PSB Admission Testing Instructions

Remote Testing

Remote Testing is available, see below for more information on how to access  for ReadingWriting, and Math placements. To see if other tests are available remote, email testing@elgin.edu.

Limited On-Campus Testing

If you do not have access to complete testing remotely, we offer limited, appointment-only testing on-campus. Register for on-campus testing.

Currently, Testing Services does not offer test preparation workshops but offers asynchronous prep materials. For questions, please contact testing@elgin.edu or call 847-214-7150.

All students applying to a Health Professions, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), and Paramedic programs at Elgin Community College are required to take the Psychological Services Bureau – Health Occupations Aptitude Examination (PSB-HOA).

This exam assesses the basic academic knowledge needed to be successful in the healthcare field. We suggest completing all program prerequisite courses before taking the PSB-HOA exam.

Exam Fees and Registration


Testing space is limited. Students must have an appointment to test.

  • An ECC student ID number and a valid email address are required for testing.
    • To obtain an ECC student ID, you must apply to the college. Once your application is processed, you will receive a welcome letter email with your ECC ID number.
  • The PSB-HOA exam is available on-campus and remote:
    • On-Campus Testing
      • On-campus test fee: $60
      • How to schedule an on-campus PSB test:
        • Schedule an appointment through the following link: registerblast.com/elgin/ for testing days, times, and registration.
        • The week of your scheduled test, ECC will provide PSB with your contact information. You will receive an email from PSB with the subject “PSB Test Pre-Registration”. Complete the steps as indicated in the email. Failure to complete this step will delay testing.
        • After you complete your pre-registration, an email from 'pearsonvueconfirmation@pearson.com' should be received within one business day. The email will contain your PSB ID, instructions, other information needed to properly create a test-taker account, and a link to their website. A cell phone cannot be used to successfully register or test. Failure to complete this step will delay testing.
        • On test day, bring with you your PearsonVue account login information.
    • Remote Testing
      • Remote test fee: $85
      • How to schedule a remote PSB Test:
        • Testing must be done on a MAC or PC. Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets (i.e. iPads, AmazonFire tablets. etc.), Chromebooks, and notebooks do not have the resources to provide the exam.
        • If you are interested in registering for the remote option email testing@elgin.edu.

Financial assistance for the PSB test is available for students with demonstrated need through the ECC Foundation during Spring and Summer 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic crisis. If the test price poses a barrier to your educational goals, you can apply for assistance.

Exam Preparation

You may attempt this exam two times within one year. Therefore, it is important to prepare carefully.

The PSB-HOA exam consists of 5 parts:

  1. Academic aptitude: 40 minutes for 75 questions, three sub-sections:
    • Verbal (25)
    • Arithmetic (25)
    • Nonverbal (25) sections.
  2. Spelling (15 minutes for 45 questions).
  3. Reading comprehension (35 minutes for 35 questions).
  4. Natural sciences (25 minutes for 60 questions).
  5. Vocational aptitude (15 minutes for 90 questions).

On Your Exam Day


  • You must bring a valid photo ID
  • No learning aids, such as a calculator, or assistance may be used during the exam.
  • This is a 2.5-hour exam; breaks may be taken between test sections if needed.

PSB Exam Results

You will receive your results within 2 business days after completing the exam. The appropriate Health Professions program director will receive a copy of your results, as well.

  • If you would like to improve your scores on one or more sections of the PSB-HOA exam, you may retake the exam.
  • The fee for each PSB attempt is $60 for on-campus and $85 for remote, regardless of whether re-taking the entire exam or just one section.
  • We suggest that you do not retest right away; we recommend that you take 30 days to prepare in between attempts fully.
  • PSB scores do not expire. You may attempt this exam two times within one year. You are eligible to retake the exam one year from the original test date.
    • For example, if you take the PSB exam on January 3 (1st attempt) and then retake a portion on February 3 (2nd attempt), you will not be allowed another attempt until January 3 the following year.
  • Health Professions admission decisions are based on scores from the two most recent PSB attempts.
    • For example, if you took the PSB exam on March 10, 2018 (1st attempt), May 27, 2018 (2nd attempt), and March 12, 2019 (3rd attempt), the scores from your 2nd and 3rd attempts would be used in the admission decision.
  • Students may elect to use PSB scores that are more than one year old when making an application to a Health Professions program.
    • For example, if you took the PSB exam on June 5, 2017 (1st attempt) and again on September 25, 2019 (2nd attempt), you may use those scores when applying to a health professions program in 2020.
  • If you decide to apply to a different program, and your test results are less than two years old, your scores must be re-normed for the new program. Contact Testing Services at testing@elgin.edu.

How Exam Results Are Used

To be considered for admission to Clinical Lab Technology, Histotechnology, Massage Therapy, Nursing, Paramedic, Physical Therapist Assistant, Radiography, or Surgical Technology, you must score in the 25 percentile or better in each section of the PSB-HOA exam. Admission to these Health Professions programs is competitive.

To be considered for admission to Basic Nurse Assistant, Emergency Medical Technician, Dental Assisting, Phlebotomy, or Sterile Processing or Sterile Processing and Distribution, students must score in the 12 percentile or better in each section of the PSB-HOA exam. Admission to these Health Professions programs is first-come, first-served.

For general questions about a Health Professions program, please contact the Health Professions Office at 847-214-7350.