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What is the Special Purposes Exam for Chiropractic (SPEC)?

The Special Purposes Examination for Chiropractic (SPEC) is a post-licensure exam that is offered six times per year at Prometric Testing Centers throughout North America. SPEC is available only at the request of state or foreign licensing agencies. SPEC requires approximately three hours of test administration time, divided into two equal sessions of 90 minutes each. Each session includes 100 questions. Test appointments are scheduled for four hours to allow time for an optional, brief tutorial, an optional break between sessions and a post-examination survey. You must complete both sessions of SPEC in order to receive a score from the NBCE.

Who can take SPEC?
  • You must hold or have held a license to practice chiropractic. The license may have lapsed, been suspended or revoked, etc.
  • You must provide written authorization from a state board or international licensing agency to take SPEC.

To apply for SPEC, you will need to log into your MyNBCE account. 

Topics, Sample Questions, and Reference Texts

The NBCE develops every exam based on a test plan. The detailed SPEC Test Plan includes topics and weightings (the percentage of the test devoted to each topic).

The NBCE offers a Sample Test for SPEC. The sample test contains 50 questions and costs $15.

The NBCE uses reference texts from the chiropractic colleges. See the SPEC Reference Text List.

Test Site and Test Site Rules

The NBCE will notify you once your application has been processed. It is then up to you to contact Prometric Testing Centers to schedule your testing appointment. Appointment times are dependent upon available space at testing centers.

Plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to the scheduled testing appointment to complete admission procedures. You must present two forms of identification including one government-issued photo ID at the testing center. Testing aids of any kind will not be permitted in the testing center. You must store all personal items in a locker. You will be monitored at all times by audio and video recorders.

Dates & Deadlines

The SPEC and Acupuncture exams are administered nationwide six times each year at Prometric Testing Centers.

 

2019 Examination Dates

Examination Date (Testing appointments available on dates listed below) Application,  Changes
Deadline
Scores Posted
Online
February 4 – 9, 2019 01/31/19 02/28/19
April 1 – 6, 2019 03/28/19 04/25/19
June 3 – 8, 2019 05/28/19 06/27/19
July 29 – August 3, 2019 07/23/2019 08/22/19
September 30 – October 5, 2019 09/24/19 10/24/19
December 2 – 7, 2019 11/26/19 12/26/19

2020 Examination Dates

Examination Date (Testing appointments available on dates listed below) Application,  Changes
Deadline
February 3 – 8, 2020 01/27/2020
April 6 – 11, 2020 03/30/2020
June 8 – 13, 2020 06/1/2020
August 3 – 8, 2020 07/27/2020
October 5 – 10, 2020 09/28/2020
December 7 – 12, 2020 11/30/2020

2021 Examination Dates

Examination Date (Testing appointments available on dates listed below) Application,  Changes
Deadline
February 1 – 6, 2021 01/25/2021
April 5 – 10, 2021 03/29/2021
June 7 – 12, 2021 05/31/2021
August 2 – 7, 2021 07/26/2021
October 4 – 9, 2021 09/27/2021
December 6 – 11, 2021 11/29/2021

2022 Examination Dates

Examination Date (Testing appointments available on dates listed below) Application,  Changes
Deadline
February 7 – 12, 2022 01/31/2022
April 4 – 9, 2022 03/28/2022
June 6 – 11, 2022 05/30/2022
August 8 – 13, 2022 08/01/2022
October 3 – 8, 2022 09/26/2022
December 5 – 10, 2022 11/28/2022
Passing Score
The NBCE recommends a passing score of 375. Attaining an NBCE recommended passing score does not guarantee acceptance by a state licensing agency. The use of SPEC scores for any purpose is at the discretion of individual state licensing boards.
Fees
Exam Fee/ Retake Fee Refund for Withdrawal
SPEC $1,500 $1,200
Withdraw/Reschedule

The NBCE must RECEIVE your application by 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time on the deadlines listed below.
You cannot make any changes to a scheduled exam after the deadline.

For reschedules/cancellations 30 days or greater prior to the  SPEC and ACU exam application deadlines, there is no charge.
For cancellations within this same time frame, the NBCE will offer a full refund of the original exam fee.
Please email support@nbce.org or call 800-964-6223 to discuss.

For reschedules/cancellations 5-29 days prior to the SPEC and ACU exam application deadlines, there is a $50 charge paid to and retained by Prometric and for cancellations within this same time frame, the NBCE will offer a partial refund of the original exam fee. Please contact support@nbce.org or call 800-964-6223 to discuss.

After published deadlines, you may not make any changes to your appointment and the NBCE will issue no refunds.