The NPPE is a closed-book exam that contains 110 multiple-choice questions: 100 questions are operationally scored questions that the pass/fail results are based and 10 questions are experimental questions that are not scored.
Applicants will not be able to differentiate operational and experimental questions. Each multiple-choice question on the exam contains four options and only one correct answer per question. All questions are scored 0 (incorrect) or 1 (correct) with no penalty for guessing. The time to take the exam is 2.5 hours.
All exam questions are translated into French, and applicants can switch between English and French on the fly during the examination.
Candidates have access to tools during the exam such as the ability to bookmark questions, take notes on questions in the interface, the ability to increase or decrease the font size, etc., to assist them in taking the exam. Candidates who register for the NPPE will have free access several weeks prior to the exam administration date to become familiar with the NPPE test-taking interface.
Although the NPPE contains specialized vocabulary and terms, the exam is not used as a test of English language proficiency and is regularly verified (using standard readability measures) to function at a readability level of approximately grade 10-11.
The exam interface also allows applicants to navigate easily between questions that they haven’t answered yet or have flagged.