BLOOMINGTON, Minn., January 25, 2005 — Pearson VUE, the electronic testing business of Pearson Education, today announced it signed an exclusive, three-year contract with the National Board of Examiners in Optometry, Inc. to provide computer-based test delivery of the Advanced Competence in Medical Optometry examination. Beginning in June 2005, the ACMO examination will be delivered throughout the Pearson VUE-owned and -operated network of more than 200 Pearson Professional Centers in the United States and its territories.
The National Board develops and administers examinations optometrists must pass in order to become licensed in the United States and Puerto Rico. In addition to the entry-level examinations it currently administers on behalf of the state licensure boards, the National Board has developed the new ACMO examination for optometrists who are completing, or have previously completed, an accredited post-graduate Veterans Administration residency program. This examination will consist of 40 patient presentations, each containing a case history with visual data such as color photos, laboratory analyses and motion videos, followed by four linked items relating to diagnosis, treatment, and related issues in managing the patients’ condition(s).
Dr. Norman Wallis, NBEO executive director, said, “We have been considering computer-based testing for a number of years and explored a variety of options. However, we found few vendors capable of accommodating our need to examine all of our candidates over multiple sessions at the same time nationwide. The ACMO examination will be our first venture with computer-based testing and we are confident that we will also be able to administer our National Board examinations for licensure by computer within a few years.”
“The Advanced Competence in Medical Optometry exams will be delivered in the secure environment of our convenient, technologically advanced and patented test centers,” said Don Wagner, Pearson VUE vice president of Business Development. “Pearson VUE currently delivers exams with advanced item types such as complex performance-based simulations that include graphics and video. Our flexible technology will be able to provide the NBEO with the unique capabilities it requires for their new exam.”
Pearson VUE (www.pearsonvue.com) is the electronic testing business of Pearson Education, which in turn is part of Pearson (NYSE: PSO; LSE: PSON), the international media company. Pearson’s primary operations also include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group.