Frequently Asked Questions

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The ASCeXAM is the examination of special competence in adult echocardiography. The ASCeXAM (originally called the ASEeXAM) is intended for those who wish to demonstrate special competence in all areas of echocardiography. The ReASCE is the Recertification Examination of Special Competence in Adult Echocardiography designed specifically for those who have previously passed the ASCeXAM. The purpose of ReASCE is to promote continued excellence in all areas of echocardiography.   

The Advanced PTEeXAM is the examination of special competence in advanced perioperative transesophageal echocardiography. This examination was originally called the PTEeXAM and is intended for those who wish to demonstrate special competence in advanced perioperative transesophageal echocardiography. [Scope of Practice: The application of an advanced perioperative TEE examination is to uti­lize the full diagnostic potential of perioperative TEE including direction of the perioperative surgical decision making process.] The RePTE is the Recertification Examination in Perioperative Transesophageal Echocardiography designed specifically for those who have previously passed the PTEeXAM. The purpose RePTE is to allow practitioners to renew their board certification in perioperative transesophageal echocardiography and thereby promote continued excellence in the application of cardiac ultrasound in the perioperative setting.

The Basic PTEeXAM is the examination of special competence in basic perioperative transesophageal echocardiography. This examination is intended for those who wish to demonstrate special competence in basic perioperative transesophageal echocardiography.  [Scope of Practice: The application of a basic perioperative TEE examination is limited to non-diagnostic use within the customary practice of anesthesiology. Be­cause the goal of and training in basic PTE is focused on intraoperative monitoring rather than specific diagnosis, except in emergent situations, diagnoses requiring intraoperative cardiac surgical intervention or postop­erative medical/surgical management must be confirmed by an individual with advanced skills in TEE or by an independent diagnostic technique.]

 

Applications for the 2014 examinations must be received at NBE headquarters by the following dates.

The Deadlines have been extended to the following dates:

  • ASCeXAM deadline March 10, 2014
  • ReASCE deadline March 10, 2014
  • Advanced PTEeXAM deadline February 24, 2014
  • RePTE deadline February 24, 2014
  • Basic PTEeXAM deadline March 17, 2014

If you cancel your registration prior to the cancellation deadline, you will get a refund minus a $200 administrative fee. If you cancel after the deadline, you will receive no refund.

Written notification of cancellation must be received in our office on or before the dates shown below to be eligible for a partial refund.

  • ASCeXAM – April 14, 2014
  • ReASCE --  April 14, 2014
  • PTEeXAM – March 31, 2014
  • RePTE – March 31, 2014
  • Basic PTEeXAM-April 7, 2014
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  • Checks made payable to National Board of Echocardiography or NBE  





No. The NBE requires an original signature on the exam and certification applications. Please MAIL, FedEx, or UPS your application and supporting documentation to:

NBE
1500 Sunday Drive, Suite 102
Raleigh, NC 27607

The NBE recommends that if mail is used, you obtain proof of delivery.

Complete the two-page examination application, provide payment, and a copy of your valid unexpired medical license.  (If you do not have a medical license, contact NBE 919-861-5582 ext. 1219).

Yes. You only need to complete the two-page application, provide payment and a copy of your medical license to take the examination.  Documentation of your fellowship program is not required to sit for the examination.

No.  You may submit the certification application and the supporting documents for certification at any time.

No, you cannot apply late for any of these examinations. The National Board of Medical Examiners needs to know candidate information and numbers for planning purposes.

Content outlines for the examinations are posted on this site. There is no other recommended course of study for the examinations.

The ASCeXAM and PTEeXAM consists of (1) case oriented block that will last up to 1 ½ hours, while the other three (3) blocks will last up to 60 minutes per block. The Basic PTEeXAM consists of (1) case oriented block that will last up to 1 ½ hours, while the other two (2) blocks will last up to 60 minutes per block. The ReASCE and RePTE consists of (1) case oriented block that will last up to 1 ½ hours, while the other two (2) blocks will last up to 60 minutes per block.

The Examination of Special Competence in Advanced Perioperative Transesophageal Echocardiography (APTEeXAM) had a passing rate of approximately 83% in 2012. The examination of Special Competence in Adult Echocardiography (ASCeXAM) had a passing rate of approximately 72%. The passing for the Recertification Examination of Special Competence in Adult Echocardiography (ReASCE) had a passing rate of approximately 89%. The passing rate for the Recertification Examination of Special Competence in Perioperative Transesophageal Echocardiography (RePTE) had a passing rate of approximately 91%. The examination of Special Competence in Basic PTEeXAM (BPTEeXAM) had a passing rate of approximately 87%.

You must bring an unexpired, government-issued form of identification (such as a driver's license or passport) that includes both your photograph and signature. If your identification contains your photograph and not your signature, you can use another form of unexpired identification that contains your signature, such as social security card, employee ID, voter's registration card, ATM card, school ID.

The first and last names on your identification must exactly match the names on your permit. The only acceptable difference would be the presence of a middle name, middle initial or suffix on one document and its absence on the other.

All of your personal belongings, including watches, wallets, food, and beverages must be placed in a small, designated locker outside the testing room. Pagers and cellular phones must be turned off before placing them in the locker. No personal items may be brought into the examination room.

You may bring soft-foam earplugs into the testing room.  However, they must be out of the packaging and ready for inspection by test center staff during check-in.  Earplugs must be left at the workstation during all breaks.

Prometric will provide an on-screen calculator, laminated note board, dry eraser markers, and an eraser.

Please contact the NBE immediately at (919) 861-5582 ext. 1219 if your name is misspelled or if it differs from your name as it appears on your identification. Name changes or corrections cannot be made within 7 days of your scheduled testing appointment.

No later than two months before the examination, you will receive a Scheduling Permit via email.   This permit will advise you how to contact Prometric to schedule your examination. It is imperative you keep your Scheduling Permit and take it with you to the examination.

After receiving your Scheduling Permit, go to www.prometric.com (choose the Testing Program "National Board of Echocardiography") 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. You should contact Prometric as soon as you receive the permit. Prometric schedules testing appointments on a first-come, first-serve basis. The sooner you schedule your appointment, the more likely you will receive your preferred test time and location.

Yes. One week prior to the exam, you must confirm your testing center location with Prometric either by phone or via the Prometric website.

You should arrive at the Prometric test center 30 minutes before your scheduled testing time on your testing date. If you arrive more than 30 minutes after your scheduled testing time, you will not be admitted.

No. You will not be admitted to the examination without your Scheduling Permit.

The NBE may provide the affected candidate with an opportunity to take the examination at the next scheduled examination date. This shall be the candidate's sole remedy. In the rare event of a technical problem, testing software is designed to allow the test to restart at the point it was interrupted. In most cases, the test can be restarted at the point of interruption with no loss of testing time.

Yes. You should immediately notify NBE of all address and/or email changes in order to receive your Scheduling Permit or other notifications from NBE. You may notify NBE by using the Change of Address form located on the NBE website at www.echoboards.org, send an email to info@echoboards.org or call the NBE headquarters 919-861-5582 ext. 1219.

The title of "Testamur" is designated for successfully passing the Examination of Special Competence. This designation was chosen since applicants were not requested to supply information regarding successful completion of training dedicated to the study of Cardiovascular Disease nor completion of special training in echocardiography. Physicians who are certified in Echocardiography have provided documentation of their education and level of service, and satisfy the other requirements set by the NBE in addition to passing the examination. The title of "Diplomate" is designated for physicians who are certified in echocardiography and certification is valid for ten (10) years from the year that the Examination of Special Competence was passed.

Due to the many advances that occur in any field during the span of a decade, the NBE has always recognized that a set of criteria to define special competence (certification/testamur status) would likely be valid for only 10 years. Therefore, recertification is recommended to demonstrate continued mastery of the knowledge base of echocardiography as well as familiarity with the techniques and applications that have appeared during the ten year period since taking the original examination. In addition to a recertification examination this includes evidence of continued clinical activity and post graduate medical education in echocardiography.

NBE recommends that due to the rapidly changing technology and advances in echocardiography, echocardiographers take an examination at least once every 10 years. The purpose of the ReASCE examination is to promote continued excellence in the performance and interpretation of cardiac ultrasound. The purpose of the RePTE examination is to promote continued excellence in the application of cardiac ultrasound in the perioperative setting. These examinations should be considered in conjunction with on-going continuing medical education in the field.

The NBE has developed a Recertification Examination that is similar in format to the Examination of Special Competence in Adult Echocardiography (ASCeXAM) but designed specifically for those who have previously passed the ASCeXAM. The case oriented section will be the same as the ASCeXAM, however the multiple choice sections are designed specifically for those who have previously passed the ASCeXAM and will be comprised of fewer questions. The Recertification examination has one case oriented block that is identical to the ASCeXAM. Additionally, the ReASCE has two multiple choice blocks while the ASCeXAM has 3 multiple choice blocks.

The NBE has developed a Recertification Examination that is similar in format to the Examination of Special Competence in Advanced Perioperative Transesophageal Echocardiography (PTEeXAM) but designed specifically for those who have previously passed the Advanced PTEeXAM. The case oriented section will be the same as the Advanced PTEeXAM; however, the multiple choice sections are designed specifically for those who have previously passed the Advanced PTEeXAM and will be comprised of fewer questions. The Recertification examination has one case oriented block that is identical to the Advanced PTEeXAM. Additionally, the RePTE has two multiple choice blocks while the Advanced PTEeXAM has 3 multiple choice blocks.

No. The requirements for Recertification are different from the requirements for initial certification.  Testamurs would have to meet the requirements for initial Certification which are detailed in the Board Certification Application for the 2013 ASCeXAM.  You can however apply for initial certification and recertification at the same time assuming you have passed the recertification examination.

No. The requirements for Recertification are different from the requirements for initial certification.  Testamurs would have to meet the requirements for initial Certification which are detailed in the Board Certification Application for the 2013 Advanced PTEeXAM.  You can however apply for initial certification and recertification at the same time assuming you have passed the recertification examination.

Individuals who passed the ASCeXAM or PTEeXAM are eligible to take the ReASCE or RePTE in their 9th, 10th and 11th year surrounding their expiration date. Individuals who passed the ASCeXAM or PTEeXAM in 2004 will have the opportunity to take the Recertification Examination in 2013, 2014 or 2015.

Diplomates and Testamurs who passed the ASCeXAM in 1996 -2005 or the PTEeXAM in 1998-2005 are eligible to take the 2014 ReASCE or 2014 RePTE examinations.

Since Certification is dependent on passing the Examination of Special Competence or the Recertification Examination, applications for Certification are reviewed after the examination has been satisfactorily completed. You should receive notification of the decision of the Certification Committee within a year.

You will receive your results approximately 10 weeks after you take the examination. Certificates for passing the exam will be mailed approximately 12 weeks after the score reports are received. An e-mail will be sent to all examinees when the web site has been updated.

The examination committees review each question for validity after the exams are scored. Questions are discarded if they do not meet predefined performance criteria. If statistical evaluation raises a concern about the validity of a question (for example if a large number of people consistently answer with a different response), then these questions are individually reviewed again to make sure they are accurate. When inaccuracies are identified, these questions can be re-scored or discarded. This process does take some time, but it is worth it to get completely valid scores.

The examinations are each given once a year.

Applicants may request that their exam be Re-Scored. There is a $75.00 charge and the process takes 6 to 8 weeks. Print the form for Re-Scoring. Once you have completed the form, please fax to 919-787-4916.

There is a Certification Status Search and a listing of Testamurs for all examinations on this website.

The NBE does not endorse any review courses for the examinations

No, the NBE does not extend CME credits for taking the examination.

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