Computer-Based Testing FAQs
Get all your questions answered about computer-based exams in 2006
CFRE International Exam
and Computer-Based Testing FAQs
(as of 30 September 2006)
About Computer-Based Testing:
1. Q: What is computer-based testing?
A: It is a term used to describe how an exam or
test is delivered. CFRE candidates will
now answer test questions on a computer screen. Previously, CFRE candidates took a paper-and-pencil exam and used
an answer sheet that required filling in bubbles.
2. Q: Does this mean I can take it from my home or
A: NO. Candidates will take the exam on a computer
at specific, secure testing centres that are proctored by testing
3. Q: Do I need to know how to use a computer to take
A: NO. Computer knowledge is not required. Before the timed portion of the exam begins,
a simple introductory tutorial explains how you move throughout the exam and
the computer screen. Time you spend
on the tutorial will not count toward the time allotted for you to take the
exam. Most candidates take 5 to 10
minutes to complete the tutorial and may repeat it, if desired. You may select your answers using the
keyboard or the mouse. Candidates are
strongly encouraged to take the tutorial prior to taking the examination.
4. Q: Where are the testing centres?
A: There are over 300
testing centres in the United States and Canada, including centres in Puerto
Rico and Guam. The CFRE examination can
be taken at any one of them. Candidates
from the US can take the US exam in Canada and Canadian candidates can travel
to the US to take the Canadian exam, if that is their choice. The Australian, New Zealand and United
Kingdom exams are not available via computer.
5. Q: How do I find a testing centre?
A: Once you are authorised
to take the exam you will be given a website address and a toll-free
number. You can locate the testing
centres closest to you by searching in your state or province for a listing of
all centres that administer the CFRE exam and chose that which is most
convenient for you.
6. Q: How often will the exam be given?
A: The exam will be administered four times a
year during three-week time blocks, called “testing windows”. All test sites are open Monday through
Friday with most centres also open on Saturdays and in the evenings.
Timeframes and Scheduling:
7. Q: How do I register to take the computer-based
A: Candidates for the CFRE examination must
still submit a written application directly to CFRE International to determine
whether or not they are eligible to take the exam. Once deemed eligible, candidates will be sent an Authorisation To
Test (ATT) letter.
8. Q: How far in advance do I need to submit my
A: Candidates will need to submit their
applications at least ninety (90) days before the START of the testing
window. Applications will be reviewed
on a rolling basis. If an application
is received after the close of a deadline, it will automatically be reviewed
for the next testing window.
9. Q: When will I be notified about whether or not I
am Authorised To Test?
A: Candidates will be notified of their
eligibility and Authorisation to Test on a rolling basis. Candidates will be notified no later than
forty-five (45) days prior to the start of the testing windows.
10. Q: Once I am authorised to test, when can I take
A: The Authorisation To
Test (ATT) letter will contain a website address and a toll-free number. Candidates then go on-line or call to
schedule their individual appointment to take the exam during one of the time
blocks the CFRE exam is available.
Other candidates for other certification exams will also be scheduling
appointments for the same testing dates.
Candidates are encouraged to select a test date and make a reservation
as soon as possible after receiving their ATT letter.
11. Q: Does my Authorisation To Test (ATT) expire?
A: YES. A candidate is authorised to take the exam
during a specific testing window. If
the candidate does not test, he or she must obtain a NEW ATT letter in order to make a new appointment to
test. Candidates have up to one (1) year
from the date of their original Authorisation To Test before their written
application on file expires and a new application must be submitted.
About the Examination:
12. Q: How much time will examinees have to complete
A: Candidates will be given four (4) hours to
take the examination, as is currently the case. The timer/clock will begin with question one of the
examination. Candidates will have the option
to hide/minimise the timer/clock on their computer screen during the exam.
13. Q: When will I receive my test scores?
A: Candidates will receive preliminary test
scores in the form of a pass/fail statement as soon as they leave the testing
room. A full, detailed score report
with a breakdown of the categories covered on the exam (Securing the Gift,
Management, etc.) and a candidate’s personal performance in each area will be
sent at the close of the testing window.
The score report will also include a comparison of a candidate’s individual
performance to all candidates. A candidate’s
score should not be considered final until receiving the full score report.
14. Q: Will the test questions be in multiple-choice
A: YES. The question format continues to remain the
same as it had been on the paper-and-pencil examination.
15. Q: Will the test questions be numbered?
A: YES. The exam questions will be numbered
16. Q: What will the exam look like on the computer
A: The test questions are
presented one at a time on the monitor.
The standard font size is 12-point.
The format is the same four-option response multiple-choice format that
was used for the paper-and-pencil exam
There is a bar at the bottom of the screen that allows you to skip to a
summary page and has links to other items.
17. Q: Will I be allowed to change my answers,
review questions, leave them blank or go back and check answers?
You will be able to move back and forth through out the exam just as
they would have a paper-and-pencil exam.
You can skip questions and go back to them later.
18. Q: Will I be able to change my answers to
A: YES. You may review and change your answers at
any time prior to FINAL submission at the end of the exam.
19. Q: Will I be able to mark questions to go back to
A: YES. The testing software contains a feature that
will allow you to mark questions that you can go back to later, if time
permits. Any item can be marked
regardless of whether or not it has been answered. Items can be reviewed whether or not you have marked them for
review. It is not necessary to unmark a
question in order for it to be scored at the end of the exam. All items will be scored.
20. Q: Can I use scratch paper during the exam?
A: The testing centre will
provide you with an erasable noteboard and a special pen. You will have to return these when you are
finished with the exam. You may not
bring your own scratch paper or pen.
21. Q: What can I do if I experience a delay in
starting my exam?
A: Candidates should note
that their appointment time is not necessarily their starting time. You will need to be checked in before taking
the exam (i.e., sign-in, present identification, etc.) The check-in process may take time if many
candidates have the same appointment time.
Your 4 hour exam time does not start until you view the first question
on the exam.
If the delay is
more than 30 minutes after your scheduled appointment, you will be permitted,
if you choose, to reschedule for another time.
Candidates who cannot wait more than 30 minutes after their scheduled
appointment time may ask the testing centre staff to reschedule them for
another day, provided it is within the testing window.
22. Q: What do I do if the computer malfunctions while
I am taking the exam?
A: A candidate who
experiences technical difficulties while taking the exam should notify testing
centre staff immediately. If the
testing centre staff cannot resolve the problem within 30 minutes, or if the
problem persists despite attempts to remedy the problem, you have the right to request
rescheduling of the exam on another day within the testing window at no
additional cost. Please note that
should you choose to reschedule, you will be given a different form of exam at
the rescheduled session and will have to begin the test again and take the full
About the Testing Centre:
23. Q: What the testing centres like?
A: Testing centres are
built to standard specifications and vary primarily on the basis of size. Each candidate has a private, modular
workstation with ample workspace, comfortable seating and good lighting. Proctors or invigilators monitor the testing
process through an observation window and from within the testing room. All testing sessions are videotaped and
audio-monitored. During your testing
session, there will be people taking exams other than the CFRE exam in the same
24. Q: Will
there be noise or distractions in the testing area?
A: All testing situations
are subject to some noise and distraction.
In a computer-based testing situation, you may hear some keyboard sounds
from other test takers. You may hear
other candidates as they move in and out of the room. If you think you may find these situations distracting, please
see the earplug question below.
25. Q: Can I use earplugs when taking the examination?
A: YES. You are allowed to use earplugs that are
supplied by the testing centre, or you may bring your own. Earplugs are not automatically distributed
to candidates. You must ask the testing
centre staff for them. However, because
the testing centre does not guarantee the availability of earplugs, if you
believe you will need earplugs you are strongly advised to bring your own. Please note: only small “in-the-ear” earplugs are allowed. Large “noise cancelling” or any head-phone
types are not allowed unless provided by the testing centre staff.
26. Q: What should I bring to the testing centre?
A: You are required only to bring two forms of
identification. It is recommended that
you leave any other materials at home, as you will not be allowed to bring them
into the testing area. All testing
centres provide lockers with key locks for you to store your personal
27. Q: What do I do when I arrive at the testing
A: There will be a waiting area where a testing
centre employee will be waiting to check you in. This is where you will need to show your identification and sign
in. You will be given a locker, if
needed. You will be asked to empty your
pockets. Candidates are not permitted
to bring anything other than
their identification into the monitored testing area.
28. Q: Will I be allowed
to stop and take a break or go to the restroom during the
A: YES. The procedure here is the same as during the
paper-and-pencil exam. You may stop and
take a break, go to the restroom, or get some water or a snack from your
locker. You may stop at any time you
choose, as often and as reasonable and necessary. The exam time continues to run during your break. Please note: candidates will not be allowed
to bring ANY type of food or drink (including candy or throat lozenges) into
the testing area.
29. Q: Can I make comments about the exam
A: YES. You are given the opportunity to complete a
survey after completing the examination.
The survey is presented on the computer and consists of questions about
the test administration. You may also
submit written comments about the test administration by a letter addressed to:
Certification Manager, CFRE International, 4900 Seminary Road, Suite 670,
Alexandria, VA 22311.
Please note: such
comments are not considered formal challenges to an examination administration
or examination questions.
30. Q: Can I make comments about the exam itself?
A: Any candidate may
formally challenge the content of specific exam questions or file a formal
complaint regarding the administration of the exam by sending a letter
describing the basis for the content challenge or administrative complaint and
including pertinent information directly to CFRE International at: Exam
Committee, 4900 Seminary Road, Suite 670, Alexandria, VA 22311.
comments cannot be accepted as formal challenges or complaints. With regard to a content challenge,
candidates should be as specific as possible, with as much specific wording
from the item as possible. The letter
of challenge or complaint must be postmarked no later than three (3) days after
you take the examination and sent via a traceable mail/delivery method to CFRE
International. A letter sent after this
deadline cannot be considered.
31. Q: Is it a violation
of CFRE International policy if I provide others with
information about specific
exam questions and/or answer choices?
A: YES, disclosing information to others such
as, work colleagues, former classmates, test preparation professionals,
participating on a listserv or chat room discussions on examination questions
and answer choices is a violation of CFRE International policies and
Accountability Standards. Violators
will be subject to CFRE International’s disciplinary action process that could
affect the violator’s certification status with CFRE International. CFRE International has the right to file an
ethical complaint with a candidate’s professional association and reserves the
right to pursue civil action against the parties involved as well.
32. Q: Can individuals with disabilities be
A: YES. All testing centres in North America are
fully accessible and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA). Should you need special
accommodations such as extra time or a reader, you must consult the Candidate
Handbook concerning timeframes and documentation required. Any special accommodations other than
earplugs must be approved in advance by CFRE International.
International is committed to providing accommodations under the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA) to any candidate regardless of their country of
residence or the country in which they are taking the exam.
For Participating Organisations and Their Chapters
33. Q: How do we schedule a CFRE exam during our 2006
A: In North America, the
CFRE exam will now only be given
through computer-based testing centres during the set testing windows. Exams can no longer be scheduled at
conferences in North America. However,
because of the frequency of the ability to take the exam, holding study
sessions or review courses during conferences will still be an excellent way
for candidates to prepare or refresh their knowledge just before taking the
34. Q: Our chapter usually
holds study or review sessions just before the exam date. With so many testing opportunities, how can
we do this now?
A: Scheduling this type of
review for your members will still be very important. The advantage with the new testing schedule is that a chapter or
region will not be limited to one test date a year, which may not have been the
most convenient. Organisations can now
target the time of year most convenient for its members. If that is the early autumn, then review
workshops or study sessions can be timed to coincide with a testing window in
the early autumn. Chapters and regions
now have the flexibility to choose which time of year best suits them.
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