Seal of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

WASHINGTON, D. C.  20551


SR 93-31 (FIS)
June 11, 1993


SUBJECT: Procedures for Candidates Taking the Core Proficiency Examination

                        One of the major provisions of SR Letter 91-1 was the creation of a proficiency examination over the course materials taught in the core banking schools1 and the Building Expertise and Skills Training (BEST) tutorials.  The examination has recently been completed with the assistance of Professional Examination Service (PES), a testing company located in New York City, and will be available for candidates to take after July 1, 1993.

                        The purpose of this SR Letter is to set forth the procedures which will be used to register candidates for the examination and report the examination results.  A candidate may sit for the examination only with the permission of the Reserve Bank.  At the conclusion of the examination, the candidate will be informed of the number and percentage of questions answered correctly for each of the six sections and the passing score.  A summary of the candidate's examination results will be reported on a "score report" and sent to the Officer In Charge of Supervision.

                        If you have any questions about these procedures, please contact Nancy Griggs (202-452-3848) or Jamie Lenoci (202-452-2288). We appreciate the staff resources provided by each Reserve Bank to successfully complete this project.


Stephen C. Schemering
Deputy Director



Each examiner who is required to take the core proficiency examination, regardless of specialty, will be expected to have completed or to have been exempted from all of the core courses and BEST tutorials before sitting for the examination.  Each Reserve Bank, at its discretion, will initiate the registration process for its candidates by completing and forwarding to the Board's training center the attached form.  Testing sites are located in every Reserve Bank or Branch city where supervision field staff are stationed.  

Registration and Payment

To register for the Core Proficiency Examination, the candidate should contact the Training Coordinator at his or her Reserve Bank. The Training Coordinator will register the individual to take the examination with the Board of Governors Training Center by submitting a registration form.  Completion of the core courses2 and BEST tutorials will be verified by the Board's training center. The training center will then notify the Reserve Bank Training Coordinator in writing that the individual may take the examination, and provide the individual's name to Drake Training & Technologies, the testing service, stating that he or she is eligible to contact them to arrange a testing date and site.  

The candidate must pay for the examination before taking the test The cost is $145.  It is the individual candidate's responsibility to arrange with his or her Reserve Bank as to the preferred method of payment and method of reimbursement.

After the Reserve Bank informs the individual that he or she may proceed, each individual will arrange his or her own testing date and testing site.  To register for the examination, call 1-800-544-EXAM (1-800-544-3926) or write to:

    Drake Training & Technologies
    8800 Queen Avenue South
    Bloomington, MN 55431

The candidate should inform Drake's registrar that he or she wants to take the "Federal Reserve System Core Proficiency Examination" and should give the following information to the registrar:

  1. Name
  2. Social Security Number
  3. Mailing address and phone number (where confirmation should be sent)
  4. Method of payment
  5. Preferred date to take the examination
  6. Preferred testing site

If payment is by credit card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express), the candidate may register for the examination and make an appointment for a test date and site with one telephone call.  If payment is made by check (personal check or bank check), Drake will confirm the registration in writing upon receipt of the check.  The candidate may then call Drake to confirm an appointment for a date and time to take the examination.  If the preferred date or time is unavailable, Drake's registrar will assist in the selection of an acceptable alternative.  

Upon making an appointment for an examination, the candidate will be provided with instructions regarding the appointment, cancellation procedures, ID requirements, and testing center location.  Drake Training & Technologies will confirm the appointment date, time, and location in writing to the address provided by the candidate.

Cancellation and No-Shows

The candidate may cancel or reschedule the examination no later than noon of the second business day prior to the date of the examination.  For example, if your examination is scheduled on:  a) Friday, you must cancel or reschedule the appointment by noon on the preceding Wednesday, b) Monday, you must cancel or reschedule by noon the preceding Thursday.  Drake Training & Technologies observes the usual Federal holidays.  

If the candidate makes a timely cancellation, he or she will be permitted to reschedule the examination without penalty.  If the candidate cancels too late, does not appear, or arrives too late for the appointment, the candidate will forfeit the entire $145 testing fee and will owe a second $145 testing fee when he or she reregisters and takes the examination.  Drake will notify the Board's training center of all "no-shows" within 24 hours of the event.  The training center will promptly advise the Reserve Banks of "no-shows." However, the individual's registration with his or her Reserve Bank or the Board's training center will not be affected by the late cancellation, nor will the individual's eligibility to contact Drake Training & Technologies to reschedule the examination.  

If a Reserve Bank notifies the Board's training center that a particular candidate's eligibility to take the examination has been rescinded, the training center will notify Drake Training & Technologies to remove that person's name from the list of eligible candidates.  If a person has already registered and paid for a test, then is notified that their eligibility has been rescinded, and Drake Training & Technologies has been promptly notified that their eligibility has been rescinded, Drake will refund the test fee in full.

Every month the Board's training center will furnish the Reserve Banks lists of their staff members who have been certified as eligible to take the examination but who have not yet taken the examination.

Taking the Examination

The examination will be administered at a Drake Training & Technologies testing center every business day, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.  Each individual can select the day and time he or she prefers when registering directly with the testing service.  Drake Training & Technologies observes the usual Federal holidays.  

Candidates should plan to arrive at the testing site at least 15 minutes prior to the starting time in order to sign in.  Each candidate must sign the log book upon arrival and departure.

The testing center will require two forms of identification upon arrival; at least one of which must be the candidate's Reserve Bank photo identification card.  The other form of ID may be a driver's license, passport, social security card, birth certificate, or major credit card).

Prior to actually starting the examination, the candidate will be given up to 30 minutes to become familiar with the computer equipment and testing format.  A total of four hours will be given to complete the examination, including any rest breaks.  

Use of a laptop computer or any printed material is not allowed during the examination session.  A calculator will be permitted; however, it must not be a programmable calculator with alpha-numeric capabilities.  One piece of scratch paper will be provided for simple arithmetical calculations.  Certain printed test materials will be given each candidate by Drake.  Certain test questions will require reference to the printed material furnished by Drake.  Candidates should bring writing instruments with them.

The exam consists entirely of multiple choice questions.  The score is determined by the number of questions answered correctly; there is no penalty for guessing.  If a candidate chooses to skip a difficult question, he or she can have the computer place a check beside the question number so it can be found quickly when the candidate returns to answer the question.  The candidate may return to any question at any time during the examination to change prior responses.

All answers are to be recorded on the computer; no credit will be given for an answer not recorded on the computer.  For each question, the candidate is to select which of four choices represents the most appropriate response, then record that response using the computer.

Results of the Examination

When the candidate completes the examination, he or she will be given immediate notification of his or her score, the passing score, an indication of whether the test was passed, and a raw score and percentage of correct answers for each of the six sections.  The same information will be electronically transmitted to the Board's training center and then sent to the Officer in Charge of Supervision at the candidate's Reserve Bank in writing.


If an individual did not successfully pass the examination, he or she can be retested at any time wholly at the Reserve Bank's discretion.  The Reserve Bank training coordinator will inform the Board's training center when the individual is eligible to retake the examination, and will inform the individual when he or she may again call Drake Training & Technologies and schedule another examination.  The individual must retake the entire examination even if he or she only needed to review material from certain sections.  


Name___________________________Social Security No._____________

Reserve Bank___________________________Date of Birth___________

Title__________________________________Date Employed___________

Primary Work Assignment________________________________________


Please indicate the completion date (month and year) of each of these core schools or exemption tests, or other core curriculum components.

____Introduction to Examinations____Bank Secrecy Act
____Financial Institution Analysis____Basic Regulation O
____Loan Analysis School____Basic Regulation Y
____Bank Management School____Change in Bank Control
____Effective Writing *____Discount Window Opers.
____Conducting Meetings w/ Mgt. *____Federal Reserve Act
____Management Skills *____Regulation L
____Exempt from Courses____Right to Fin. Privacy
    SR93-15 (3/25/93). Explain:-
_______________________________ ____Sections 23A & B

* Must be completed prior to taking the test per SR91-1. Information from these schools, however, is not included on the examination.

Requested Test Location__________________________________________

Approved By______________________________________________________

    Reserve Bank Officer



Board Approval By__________________________________ Date_________





ID:   123-45-6789

DATE:        July 1, 1993


PASSING SCORE:    151   75.5% YOUR SCORE : 184   92% GRADE: Pass

This report shows the number and percentage of items in each section you answered correctly for the Core Proficiency Examination.

1.   Knowledge of Financial Analysis............. 36 100%
2.   Knowledge of How to Analyze the Financial
 Condition of a Bank ........................
40 90%
3.   Knowledge of How to Analyze the Financial
 Condition of a Bank Holding Company.........
42 100%
4.   Knowledge of How to Analyze and
 Classify Credits............................
40 100%
5.   Knowledge of how Banking Management Makes
 its Strategic and Operating Decisions.......
20 100%
6.   Knowledge of Non Safety and Soundness
 Laws and Regulations.........................
6 50%


1.  ETS I-Introduction to Examinations, ETS II-Financial Institution Analysis, ETS III-Loan Analysis, ETS IV-Bank Management.  Return to text

2.  ETS I-Introduction to Examinations, ETS II-Financial Institution Analysis, ETS III-Loan Analysis, ETS IV-Bank Management, Effective Writing, Conducting Meetings With Management, Management Skills.  Return to text

SR letters | 1993