If the NBOME determines in its sole discretion that a candidate committed or contributed to any Irregular Conduct in connection with the application, registration or taking of an examination, the NBOME may in its sole discretion take one or more of the following actions:
- Void the candidate’s examination and score or not score any examination.
- Deem the candidate to have failed the examination and enter a “fail” score on the candidate’s examination record and NBOME transcript.
- Annotate the candidate’s examination record and NBOME transcript for the examination as “Irregular Conduct.” For instances where the conduct is deemed less severe, NBOME has the discretion to annotate the candidate’s examination record, ERAS transcript, and NBOME transcript with “Other” to document this conduct.
- Suspend, revoke, or refuse to provide any score report or NBOME transcript to a candidate or any third party.
- Deny any application by the candidate to take any NBOME examination.
- Report the incident to the candidate’s school or graduate medical education program and/or to any licensure board or state or national jurisdiction, agency or authority.
- And/or take any other action the NBOME in its sole discretion deems appropriate.
The candidate shall fully cooperate with any NBOME investigation of any possible irregularities in examination administration, candidate behavior, breach of test security, or confidentiality. Failure to fully cooperate can result in sanctions, including examination failure, notation of irregular conduct, suspension of eligibility, or permanent loss of eligibility to take a future COMLEX-USA examination.
The term “Irregular Conduct” includes any behavior on the part of any candidate that violates the integrity or security of the examination, behavior that is disruptive to administration of the examination, or behavior deemed by the NBOME in its sole discretion to be inappropriate in connection with the application, registration, taking, administration, integrity, and security of any NBOME examination. Such behavior includes but is not limited to:
- Copying, fraud, deceit, or other dishonest conduct.
- Refusal to provide proper identification or permit photo documentation or other identification for verification at any time.
- Disrupting another candidate or candidates.
- At any time (i.e., before, during, or after any examination) verbally or physically harming or threatening to harm the test center professional staff, other examinees, test center employees, or NBOME personnel, representatives or agents, during telephone and in-person encounters regarding scheduling, scores, or score reporting.
- Communication or attempts to communicate with others during the examination other than authorized test center professional staff.
- Removal of or attempts to remove any test material, scrap paper, or white board from the assigned test area.
- Damage to property.
- Non-compliance with test center rules and regulations and security requirements, including operating test center equipment without reasonable care.
- Providing or receiving unauthorized information about the content of an examination.
- Communication or attempts to communicate about the content, format, or specific test items with another candidate or with any outside source or party (including use of cell phones, personal computers, internet access, test review companies, or any other means) at any time, either before, during, or after any examination.
- Using or having available or access to any unauthorized device, text, notes, or other material that could assist the candidate in taking the examination.
- Providing false admittance information or altering or misrepresenting information in applications, score reports, transcripts, or certificates.
- Providing false or forged identification upon presentation for testing at a test center.
- Misrepresentation of physical examination or treatment maneuvers performed or history taken during a standardized patient encounter in the e-SOAP note or other documentation required for the COMLEX-USA Level 2-PE examination. With the exception of vital signs provided by NBOME, under no other circumstances should a candidate document the results of physical examination or treatment maneuvers that were not performed or medical history that was not elicited during the clinical encounter.
- Violation of the NBOME’s non-disclosure or confidentiality policies or the candidate’s non-disclosure agreement at any time.
- Any violation of the Terms and Conditions, policies, rules, procedures, or obligations of candidates set out in the Bulletin of Information (BOI) as published at the time of the violation.
- Bringing personal property into the test area is considered by the NBOME to violate the security of the examination.
- Leaving his or her assigned test area during the administration of any COMLEX-USA examination.
- Other behavior as deemed by the NBOME to be unethical or unprofessional.
NOTE: Candidates are under both proctor and electronic surveillance during administration of the COMLEX-USA examinations at all test centers.
Any test center professional staff, or other Prometric staff, who suspects Irregular Conduct by a candidate during administration of the COMLEX-USA examinations will report that information to the NBOME. Also, candidates who directly observe Irregular Conduct must report such activity to the Prometric or NBOME test center professional staff.
NBOME reviews all Irregular Conduct reports and may pursue any and all actions it deems appropriate for or in connection with any Irregular Conduct, including but not limited to any damages or losses incurred by NBOME, including its reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs, caused by the candidate’s Irregular Conduct, and injunctive or other equitable relief without bond or other security.
Copying, reproducing, verbally discussing, relaying, or recording test items or test content, in addition to violating security, may result in action by NBOME against the candidate for violation of copyright laws and/or other action by NBOME allowed by law.
Prior to taking the COMLEX-USA Level 2-PE examination, candidates must sign a Candidate Agreement, which includes confidentiality obligations, and may be provided with further examples of Irregular Conduct during the orientation. Behavior that may violate NBOME policy or provide an advantage to one candidate over others may result in disqualification from scoring (i.e., minimum note score).
A candidate who is notified that he or she has, or is believed to have been, engaged in Irregular Conduct, or is being investigated for alleged Irregular Conduct, will have 10 calendar days from the date of such notification to submit in writing, including email, and be received by the NBOME, a personal statement signed by the candidate of his or her position on the claimed or possible Irregular Conduct, and any and all information known or available to the candidate that he or she believes is relevant to the matter. After receipt of the candidate’s statement and any information, or the lapse of the 10-day response period, whichever is earlier, NBOME will determine whether the candidate has engaged in Irregular Conduct and, if so, what action NBOME will take. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the NBOME may in its sole discretion take any action it deems appropriate prior to the submittal of any statement by the candidate to protect NBOME and the integrity of its examinations.
Decisions regarding Irregular Conduct are determined solely at the discretion of NBOME and all such decisions of NBOME are final.
Due to the nature of the process involved in reports of Irregular Conduct of a candidate or investigation of such conduct or any complaint in connection with the administration of a COMLEX-USA examination, an investigation of any actual or suspected Irregular Conduct may delay the release of any score of a candidate. NBOME will not release a score, if any, while the matter is under investigation. If a score release is expected to be significantly delayed because of an investigation for reasons of alleged Irregular Conduct, NBOME will notify the candidate and give the reasons for the investigation.
Information relating to any Irregular Conduct or behavior of a candidate and any action taken by NBOME in response to a candidate’s Irregular Conduct or behavior may become part of the permanent record of the candidate maintained by NBOME and available to third parties. Every candidate authorizes NBOME to release any or all of the candidate’s personal statement or other information provided by the candidate and any action taken by NBOME relating to the candidate’s actual or alleged Irregular Conduct or behavior to the candidate’s medical school, residency program director, any licensing board, authority, or other person(s) or entity or entities deemed appropriate by NBOME or required by law, without prior notice to or the consent of the candidate.