Most questions can be answered by referring to the NBE Candidate Handbook. However, frequently asked questions are listed below.

How can I report a potential security breach of the exam?

You can report a potential security breach by contacting The Conference via phone, online tip form, or postal mail.
Online: Report a potential security breach
Phone: 479-442-7076
Mail: 1885 Shelby Lane, Fayetteville, AR 72704

How often is the NBE administered?
The National Board Exam is administered year-round at Pearson Professional Centers. Test center hours vary. Contact Pearson VUE at 1-800-709-0180 or visit to schedule your appointment.

Click here to locate a Test Center.

How do I become eligible for the NBE?
To become eligible for the NBE you must be verified by a school as having completed all other requirements for graduation from an ABFSE-accredited mortuary science program. Acceptable eligibility includes Verification of Graduation, or an official copy of conferred transcripts. Note: Verification of Graduation is the responsibility of your program director.

What languages is the exam administered in?
At this time the National Board Exam is only administered in English.

Why doesn’t Pearson VUE have my information when I try to schedule my exam?
Once you have already submitted your application and payment to The Conference, please allow at least two business days for processing – it is possible that we have received your application, but have not completed processing it. We may also be waiting to receive your transcripts or your eligibility verification from your school. Contact your school to see if this information has been sent. In addition, applications and payments are valid for one year. If the exam is not taken in the one-year window, a new application and payment would be needed to re-register for the exam.

How often can I take the NBE?
Candidates can sit for the NBE up to three times a year, however,  you are required to wait a period of 90 days before re-examination to allow sufficient time for study.

The Conference Board of Directors periodically reviews and revises policies regarding examination administration keeping in mind the security of the examination program as well as best practices within the field of high stakes licensure testing. It is also to the candidates’ benefit to allow sufficient time for study and remediation following an unsuccessful attempt on the NBE.

How is the NBE scored?
The National Board Exam (NBE) is a pass/fail examination and is not designed to distinguish between varying levels of competence, only to distinguish whether a candidate has at least the minimum level of competence required to practice as an entry-level Funeral Director and Embalmer. The passing standard is a scaled score of 75; therefore, any score of 75 or higher is a passing score, and any score below 75 is a failing score. The number of questions that have to be answered correctly to achieve a score of 75 can change from form to form, but is generally within a 1-2 question range. If a form of the examination is slightly easier than the form on which the passing score was set, an examinee would have to answer more questions correctly to obtain a scale score of 75. If the form of the examination is slightly harder, an examinee would have to answer fewer questions correctly to pass the examination. This process ensures that we apply the same standard of difficulty regardless of whether the items are a little easier or a little harder than those on another form.

Failed results will be accompanied with a Performance Feedback report; which visually represents the candidate’s performance in each section. The Conference will at no point release numerical score information to candidates. The Arts and Sciences sections of the NBE are scored separately. Candidates must pass both sections in order to be considered passing the NBE. Only the 150 core items are used to calculate scores for each section. The 20 pretest items do not count.

What are scaled scores?
Scaled scores are part of how The Conference makes sure the exam is a fair and valid measure of your professional knowledge. The NBE questions are pulled from The Conference’s item bank in accordance with accepted psychometric procedures. Since some questions are more difficult than others, one form of the exam might be slightly easier or harder than another. Scaled scores take into account the varying degree of difficulty of each question, so that regardless of which version of the test you take, the total score represents an equivalent level of knowledge. Using scaled scores in testing ensures that no candidate receives an unfair advantage by taking an easier form of the exam or is unfairly evaluated by taking a more difficult form. It is a complex, but much fairer, method of calculating scores.

An analogous situation is with reporting temperature, in that 0° C and 32° F both represent freezing, but are presented on numerically different temperature scales. Both of these temperatures represent the same level of coldness, but are on different measurement systems. The same concept can be applied to scaled scores.

How are my results reported to me?
You will receive a pass/fail results report at the testing center. No numerical scores will be given, however, unsuccessful candidates will receive a performance feedback chart, which is a bar graph that represents performance in each content area.

Can I review my test to see what questions I missed?
No, it is not possible to review your test once it has been scored. For study purposes, you should focus on the areas of the exam where your results were the weakest.

What if I need to reschedule my exam appointment(s)?
You may cancel or change your appointment by contacting Pearson VUE 24 hours prior to the appointment time at or by phone at 1-800-709-0180. It is your responsibility to cancel or change the appointment within the cancellation/change guidelines. It is also your responsibility to keep the email you receive from Pearson VUE confirming the canceled/changed appointment. If a change is made via phone, keep a record of the date, time, and the name of the representative you spoke with. If you do not reschedule or cancel your exam with Pearson VUE at least 24 hours in advance of your appointment,  you will forfeit the exam fee. In that case, you will have to re-register for the exam and pay the appropriate exam fees to The Conference. There are no exceptions to this policy.

When will my results be sent to the state licensing board?
Once you have sat for the NBE The Conference will release your results to the state(s) you indicated on your NBE application. If you would like to have an official copy sent to another state, you can do so by submitting the appropriate order form along with the $50 processing fee for each state. Please allow 2-3 business days for your state to receive your results.

What will I receive from The Conference following the exam?
Once you have passed the NBE (both sections), The Conference will mail an NBE wall certificate with your name, school, and year you passed the NBE to the address provided on your application. Allow three to four weeks for delivery. Wallet ID cards are available upon request. Additional wall certificates and ID cards are available for purchase from The Conference. Order forms can be submitted online at Wall certificates can be purchased for $30 and ID cards for $20.



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