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Written Examination

Upcoming Test Date: May 12, 2020

Mat 12, 2020 Test Update (published May 11, 2020)

For those taking the ABE Written Exam 2020.  You should have received the following information via email from Pearson Vue regarding face masks:

What candidates need to know:
To protect other candidates and staff, you will not be admitted to the test center and you should reschedule your exam online if you:  Have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or been in close personal contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis
Have had any flu-like symptoms in the last fourteen days, including fever, chills, a cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath
Have been under fourteen days’ home quarantine or centralized observation demanded by government and healthcare authorities
You will be asked to acknowledge that you meet the above health requirements and that you will follow health and safety guidelines while testing.
You must bring and wear your own face mask while you're at the test center and throughout your exam. Any surgical or cloth face mask, including a homemade face mask, is acceptable as long as your nose and mouth are fully covered. Candidates without a face mask will be denied testing services. We are unable to provide face masks to candidates.
Stay 6 feet away from other people in the waiting area and during the admissions process.
We are allowing candidates to wear disposable gloves during testing. Test administrators will inspect the gloves both before and after the exam, and the gloves will be disposed of in front of the proctor upon completion of the test.
Some regional test centers may require candidates to provide a temperature check upon arrival.

Be sure to check the Pearson Vue COVID 19 page for further updates.

May 12, 2020 Test Update (published May 5, 2020)

Program Directors and Those Scheduled for the ABE Written Exam 2020:

The email and web update that went out last week (see below the April 28th update) regarding the Written Exam remains the most current information available to us from Pearson Vue.  However, now that some of you have received appointment cancellation/reschedule notices via email from Pearson Vue, we wanted to highlight some of the information contained within that notification.

For those of you who have received notification from Pearson Vue that your exam needs to be rescheduled, if you have not already done so, please log in to your Pearson Vue account at as soon as possible.  The email you received from Pearson Vue indicates a “placeholder” date, time and location for the exam (e.g. Minnesota on 14 June).  This is simply designed to keep you in the system and allow you to reschedule ASAP and in the appropriate location. In order to ensure the reschedule, you must log in at to check actual availability and to then select a new date, time, and/or testing center.  If you do not currently have an account, click on “Create An Account” and follow the prompts.

Also, for states where it is mandatory to wear a mask, Pearson Vue should be sending you, if they have not already, the following statement:

Dear testing candidate,

According to our records, you are scheduled to take an exam at Pearson VUE test center that requires a face mask be worn while testing per local government requirements for operation during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are not able to provide testing services to those without a face mask, nor are we able to provide face masks upon your arrival at the test center.

In order to ensure a smooth testing experience on the day of your exam, please be sure to bring your own face mask (surgical or cloth).

Please refer to our Coronavirus Update Page  for additional information on the health and safety measures required for testing.

In the coming days, some of you may still receive a cancellation/reschedule email from Pearson Vue.  We reccommend that you log in to your Pearson Vue account to check the status of your exam, and also check your email frequently (Inbox, Spam and Other folders).  If you do receive this notification from Pearson Vue, your swift attention and careful adherence to all instructions are required to ensure your placement in the exam.

We will continue to monitor the situation and send out any relevant new developments via email and our website.

Clara M. Spatafore, D.D.S., M.S.
Chair, ABE Written Exam Committee

May 12, 2020 Test Update (published April 28, 2020)

Please read carefully the following message that was sent to Program Directors and those registered with Pearson Vue to take the ABE Written Exam scheduled for May 12, 2020

Dear Program Directors and ABE Written Exam Candidates,

The directors of the American Board of Endodontics hope that you are all staying healthy and safe.  Since the start of the government restrictions surrounding COVID 19, we have been closely monitoring government rulings, the status of Pearson Vue testing facilities, and formulating plans to make this test a reality for all of the candidates who have been diligently studying to successfully complete this portion of their Diplomate journey.

The exam is still scheduled for May 12, 2020, however, we would like to pass along the following information that we have received from Pearson Vue which outlines potential restrictions, cancellations and rescheduling that some candidates may experience.  We ask that you please read this carefully, in its entirety, and know that this is the most current information that Pearson Vue has provided to the ABE.  While reading, bear in mind that Pearson Vue has designated us as an “Essential Services Client”.

According to Pearson Vue:

There are three pathways for how we will operate starting May 1, dependent upon the guidelines in place within each jurisdiction across the U.S. and Canada:

  • We will open test centers in areas where there are no restrictions prohibiting operation. We monitor restrictions and make adjustments as necessary. We must be able to outfit our test centers with appropriate social distancing measures and health and safety necessities, such as hand sanitizer, disinfectant, etc. for operation.
  • We will not open test centers in any areas where government mandates dictate extended closures or lockdowns, or where we do not have the necessary supplies or staff.
  • Essential Services exam delivery continues to be an exception in many states that are currently under the above-mentioned operational restrictions. We will continue to deliver Essential Services testing where allowed. As an Essential Service program, we wanted to make you aware that we will be taking action to reset our test center seat availability in order to accommodate additional Essential Services testing and implement the required social distancing measures for candidate appointments through May.

Operating within the COVID-19 environment presents limitations in our ability to retain all existing exam appointments when restrictions continue to change or extend. We’d like to explain why this occurs, and why it will potentially continue to occur, as we navigate the COVID-19 environment.

  • Because of the continued COVID-19 restrictions and/or the potential recovery, all existing candidate appointments (Essential Services appointments and non-Essential Services appointments alike) are held until a decision can be made as to whether we continue forward with the Essential Services test delivery exception, or if we are able to resume full exam delivery across testing programs per local government updates.
  • Going forward, Essential Services candidates will not be automatically removed as part of the scheduling reset and will only be rescheduled via a random selection process if social distancing requirements are not met.

For your reference, below are the actions that will be taken to reset appointment availability.

  • All other candidates (non-Essential Services testing candidates) who are currently holding appointments throughout May will have their appointments cancelled/removed.
  • Analysis will then be performed to ensure appropriate social distancing measures are met with remaining Essential Services testing candidate appointments.
  • Where social distancing measures are not met, a random cancellation process will be initiated to meet distancing requirements – potentially affecting a subset of your candidates.
  • Due to the distancing restrictions required across our PPCs, we continue to operate at approximately 50% seat capacity, resulting in constrained appointment availability.

Pearson Vue goes on to state that, due to the changing COVID-19 environment, they may need to repeat this cycle of cancellation/reschedule actions again, and will likely be in contact with additional updates beyond actions required in May.

If any of our candidates are affected by this action, they will begin receiving cancellation/reschedule email notices from Pearson Vue on April 28, with new appointment availability starting May 1, and beyond.  Please be certain to check your emails (Inbox as well as Spam, Junk or Other folders).  If you receive a cancellation notice, we recommend that you follow all instructions provided in the notification, and contact Pearson Vue immediately.

We realize that Pearson Vue has presented a lot of information, and the plans they outline hold a degree of uncertainty.  Let me address questions that the ABE and its staff can answer:

Has the ABE explored other options to administer the Written Exam?
Yes, for weeks we have carefully researched options of proctored at-home exams given through the same well-established services used at many universities, including Pearson Vue online.  Issues outweighed benefits however, as we determined that coordinating with these services would far extend the May 12 exam date, would encumber and delay our data analysis post exam delivery, would present a varying degree of technical problems (some experienced first-hand by members of our Board), etc.  In addition, there are the contractual and financial obligations that the Board has committed to with Pearson Vue.  Because our exam date was never cancelled, as Pearson Vue has always maintained they would be open on May 12th, we were not in the same position as other organizations who have gone the route of online proctoring, whose exam dates fell within the window of time where the exam centers were actually closed, and they were provided with no alternate plans.

We also investigated a “hybrid” option, whereby candidates who could not examine at a Pearson Vue testing site could be tested using online proctoring, however, in order for the exam to be deemed statistically valid and analyzed accordingly, all candidates must accomplish the exam under similar proctoring and environmental circumstances.  The duality of these exam experiences would not meet that criteria.

What if I don’t receive notification from Pearson Vue on April 28th?
We recommend that you allow an additional day or two, then follow up directly with Pearson Vue regarding your particular circumstances.  Again, please be sure to check your Inboxes, Spam, Junk or Other folders.

What will happen if I am unable to accomplish the exam for several weeks or longer beyond the May 12th date?
Candidates will be expected to make an earnest effort to reschedule at the earliest practical time and location. The exam deadline will be extended so that all candidates previously registered are allowed a reasonable timeframe within which to complete the exam. This does not suggest an indefinite opportunity; candidates should make every effort to reschedule the exam ASAP.

If my previous Pearson location is predictably closed for the near future and I am able to travel, can I reschedule at an alternate Pearson location?
The ABE has no concern over that and would ask that you work with Pearson directly for such an opportunity. We cannot intervene on your behalf individually but will certainly be asking Pearson institutionally to accommodate any such requests as possible.

Will the Written Exam results notification be delayed?
Yes, until the last individual has examined, the exams cannot be statistically analyzed to determine scores.

Can I apply for the October 2020 Oral Exam before achieving a passing score notification for the written exam?
No, but all candidates will be notified of written exam scores simultaneously, so nobody will have an advantage over others with processing of fall oral exam applications. As always, once the opportunity for fall exam registration is possible for those passing the written exam, it will be first come, first served as historically accomplished. Additionally, due to the pandemic, 32 candidates from the March 2020 oral exam were allowed to defer to October 2020, and therefore an atypical reduction of opportunities this fall already exists. Having all required documentation (per the website) at the ready beyond a passing Written Exam notification, will place you in an optimal position to apply for a fall oral examination ASAP after being notified of a passing Written Exam.  We plan to extend the deadline for submitting Oral Exam applications for the October 2020 Oral Exam in order to help accommodate this situation.  A new, extended deadline will be published on our website in the coming weeks.

Please know that the staff and Directors of the ABE are doing our very best to advocate that each of our candidates is able to challenge the ABE Written Exam. However, we would like to stress that the potential cancellations and reschedules must be accomplished through Pearson Vue. The ABE and its staff do not have control over or access to this process in any way.

Additionally, beginning May 1 and many subsequent weeks thereafter, the staff, as well as current and many past Directors of the ABE, will be heavily tasked deploying the newly formatted five-case portfolio examination with a concurrent temporary absence of our beloved Chief Operating Officer, Margie Hannen.  So please review the website for any FAQ type information versus contacting the staff or Board of Directors.  Answers to all questions that arise will be updated in real time on the ABE website.

Our hope is that this exam goes forward with little or no disruption, but as stated earlier we are continually monitoring the situation. We will continue our efforts to try to stay informed with Pearson Vue and again, release any messaging to Program Directors and candidates via our website, and email, as soon as it becomes available to us.

Thank you for your careful attention to the many details contained within this lengthy email, and for your continued patience and understanding.  We strive each day to put forth our best effort for our candidates, our Diplomates and our entire specialty.


Clara M. Spatafore, D.D.S., M.S.

Chair, ABE Written Exam Committee


May 12, 2020 Test Update (published April 15, 2020)

As of today, the ABE plans to conduct the May 12, 2020 Written Exam at the Pearson Vue testing centers as scheduled.

Pearson Vue testing centers continue to maintain that they mean to be open on that date, and will accommodate those of our Candidates that have completed registration with them.  The ABE is closely monitoring the situation and if anything changes, we will notify our Written Exam Candidates via email as soon as possible, as well as post updates here.  Be sure to check this page in the coming weeks.

May 12, 2020 Test Update (published March 18, 2020)

Several of our Candidates who have tried calling Pearson Vue to register for the Written Exam have been unable to do so.  According to the Pearson Vue website:  Due to COVID-19 scheduling changes, our customer service wait-times are longer than usual right now. We appreciate your patience as we work to help you and other candidates.

The ABE still plans to hold the May 12, 2020 Written Exam as scheduled.

As of now, Pearson Vue testing centers plan to be open on that date.  If anything changes we will let you know via email, but be sure to check back here for updates.

What follows are instructions from Pearson Vue on how to register ONLINE.  PLEASE read and follow all of the instructions closely.  Failure to do so may result in an incomplete registration and subsequent inability to take the exam.

Scheduling and rescheduling via Web

A candidate must create a web account before he or she can schedule an appointment to take an exam. It can take up to 48 hours for a candidate’s Web account request to be processed, and for their user name and password to be emailed to them. After they receive this information, candidates can schedule, reschedule, and cancel exams online. They can also check their status, change their password, check which exams are offered, and look up testing center locations.

Important notes and Pearson Vue Registration Link for the ABE Written Exam:

A Candidate must know his or her MRA ID to create a Web account.
To minimize confusion, encourage candidates to go to your board’s specific Pearson VUE Web page. Note:  For ABE Candidates, that link is:

Confirmation letter

After registering for an appointment, the candidate will receive a confirmation letter via e-mail.  An example of the e-mail confirmation letter is shown below:


Jane Doe

This e-mail contains important information about the exam(s) you scheduled, the location and the rules. Please ensure these details are correct. If any information is not correct, please contact Pearson VUE immediately.

Appointment Details
Order Number: 0005-1233-1219

ABBA-C ABBA Certification Examination - English - (ENU)

Jane Doe
Candidate ID:
Registration ID:
20 January 2012
Time: *
08:00 AM
Appointment Length:
180 Minutes
* Time shown is test center local time.



  • Testing Dates, Application Deadline, Registration at Pearson Vue

Application Deadline

If you are planning on taking the 2020 Written Examination, we must receive your paperwork in the Central Office no later than February 12, 2020. No exceptions will be made.
You can download a Written Examination Registration Form on our Applications page.

Pearson Vue Registration

Please be aware that test center registration is done on a first-come-first-serve basis and that centers rapidly fill to capacity. Registration begins March 16, 2020 and is facilitated by Pearson Vue.

Selecting a Pearson Vue Testing Center

In association with Measurement Research Associates, Inc., and Pearson Vue, the ABE Written Examination is administered as a computer-based examination at Pearson Vue testing centers. Pearson Professional Test Centers are strategically located around the world, helping to eliminate the inconvenience and expense of air travel, hotel accommodations and additional time away from work. All of Pearson’s testing centers are uniform in size, equipment, appearance, and procedures, ensuring a consistent and secure examination experience for all Candidates. Testing center directions will be included in the confirmation letter.

Written Examination

The Written Examination contains 200 questions. Questions are multiple choice, consisting of a stem with four or five foils, and are designed to test recall skills and the Candidate’s ability to apply knowledge, interpret data and solve problems.

The subject areas include anatomy, biochemistry, embryology, general and oral pathology, microanatomy, immunology, inflammation, microbiology, pharmacology, vascular and neurophysiology, pulpal and periradicular pathophysiology, radiology, oral medicine, biostatistics, clinical endodontics, dental materials related to endodontics, related dental disciplines, and classic and current literature.

Download the Written Exam Guidelines