Ethics and Boundaries Examination Introduction and Retake Policy


In 2011, the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) introduced changes in the format of its Ethics and Boundaries (E&B) Examination.  The former multiple-choice format has been replaced with a computer-based essay test that was developed in collaboration with state board examiners familiar with regulatory concerns. 
Computer-Based Essay Format
The new format contains essay topics and scenarios in the areas of boundary violations, fraud, doctor’s duties and office protocols, and unprofessional conduct. State boards will be able to customize the topic selection to fit the unique circumstances of each individual to be examined. 
Grading Criteria
Specific grading criteria have been developed for this examination.  For each of the five essay responses, the examinee must demonstrate understanding of the boundary or ethical issue in question. 
Examinations are scored based on the relevance and thoroughness of responses with less emphasis on grammar, punctuation or spelling.  Each examination is graded by multiple trained graders to ensure valid and reliable scoring.
Examination Retake Policy for E&B
Each essay scenario has 16 points maximum, with 4 points each available for introductory opinion statements, examples and explanations, consequences and solutions.  An examinee scoring below 12 points on three or more scenarios must retake the entire examination from topics originally designated by the state board, with new scenarios randomly selected. 
An examinee scoring 12 points or above on three or more essay scenarios may retake only failed portions of the examination, from topics originally designated by the state board, with new scenarios randomly selected; each scenario would carry a $300 registration fee, with a maximum of only two scenarios to be retaken. 
Additional information can be found on the NBCE website at  along with an interactive sample essay writing exercise.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the NBCE at 800-964-6223 or by e-mail at [email protected].


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