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Exam Use and Fairness in Examining Policy

The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) is committed to providing certification examinations
(written and clinical) that are fair to all candidates regardless of age, gender, disability, race,
ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, linguistic background, or other personal

We are careful to standardize examinations and administration conditions to help ensure that all
examination candidates are given a comparable opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge
and skills in the areas being examined. Fairness implies that every candidate is provided the
opportunity to prepare for the examination and be informed about the general content and
administration of the examination, as appropriate. Fairness also extends to the accurate
reporting of examination results.

Concerning the certification examinations, the ABO will:

1. Indicate what the examination measures, its recommended uses, the intended
candidates, and the strengths and limitations of the examination.
2. Describe how the content and skills to be examined were selected and how the
examinations were developed.
3. Communicate information about an examination’s characteristics at a level of detail
appropriate to the intended candidates.
4. Provide guidance on the levels of skills, knowledge, and training necessary for an
appropriate review of the examinations.
5. Provide evidence that the technical quality, including reliability and validity, of the
examinations meet their intended purposes.
6. Provide qualified candidates preparation materials, such as a study guide, directions,
suggested readings, and/or guidelines.
7. Avoid potentially offensive content or language when developing examination questions
and related material.
8. Make appropriately modified forms of examinations available for candidates with
disabilities who need special accommodations, upon request.

Concerning examination administration and scoring, the ABO will:

1. Provide a clear description of detailed procedures for administering examinations in a
standardized manner.
2. Provide guidelines on reasonable procedures for accommodating candidates with
disabilities who need special accommodations, upon request.

3. Provide information to candidates on examination formats, including information on the
use of any needed materials and equipment.
4. Establish and implement procedures to ensure the security of examination materials
during all phases of development, administration, scoring and reporting.
5. Implement procedures that eliminate all information that can identify the candidate
during examination scoring.
6. Monitor procedures, materials, and guidelines for scoring examinations, and for assessing
the accuracy of the scoring process.
7. Ensure adequate training of examiners scoring the exam.
8. Develop and implement procedures for ensuring the confidentiality of scores.

Concerning respect to reporting and interpreting examination results, the ABO will:

1. Provide quintile norms or other types of comparative data or technical evidence to help
individuals who do not pass the examination interpret the results.
2. Provide the rationale, procedures, and evidence for setting performance standards for
establishing passing scores, upon request.
3. Provide information that enables accurate interpretation and reporting of examination
4. Provide examination results in a timely fashion (generally within six weeks for the written
examination, within eight weeks for the clinical examination).

Most of the information described above is provided to candidates on the ABO website
( As noted, additional information is available upon
request from the ABO.

Ref: This policy was modified from the Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education. (2004).
Washington, DC: Joint Committee on Testing Practices. (Mailing Address: Joint Committee on
Testing Practices, Science Directorate, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street, NE,
Washington, DC 20002-4242).

Adopted: June 17, 2020