ABGC

August 2021 Certification Exam Cycle

August 2021 Certification Exam Cycle
 

ABGC is proud to offer candidates in-person and live remote proctoring (LRP) options for the August 2021 exam cycle.

In-Person Testing

Live Remote Proctoring

In-Person Testing
Scheduling an Exam
Exam Appointment Changes
Refund Policy
Policies for Withdrawal
Weather Policies
In-Person Testing Center Safety
Testing at a PSI Testing Center
Misconduct
Following the Exam
In-Person Exam FAQs
Additional Assistance

Live Remote Proctoring
Scheduling an Exam
Exam Appointment Changes
Refund Policy
Policies for Withdrawal
Weather Policies
What to Expect
Connection Issues
Exam Resources and Compatibility Links
Following the Exam
Live Remote Proctoring FAQs
Additional Assistance

In-Person Testing

In-person testing for ABGC’s certification exam is administered by exam partner, PSI, at computer-based test centers around the world. PSI test center locations, including detailed maps and directions, are available on the PSI website. Specific test center address information is provided when an exam appointment is scheduled.
 
Note: Neither ABGC nor PSI can guarantee examination appointment availability at in-person test centers. Appointment availability is based on a first come, first scheduled basis. 
 
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Scheduling an Exam
The ABGC certification exam is administered at PSI test centers by appointment, Monday through Saturday. Appointment times may vary by location and are scheduled on a first-come, first-scheduled basis.
 
Individuals may schedule an examination appointment after receiving a confirmation notice of application approval from PSI. Candidates should be prepared to provide a desired date and location for testing, and will be asked to provide their candidate ID number from their PSI eligibility confirmation email as their unique identification number. Candidates are encouraged to schedule the exam appointment as soon as possible to ensure their first choice of testing locations and dates.
 
Candidates are offered two options for scheduling an exam appointment:

  • Online Scheduling Visit the PSI website and select “Candidates.” Following the step-by-step instructions, choose the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) examination program, and schedule the exam appointment at a test center or as a live remote proctored exam.

  • Telephone Scheduling Phone PSI directly at +1-833-333-4755 to schedule an exam appointment from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Central) Mon. through Thurs., 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Fridays, and 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturdays.

If special accommodations are being requested, please submit the two-page Request for Special Examination Accommodations form prior to contacting PSI to schedule your exam appointment at +1-833-333-4755.
 
Once an appointment is made, candidates are given a time to report to the testing center. Candidates will only be allowed to take the exam at the scheduled appointment time. Unscheduled candidates (walk-ins) will not be admitted to the test center.
 
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Exam Appointment Changes
Candidates may reschedule an examination appointment (once) within the eligibility period at no charge by calling PSI at +1-833-333-4755 at least two business days prior to the scheduled testing appointment.
 
Candidates who cancel an appointment, then fail to reschedule within the eligibility period and do not appear for or officially withdraw from the appointment, forfeit their examination fee. 
 
To sit for the next available ABGC certification examination, individuals must meet all published eligibility requirements and submit all required materials and fees for that examination cycle.
 
Refund Policy
Refunds for the certification exam are available to those who formally withdraw in writing at least five business days prior to their scheduled examination appointment. In this instance, ABGC will refund examination fees minus a $500 processing fee. See more details below regarding withdrawal, failure to schedule and failure to report.
 
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Administrative Policies for Withdrawal From, Failure to Schedule or Failure to Report for an Examination Appointment

  • Withdrawal
    • To withdraw from an examination attempt, candidates must submit a formal written request to withdraw prior to the scheduled examination.
    • If candidates withdraw at least five (5) days prior to the scheduled examination date, they will receive a refund minus a $500 processing fee. No refund is available if candidates withdraw within five (5) days of the examination date.
    • A candidate will not lose an examination attempt if s/he withdraws prior to the scheduled examination appointment. However, candidates who decide to withdraw in the fifth year of eligibility may not be allowed an additional attempt unless extenuating circumstances apply. Contact the ABGC Executive Office for more information at 913-222-8661 or [email protected].
  • Failure to Schedule or Report for an Examination Appointment
    • If a candidate fails to schedule an examination appointment in the eligibility period for which s/he was registered, or does not report for a scheduled appointment (and hasn’t officially withdrawn) s/he forfeits the examination attempt and is ineligible for a refund.
    • To sit for the next available ABGC Certification Examination, a candidate must meet all published eligibility requirements and submit all required materials and fees for the examination cycle for which s/he is applying.

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Inclement Weather, Power Failure or Emergency
Every attempt is made to administer the examination as scheduled, however in the event of inclement weather or unforeseen emergencies on the day of an examination, PSI will determine whether circumstances warrant exam cancellation and/or rescheduling.
 
Candidates may visit the PSI website prior to a scheduled exam to determine if PSI has posted notice that a test center is closed. In the event that PSI must cancel an exam, all scheduled candidates will receive notification regarding rescheduling or reapplication procedures.
 
If power to a test center is temporarily interrupted during an examination, the examination will be restarted. The answers provided up to the point of interruption will remain intact, but for security reasons the questions will be scrambled. Any bookmarks made prior to the interruption will not be retained. However, by using the double arrows (>>), candidates can go through any unanswered questions. If power is unable to be restored, the PSI test center proctor will further advise candidates on next steps.
 
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In-Person Testing Center Safety
Candidates taking the exam in an in-person testing center are required to follow safety guidelines in compliance with COVID-19 procedures:

  • Candidates are required to complete a health questionnaire prior to the examination. If a candidate fails to bring the required questionnaire, one will be provided on-site.
  • Candidates that answer “yes” to any of the first four questions on the heath questionnaire should not travel to the testing site and must reschedule their exam.
  • Candidates may be required to provide and wear face masks at all times while in the test center. (PSI will not provide masks.) This may be dependent on local guidelines in effect at the time of the appointment. ABGC would advise all candidates to have a mask readily available and be prepared to wear it if requested.
  • If a mask is required and candidate fails to bring and wear a face mask during the exam, they will be asked to leave the test site.
  • Candidates will be asked to remove their face masks briefly during check-in for identity verification (including photograph) purposes.
  • Candidates may wear gloves during the exam (PSI does not supply gloves), provided the gloves are examined by the test site administrator prior to and following the exam.
  • Candidates are asked to discard used face masks and gloves outside of the PSI test site in a safe and sanitary manner.

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Testing at a PSI Test Center
On the day of the examination appointment, candidates must report to the test center no later than the scheduled testing time and look for signs indicating PSI test center check-in. Candidates arriving more than 15 minutes after the scheduled testing time will not be admitted.



View PSI Test Center Experience Video

To gain admission to the test center, candidates must present two forms of identification. The primary form must be government issued, current and include the candidate’s photograph. No form of temporary identification will be accepted. The name on the identification must match the name under which the candidate is registered with ABGC. Candidates will also be required to sign a roster for verification of identity.
 
Acceptable primary forms of identification include a current:

  • Driver’s license with photograph
  • ​State identification card with photograph
  • Passport
  • Military identification card with photograph

Social Security cards, employment ID cards and student ID cards are NOT acceptable as primary identification but may be used as secondary identification if they include the candidate’s name and signature. Misrepresenting identity or falsifying information to obtain admission to the test center may be grounds for discipline by ABGC.
 
Security
ABGC and PSI administration and security standards ensure all candidates are provided the same opportunity to demonstrate their abilities. The test center is continuously monitored by audio and video surveillance equipment for security purposes. The following security procedures apply during the examination:

Examinations are proprietary. No cameras, notes, tape recorders, pagers or cellular/smart phones are allowed in the testing room. Possession or use of a cellular/smart phone or other electronic devices is strictly prohibited and will result in dismissal from the examination.

  • No calculators are permitted.
  • No weapons may be brought to the test center.
  • No guests, visitors or family members are allowed in the testing room or reception areas.

Personal Belongings
No personal items, valuables or weapons should be brought to the test center. Only wallets and keys are permitted. Large coats and jackets must be left outside the testing room. Candidates will be provided a soft locker for storage. The exam proctor will lock the soft locker prior to the candidate entering the testing room. The candidate will not have access to these items until after the exam is completed.

The following items will not be allowed in the testing room, unless securely locked in the soft locker:

  • Watches
  • Hats
  • Wallets
  • Keys

After the candidate’s personal items have been placed in the soft locker, they will be asked to expose their pockets to ensure they are empty. If personal items are brought that do not fit in the soft locker, the candidate will not be able to test. The test center will not store any personal belongings.
 
If any personal items are observed or heard (e.g., cell phones, alarms) in the testing room after the examination is started, the candidate will be dismissed and the administration will be forfeited.
 
Examination Restrictions
Pencils will be provided to candidates during check-in.

Candidates will be provided with one piece of scratch paper at a time to use during the examination, unless noted on the sign-in roster for a particular candidate. The candidate must return the scratch paper to the proctor at the completion of testing, or they will not receive a score report.

  • No documents or notes of any kind may be brought into or removed from the examination room.
  • No questions concerning the content of the examination may be asked during the examination.
  • Eating, drinking or smoking will not be permitted in the test center.
  • Candidates may take a break whenever they wish but will not be allowed additional time to make up for time lost during breaks.

Practice Computer Testing Process
Prior to attempting the examination, candidates may take a practice examination on the computer. The time used for this practice examination is NOT counted as part of the exam time or score. When the candidate is comfortable with the computer testing process, they may end the practice session and begin the timed examination.
 
Timed Examination
Following the practice examination, candidates will begin the timed examination. Instructions for taking the examination are provided on-screen as well as the time a candidate spends on the examination. The examination will terminate if a candidate exceeds the time allowed. Candidates may click the time box in the lower right portion of the screen to monitor their time.
 
Only one examination question is presented at a time. The question number appears in the lower right portion of the screen. Choices of answers to the examination question are identified as A, B, C, or D. Candidates must indicate their choice by either typing the letter in the lower left response box or by clicking on the option using the mouse. Candidates may change their answers as many times as they wish during the examination time limit.
 
To move to the next question, candidates should click on the forward arrow (>) in the lower right portion of the screen. This action will move the candidate forward through the exam question by question. A candidate may review any question(s) by clicking the backward arrow (>) to advance to the next unanswered or bookmarked question on the examination.
 
Candidates may leave a question unanswered and return to it later in the examination session. Questions may also be bookmarked for later review by clicking in the blank square to the right of the time button. Clicking on the double arrows (>>) will advance to the next unanswered or bookmarked question on the examination. To identify all unanswered and bookmarked questions, candidates should repeatedly click on the double arrows (>>). When the exam is completed, the number of examination questions answered is reported. If not all questions have been answered and there is time remaining, candidates should return to the exam and answer those questions. Candidates should provide an answer for each question before ending the examination. There is no penalty for guessing.
 
Candidate Comments
During the examination, comments may be provided for any question by clicking on the comment button to the left of the time button. This opens a text box where comments may be entered. Comments will be reviewed by ABGC, but individual responses will not be provided.
 
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Misconduct
If a candidate engages in any of the following conduct during the examination they may be dismissed, the scores will not be reported and examination fees will not be refunded. Examples of misconduct are:

  • Creates a disturbance, is abusive, or otherwise uncooperative
  • Displays and/or uses electronic communications equipment such as pagers, cellular/smart phones
  • Talks or participates in conversation with other examination candidates
  • Gives or receives help or is suspected of doing so
  • Leaves the Test Center or exits the camera view during the administration
  • Attempts to record examination questions
  • Attempts to take the examination for someone else
  • Is observed with personal belongings
  • Is observed with notes, books or other aids without it being noted on the roster

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Following the Examination
After completing the examination, candidates are asked to complete a short evaluation of the examination experience. Results will be provided on screen and an official score report will be sent to the candidate’s email address as a PDF after the examination session ends. The score report will show the score for the examination and a determination of the pass or fail status.
 
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In-Person Exam FAQs

When should I schedule my exam?
Exams must be scheduled a minimum of 24 hours in advance. 
 
What happens if a candidate is late for the exam?
Candidates are considered a "no-show" if they have not logged on within 15 minutes of their scheduled start time.
 
How is candidate identification provided?
The candidate's identification is shown to the exam administrator.
 
Is a calculator included on the screen?
Calculators are not permitted with this examination.‎

When does the exam begin?
The reservation software indicates when the exam is ready to launch, typically 30 minutes prior to the reservation time.

Are breaks allowed?
Yes, breaks are allowed during in-person testing. However, the timer will continue running during the break.
 
Are candidates allowed to mouth words, make noise, or ask questions during the exam?
No, candidates are asked not to speak aloud, move their mouth, or cover the mouths with their hands during the exam.
 
Are there other in-person exam infractions?
The following actions and behaviors are not allowed during the exam appointment:

  • Creating a disturbance, being abusive or otherwise uncooperative
  • Displaying or using electronic communications equipment such as cell phone or pager
  • Talking or participating in conversation with other exam candidates
  • Giving or receiving help
  • Leaving the Test Center during the examination
  • Attempting to record exam questions
  • Attempting to take the exam for someone else
  • Is observed with personal belongings, notes, books or other aids not noted on the roster

How should an issue be reported?
If you are a candidate affected by last-minute scheduling changes or day-of technical issues, we request that you report your issue(s) directly to exam vendor PSI ([email protected]) and copy ABGC’s Executive Office ([email protected]). In submitting a report, be sure to include the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your test format (testing center or live remote proctoring)
  • The name and location of your testing center (if applicable)
  • Details about the specific issues you encountered

ABGC staff will investigate all reported problems and respond to each candidate who reaches out with options for appropriate next steps. Understanding that no two cases are the same, solutions may vary but could include allowing penalty-free retakes or other scheduling and financial options.
 
What if my chosen testing center is closed?
If a testing center is closed unexpectedly, it is generally due to an issue beyond PSI’s control, such as potential exposure to COVID-19. When PSI is aware in advance of the need to close, candidates will be contacted to reschedule their exam. Candidates are not penalized in any way as a result of these closures.
 
How are test results delivered?
Once an exam is completed, the score report will appear on screen and will be sent to the email address used for registration via a secured email program.

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Additional Assistance
The ABGC office is available for assistance and may be reached by email, or by phone at (913) 222-8661. Candidates may also contact exam administrator, PSI, at 888-519-9901 from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Central) Monday through Thursday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday, or 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday.

Live Remote Proctoring

What to Expect
All candidates must report to their computer/test portal within 15 minutes of their scheduled testing time. A minimum ‎of 15 minutes is needed for checking identification, surveying the testing environment, and reviewing security measures and exam rules. ‎The time spent on this review does not affect testing time.
 
Candidates who do not start the exam within 15 minutes of the scheduled appointment time ‎automatically forfeit the appointment.
 
For screen sharing during the exam, candidates must download a program that connects to the exam proctor. Once the candidate has connected ‎their screen to the proctor, the proctor connects the two-way video and audio connection. ‎Once the exam is complete, the session expires and the remote connection is no longer valid.
 
Identification Process
Two forms of current identification are required and must be presented to the proctor before the ‎exam starts. All identification must be current and contain a ‎signature. Acceptable primary forms of identification include:

  • Driver’s license with photograph
  • State identification card with photograph
  • Passport
  • Military identification card with photograph

Social Security cards, employment ID cards and student ID cards are NOT acceptable as primary identification but may be used as secondary identification if they include the candidate’s name and signature. Misrepresenting identity or falsifying information to obtain admission to the test center may be grounds for discipline by ABGC. The proctor will confirm the candidate’s identification prior to start of the examination. The proctor will ask that the candidate hold their identification to the webcam to verify their ‎identity.‎
 
Testing Environment and Process
Candidates may schedule and launch their exam right from home or office computer, but must ‎have a microphone, webcam, speakers and stable broadband or Wi-Fi Internet connection. Google Chrome ‎is the recommended internet browser to use.‎
 
The proctor will check to make sure that the candidate’s webcam and microphone are working properly, and ‎that screen sharing has been activated. Candidates will be asked to share their screen for all ‎connected equipment, including candidates' audio. The proctor will ask candidates to slowly move the webcam around the room to verify that the candidate is alone and that their desk is clear of restricted items. The launch button will be enabled when the candidate’s exam is fully prepared for delivery.‎ Candidates may not exit the camera view or use a cell phone or other electronic devices during the ‎examination.‎ If a candidate has a question or needs assistance during the exam, they must use the in-exam chat function.
 
Restrictions and Security
The computer screen, questions and browser are monitored by the proctor throughout ‎the exam process. All information displayed on the computer screen during testing ‎‎(instructions, questions, etc.) is the property of ABGC and may not be reproduced in any ‎form.‎ The proctor ‎will continuously monitor both the exam taker and the testing environment.‎ No other people or pets are allowed in the testing room.‎
 
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Connection Issues
Occasionally, a candidate will experience issues connecting to ‎the exam or lose their connection while taking the exam. Should candidates experience issues connecting to the exam or lose their connection, they should call PSI tech support at +1-844-267-1017 if assistance is needed. PSI should allow up to 30 minutes from the appointment time or the time of lost connection to connect with the ‎proctor and begin or restart the exam. If a connection has not been established or reconnected after 30 minutes from the scheduled exaappointment or time of loss, the candidate may need to reschedule their appointment. The exam appointment can be rescheduled by contacting PSI at +1-833-256-1426.
 
Inclement Weather, Power Failure or Emergency
Candidates who are unable to take their scheduled exam due to inclement weather, power failure or unforeseen emergencies may reschedule their exam (once) at no charge by contacting PSI.
 
If power is temporarily interrupted during the administration of an exam, the examination will restart where the candidate left off. If the connection cannot be reestablished, ABGC and PSI will work with the candidate to reschedule their exam.
 
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Exam Resources and Compatibility Links



View Live Rempote Proctoring Video

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Live Remote Proctoring FAQs
 
When should I schedule my exam?
Exams must be scheduled a minimum of 24 hours in advance. 
 
What locations are allowed for live remote proctoring?
Any location with connectivity, proper lighting, and low ambient noise is allowed. There must be no one else in the vicinity, and no paper, books, electronic devices or drawings are allowed within view of candidate.

What type of equipment is required?‎

  • Laptop or desktop computer (Windows or Mac only)‎
  • Webcam, microphone, and speakers
  • Stable broadband Internet connection – Minimum 500 Kbps download and ‎‎256 Kbps upload; we recommend 5Mbps or higher upload and download‎
  • A wired connection is preferred over wireless (WIFI)‎
  • Current version of Google Chrome or some other Chromium-based browser ‎is best
  • Flash player (for PC users)‎
  • Chromebooks, tablets, and cellphones are not compatible and CANNOT BE ‎USED. Touchscreens cannot be used.‎
  • Ability to download and install a small program: PSI’s secure web browser. ‎In work environments with firewalls, you must have administrative access ‎to disable the firewall. This must be insured prior to taking an exam on a ‎work computer. The compatibility test does not test for administrative ‎rights and firewalls.‎
  • Dual screens are not allowed

What type of software is required?‎

  • For PC user’s Windows 7, 8, and 10 are compatible. To find your window ‎version, right-click on the window icon and select "run" in the box labeled ‎‎"open" type in the word winver. Press enter.   ‎
  • For Mac user's version 10.12, 10.13 and 10.14 operating systems are ‎needed. To find out what version you have on a MAC click on the Apple ‎icon and click on "about this mac".  Firefox and Chrome are supported for ‎use on your PC but not Edge or Internet Explorer. For Mac users Safari, ‎Firefox or Chrome can be used. ‎
  • Testing the Computer: From the Windows or Mac computer you are going to use ‎to take the exam, you must check to see if the computer is compatible for Live ‎Remote Proctoring testing. If the computer is compatible, you can proceed to ‎register to take an exam. If not, try another computer or consider taking the test ‎at the Computer Testing Center (the test is taken at a PSI/AMP center). If you are ‎not using a personal computer or if you are using a work computer, you must ‎ensure you have administrative rights for the secure download prior to your ‎exam. The compatibility link does not check for administrative rights to disable ‎the firewall.‎

How do I check to see if my computer is compatible?

What type of lighting is best?
The candidate’s testing space needs to be lit well enough for the proctor to see the candidate's face and surrounding area.
 
How long does it take to check-in before the exam begins?
The check-in process typically takes about 15 minutes and does not count against the candidate's time.
 
What happens if a candidate is late for the exam?
Candidates are considered a "no-show" if they have not logged on within 15 minutes of their scheduled start time.
 
How is candidate identification provided?
The candidate's identification is captured via the webcam.
 
Does a web camera need to be external, or can it be built-in?
Either may be used. However, the candidate will be asked to pan the room with the camera, including beneath the work surface area.
 
Is a calculator included on the screen?
Calculators are not permitted with this examination.‎
 
When does the exam begin?
The reservation software indicates when the exam is ready to launch, typically 30 minutes prior to the reservation time. Candidates will log in and download the secure browser (required).
 
Are breaks allowed?
One 10-minute break is allowed, but the exam timer continues.‎ If the candidate does not return within 15 minutes [maximum], the exam is terminated and the ‎candidate will need to apply for the next ‎exam administration.‎
 
Are candidates allowed to mouth words, make noise, or ask questions during the exam?
No, candidates are asked not to speak aloud, move their mouth, or cover the mouths with their hands during the exam. Questions may only be asked of the proctor via the chat function.
 
Are there other live remote proctoring infractions?
As with in-person testing, there are actions and behaviors that are not allowed during a live remote proctored appointment. These include:

  • Creating a disturbance, being abusive or otherwise uncooperative
  • Displaying or using electronic communications equipment such as cell phone or pager
  • Talking or participating in conversation with other exam candidates
  • Giving or receiving help
  • Leaving the test center or exiting the camera view during the examination
  • Attempting to record exam questions
  • Attempting to take the exam for someone else
  • Is observed with personal belongings, notes, books or other aids not noted on the roster

What happens if the connection is lost during the exam?
If a technical issue arises during a live remote proctoring exam, due to a power surge/outage or loss of connectivity, the exam administrator (PSI) will take the following steps:

  • The exam clock is stopped.
  • If the candidate is able to resolve their technical issue within five minutes, they are able to restart the exam from where they left off.
  • If more than five minutes passes, the candidate is provided a help desk number to call ‎for help ‎(888-519-9901). ‎Typical help desk wait times are less than two minutes. 
  • The testing session is left open by the exam proctor for at least one hour while the candidate works to resolve their connection issue. If the connection remains down after this window has passed, candidates are offered the option to reschedule their exam, which may require the candidate to retake the entire exam. 

How should an issue be reported?
If you are a candidate affected by last-minute scheduling changes or day-of technical issues, we request that you report your issue(s) directly to exam vendor PSI ([email protected]) and copy ABGC’s Executive Office ([email protected]). In submitting a report, be sure to include the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your test format (testing center or live remote proctoring)
  • The name and location of your testing center (if applicable)
  • Details about the specific issues you encountered

ABGC staff will investigate all reported problems and respond to each candidate who reaches out with options for appropriate next steps. Understanding that no two cases are the same, solutions may vary but could include allowing penalty-free retakes or other scheduling and financial options.
 
How are technical issues resolved?
If a connection has not been established after 30 minutes from the scheduled exam appointment, the candidate should call PSI tech support at +1-888-519-9901 and ask to un-schedule their appointment. The exam appointment can be rescheduled by contacting PSI at +1-888-519-9901. ABGC understands the stress and frustration that candidates experience due to technical issues that may arise during live proctoring of the exam. ABGC takes these concerns seriously, and will actively advocate with its exam vendor, PSI, on behalf of candidates who experience technical issues.
 
Can time be added to the exam if a connection outage occurs?
No, this option is not available.
 
What happens if a prohibited item or person appears in the candidate’s test area during the exam?
If a major violation occurs, the proctor will message the candidate of the infraction and terminate the exam. If a minor violation occurs, the proctor will pause the exam and message the candidate, but the clock will continue to run. The candidate must acknowledge the message from the proctor for the exam to resume.
 
How are test results delivered?
Once an exam is completed, the score report will appear on screen and will be sent to the email address used for registration via a secured email program.
 
Additional Assistance
The ABGC office is available for assistance and may be reached by email, or by phone at (913) 222-8661. Candidates may also contact exam administrator, PSI, at 888-519-9901 from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Central) Monday through Thursday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday, or 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday.