November 2010 - Following the success of its computer-based testing (CBT) option for Mobile Crane Operator written examinations and recertification examinations, the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) is expanding the CBT option to all of its programs.
The CCO Tower Crane Operator and Overhead Crane Operator written and recertification exams were the first to be added last month at more than 250 PSI/LaserGrade test centers in all 50 states.
The Signalperson written examinations will be available in December, with CBT versions of the Articulating Crane Operator, Rigger Level I and Rigger Level II written exams coming on stream in January 2011. Eventually recertification exams for all CCO programs will be offered with a CBT option.
More than five times as many candidates opted for the CBT option in 2009 compared with the previous year. “CBT has proven to be particularly attractive to operators seeking recertification because of its scheduling flexibility and immediate scoring,” said NCCCO Program Manager Joel Oliva. “Candidates can register and take the tests individually, at a time and place that’s convenient, usually with just a couple of days’ notice, without having to wait for a scheduled testing session. And they leave the test center knowing whether they passed or not.”
Pencil-and-paper exams will continue to be offered for all programs, and the content of both versions of the exams is identical. A comment form has recently been added to the CBT platform so candidates can ask questions or raise issues about specific questions on the exam, similar to on pencil-and-paper tests.
In addition to the ease of scheduling and score reporting that CBT brings, NCCCO has found that an increasing number of candidates are finding they prefer the calmer environment that taking tests on a computer can provide. “It’s important to retain both options for testing, because test-taking can be a stressful process,” said NCCCO Executive Director Graham Brent. “If computer-based testing helps alleviate that anxiety for some candidates, then CBT is a good option for them.”
To register for CBT exams or learn more about CBT, visit the CBT section of the FAQ page. An online application form is available, as well as a search feature to find the closest testing center. After applying and paying the appropriate fees, candidates receive an email confirming eligibility and explaining how to make an appointment for testing.