What Is SPEC?

The Special Purposes Examination for Chiropractic (SPEC) is a post-licensure exam that is offered six times per year at Prometric Testing Centers throughout North America. SPEC requires approximately three hours of test administration time, divided into two equal sessions of 90 minutes each. You must complete both sessions of SPEC in order to receive a score from the NBCE.

Who Can Take SPEC?

  • You must hold or have held a license to practice chiropractic. The license may have lapsed, been suspended or revoked, etc.
  • You must receive authorization from a state board or international licensing agency, through your SPEC application created in your mynbce account to take SPEC.

To apply for SPEC, you will need to log into your MyNBCE account.


Topics, Sample Tests and Reference Texts

The NBCE develops every exam based on a test plan. The detailed SPEC Test Plan includes topics and weightings (the percentage of the test devoted to each topic).

The NBCE offers a Sample Test for SPEC. The sample test contains 35 questions and costs $15. You will receive an overall score for the test, but will not see which questions were answered correctly/incorrectly.

The NBCE uses reference texts from the chiropractic colleges. See the SPEC Reference Text List.


Test Sites And Test Site Rules

The NBCE will notify you once your application has been processed. It is then up to you to contact Prometric Testing Centers to schedule your testing appointment. Appointment times are dependent upon available space at testing centers.

Plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to the scheduled testing appointment to complete admission procedures. You must present one valid, government-issued photo ID at the testing center. Testing aids of any kind will not be permitted in the testing center. You must store all personal items in a locker. You will be monitored at all times by audio and video recorders.

Dates and Deadlines

2023 Examination Dates

Examination Date (Testing appointments available on dates listed below) Application,  Changes
February 6 – 11, 2023 01/31/2023
April 3 – 8, 2023 03/28/2023
June 5 – 10, 2023 05/30/2023
August 7 – 13, 2023 08/01/2023
October 2 – 7, 2023 09/26/2023
December 4 – 9, 2023 11/28/2023


What Is A Passing Score?

The NBCE recommends a passing score of 375. Attaining an NBCE recommended passing score does not guarantee acceptance by a state licensing agency. The use of SPEC scores for any purpose is at the discretion of individual state licensing boards.



Exam Fee/Retake Fee Refund For Withdrawal
SPEC $1,500 $1,200


Withdraw / Reschedule

The NBCE must RECEIVE your application by 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time on the deadlines listed above.
You cannot make any changes to a scheduled exam after the deadline.

For reschedules/cancellations 30 days or greater prior to the SPEC and ACU exam application deadlines, there is no charge.
For cancellations within this same time frame, the NBCE will offer a full refund of the original exam fee.
Please email support@nbce.org or call 800-964-6223 to discuss.

For reschedules/cancellations 5-29 days prior to the SPEC and ACU exam application deadlines, there is a $50 charge paid to and retained by Prometric and for cancellations within this same time frame, the NBCE will offer a partial refund of the original exam fee. Please contact support@nbce.org or call 800-964-6223 to discuss.

After published deadlines, you may not make any changes to your appointment and the NBCE will issue no refunds.


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