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National Board Exam Results – What to Expect

Completing Your Exam

At the completion of the National Board Exam (NBE), your pass/fail results will appear on your computer screen. If you pass the exam, “Pass” will be displayed. If you are unsuccessful, “Fail” will be shown.

You will also receive an unofficial printout of exam results for your personal records which will include additional information regarding next steps and a reminder about your obligation to exam security. The official exam results will be sent directly from The Conference office to the state board(s) indicated on your exam application.

As a reminder, candidates do not receive a numerical score for the NBE under any circumstance. However, if you fail an exam, you will receive a Performance Feedback Chart (PFC) to guide the preparation for your next exam attempt.

Why Are Numerical Scores Not Provided?

The key factor is that you meet the threshold for minimum knowledge required to function as an entry-level practitioner, not how much you exceed it. As a minimum competency exam, the purpose of the NBE is to provide member licensing boards with a content-valid evaluation of candidates for licensure in the field of funeral service. While we understand that you may be curious about the numerical score that you achieved, there is no significance to that information outside the licensing board setting.

The Conference uses scaled scoring, which is a completely different scoring system from percentages most candidates are accustomed to in a classroom setting (learn more about scaled scores and why we use them here). Because of the nature of scaled scoring, a candidate would not be able to calculate the number of items they answered incorrectly. Instead, The Conference provides a Performance Feedback Chart which illustrates content mastery, or poor performance areas, to guide an unsuccessful candidate’s preparation for their next exam attempt.

Understanding the Performance Feedback Chart

The Performance Feedback Chart (PFC) gives a visual representation of your exam performance. The purpose of the PFC is to provide candidates an indication of where they should concentrate their studies for their next exam attempt, so only candidates that fail the exam will receive the PFC.

The black bar in the graph represents the percent of items you answered correctly within each subsection. It’s important to keep in mind that each subsection contains a different set number of items. For reference, those totals are provided along with the PFC on the printout you receive at the testing center. Because this graph shows the percent of items correct, it’s important to remember that the graph does not represent your numerical scaled score.

To further clarify, the farther the black bar is to the right, the more items you got correct. The farther the bar is to the left, the fewer items you got correct. For example, if the bar is halfway across the graph, you mastered approximately 50% of the content in that particular area. It is recommended that you concentrate on the areas where you performed the weakest, while noting the number of items per section.

For any other questions regarding your results, please contact The Conference at or 479-442-7076.