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Scoring Policy Announcement:

In January 2019, the NBCE enacted a scoring policy change to display only one single score for the Part I and Part II exams. This is referred to as global scoring, and replaced the NBCE’s previous policy of displaying six domain-level scores.  During discussions with colleges this year, the NBCE was informed that the global scoring policy had an immediate impact on chiropractic colleges. In order to support college and student success, the NBCE has made the decision to roll back the global scoring policy, and return to publishing all six domain scores. In addition to reporting domain-level scores, the retake policy will be adjusted to allow examinees who pass four or more domains the ability to retake only failing domains.  

NBCE Scoring Policy Announcement (Printable Version)

What Will Change?

Here is a summary of the changes that will be made, as of July 1, to enact this policy:

Retake Rule

Beginning in January 2019, a failure in one domain of the Part I or Part II exam required the examinee to retake the entire Part. As of July 1, 2019 the NBCE is reverting to our previous retake rule, which states:

An examinee who passes at least four of the six exam domains in one administration is eligible to keep the passing scores, and retake only the failed domains in future administrations.

This retake rule, which is being implemented July 1, 2019, will also be retroactively implemented for the Part I and Part II exams that have been taken since January 1, 2019.

For Examinees:

If you have taken, and failed, a Part I and/or Part II exam since January 1, 2019, you
will receive an email on July 1st.

The attachment in the email will explain how this policy change will personally impact your scores, past applications, and future applications.

Please wait until you receive an email before contacting the NBCE.

There is information in the email notification that will help us better assist you.

If you have taken, and passed, the Part I and/or Part II exam since January 1, 2019 you will not receive an individual communication. However, we will be updating your Part I and/or Part II score to display six domain scores the week of July 1 – July 8.

You may also experience limited access to applications and exam scheduling during this time.


The NBCE will charge a fee of $335 per domain for Individual Domain Retake applications. The fee to take the full Part I or Part II will remain $685.


Examinees who are eligible to retake individual domains will now need to schedule a testing appointment for Sunday morning, between 7:30 and noon during the exam administration. Your application is not considered complete until you have received a confirmation number in an email from Prometric with an appointment location, time, and date.


Individual Domain Retakes (IDRs) will be administered on the computer, in the same format as the full Part I and Part II exams. Each domain consists of 50 questions, and examinees will be allowed 42 minutes per domain. If two domains are scheduled, the examinee will not receive a break in between domains.


We are not changing the way we score the Part I or Part II exams, only the way we display those scores. When Part I or Part II exam scores are reported to the examinee, Chiropractic College, or state board they will see six domain-level scores as opposed to one global score.

What Will Stay The Same?

Here is a summary of what will remain the same after the scoring policy change is implemented:


The Part I and Part II test plan will remain the same. The six domains of the Part I and Part II are not changing. For information about the Part I and II test plan, visit

Passing Standard

The Part I and Part II are not considered “passed” until a score report displays scores above 375 in all six domains. An examinee who receives passing scores in four of the six domains is considered “Individual Domain Retake (IDR) eligible”, not “passing”. Examinees who are IDR eligible for the Part I are not eligible to apply for the Part III or Part IV exam until they pass all domains of the Part I.

Next Steps

Beginning July 1st and continuing through July 8th, the NBCE will upload domain-level scores to examinee accounts, and update applications for examinees who are now Individual Domain Retake (IDR) eligible. Examinees may not have access to their accounts during that time.  Here are some other important details about our implementation plan:

  • Appointments for full part exams in August and September that are no longer necessary will be cancelled, and refunds processed. If action is required by the examinee, specific instructions will be sent directly to the examinee on July 1.
  • Examinees who had to retake a full part in April (Part I) or June (Part II) may be eligible for a partial refund of their exam fees. If they were eligible to retake one subject after their first attempt, they will receive a refund of $350. If they were eligible to retake two subjects after their first attempt, they will receive a refund of $15.

The NBCE is committed to our mission of “ensuring professional competency through excellence in testing”. NBCE exams offer assurance to the general public that, regardless of where a chiropractor went to school or was licensed, he or she has demonstrated valid competency, knowledge, and ability.

If you have any questions about the information in this communication, please check our website at where we will be posting answers to FAQs, and updating the information as necessary. Or, you can email