues, it is recommended that you use a wired connection to the internet instead of wireless and restart your computer before the examination session begins.
Q: Are breaks allowed during the remote examination? One scheduled break will be allowed during the exam. You will receive more details about the break format when scheduling information is provided later this fall.
Q: Are other people allowed in the room while I am testing? No, other people are not allowed in the room while you are testing. Someone entering the room and/or talking to you is considered an exam violation and may result in the termination of your exam. Please be aware of this when planning your remote exam and be sure to have arrangements in place for children or other dependents so you are not interrupted during your examination period.