Frequently Asked Questions About the Exam

+ Why did ABPANC decide to make the change to computer-based testing (CBT)?
ABPANC began computer-based testing in Spring 2009. CBT allows ABPANC to offer many additional test sites and testing dates to candidates. Candidates can also schedule a test date to match their study plans and progress. CBT also allows us to communicate testing schedules and provide score reports faster and more efficiently.
+ How much does it cost to take the CPAN® or CAPA® examinations by CBT?
If you are an ASPAN member, the regular price to sit for the examination via CBT is $314. Non-ASPAN members pay $424.
+ Where can I sit for the CBT examination?
Candidates can take the examination at many of the hundreds of test sites that our testing partner, PSI, operates. When you apply to take an examination, you will be able to access a full list of test sites so that you can choose the location that is most convenient for you.
+ What test dates are available for the CPAN and CAPA CBT examinations?
ABPANC offers two, six-week-long testing windows for candidates to take the CPAN and CAPA examinations via CBT. Candidates have 60 days a year to take the examination(s) versus two days a year using the old paper-and-pencil method. For information about dates and deadlines, please refer to Appendix E of the Certification Candidate Handbook. Please note: the last day of the registration window is a FINAL deadline. Applications submitted electronically after 11:59PM ET on this date will NOT be accepted.
+ In addition to meeting the eligibility requirements for the examination(s), are there any extra requirements before signing up for the CBT examination(s)?
You must have a current email address to register online to take the examination(s). ABPANC, Professional Examination Services (ProExam) and our testing partner, PSI, will communicate with you primarily through email to confirm your test date and testing site. You will be required to enter an email address during the registration process. If you do not have a current email address, you can obtain one through a free service such as Yahoo ( or Gmail (
+ Do I have to apply online to take the examination(s) via CBT?
Yes. The benefits of registering online include:
  1. Immediate notification if your application is accepted
  2. Admission to Test (ATT) letter is immediately available for downloading, which enables you to schedule your testing appointment quickly
  3. The ability to view your score report
  4. The ability to download a receipt
  5. Provides for email communication from PSI and ProExam in the event of special circumstances, e.g. closure of a test site due to a weather emergency
+ I don’t have a computer, how can I access the Internet to register for the examination?
If you don’t have access to a computer at home or work, you may want to check with your employer to see if there is a “common” computer available for use in your hospital/institution. We also suggest that you check with local libraries, friends or family members for computer access.
+ I’m not familiar with applying online. Is it difficult?
No. Simply visit the ABPANC Web site and click on the link to apply online when it is available. We will walk you through the online application process step by step. If you experience technical issues in the application process, contact ABPANC at (800) 6ABPANC or (800) 622-7262 for assistance.
+ How is the CBT examination scored?
The passing scores for the CPAN and CAPA examinations are initially determined based on a criterion referenced system. Candidate scores are determined based on the number of test questions answered correctly (raw score). To ensure fairness of the examination process, a statistical method called equating is used. Following equating, raw scores are mathematically converted into scaled scores (ranging from 200-800). The passing scores for the CPAN and CAPA examinations have been set by ABPANC at 450. Therefore, for both the CPAN and CAPA examinations, a score of 450 scale score units must be obtained to pass. Detailed information about scoring is available in the Certification Candidate Handbook.
+ Will my score be available as soon as I finish the examination?
When you finish the exam, or after the three hour time limit has lapsed, you will receive your final, official Score Report that indicates whether or not you passed.
+ What will I need to get into the CBT testing site?
Two forms of identification, including valid photo identification are required for admission to the examination test site. Examples of acceptable forms of photo identification include: driver’s license, employee identification card, passport, or bank card with a photo ID. NOTE: The name on your photo identification must exactly match the name on your ATT email and online application
+ Are the testing sites noisy because other test candidates are typing?
PSI testing sites use state-of-the-art keyboards that are the quietest available to keep the testing site noise level at a minimum. You may bring soft ear plugs to the test site.
+ How do I schedule my CBT testing appointment?
After you apply online, you will receive an Admission-to-Test (ATT) email from PSI. Examination appointments can be scheduled by phone Monday through Friday, 7:30AM to 10:00PM (Eastern Time), and Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00AM to 5:30PM (Eastern Time). To schedule by phone, call PSI at 1- 800-733-9267. You can also schedule your appointment online at Testing sites may fill up fast. Schedule your appointment as soon as possible to increase the chance of testing on your desired date and at a convenient location.
+ Can I take both the CPAN and CAPA examinations during the same testing window?
Yes. You can take both examinations within the same testing window or even on the same day. Please note that you must apply for each examination separately and pay appropriate fees for each.
+ Do I have to be an experienced computer user to take the computer-based examination?
No prior computer experience is necessary. At the beginning of an examination, each candidate will receive a brief tutorial on how to use the computer to answer questions and review responses. Test center staff members are always available to answer questions also. The complete tutorial lasts 15 minutes and does not count against your overall testing time.
+ How much time do I have to take the examination?
You have three hours to complete the examination. The computer has a clock to monitor your time. The clock will also count down the time remaining.
+ Is there a practice test I can take before sitting for the computer-based examination?
There are practice examinations available for purchase for both the CPAN and CAPA examinations.
+ What if I am unable to sit for the examination when I scheduled it?
Specific information about canceling a testing appointment is available in the Certification Candidate Handbook.
+ How do I reschedule a testing appointment?
Candidates who need to re-schedule a testing appointment should contact PSI. Specific information on rescheduling a testing appointment is available in the Certification Candidate Handbook.
+ How many times can I sit for the CBT examination?
Candidates can sit for each examination once per testing window.
+ What should I do if I’m requesting special accommodations?
You must contact PSI to arrange for Special Testing Accommodations at 800-733-9267 and you will need to provide appropriate documentation. Once your request has been received, the PSI Special Accommodations team will contact you.


Who Writes the CPAN and CAPA Examinations?

Examination questions are written by practicing perianesthesia nurses who are CPAN and/or CAPA certified. Interested in volunteering to write items/questions? Click here for more information on how to get involved.