2023 ISE/OKAT Overview and FAQ
- What is the In-Service Exam (ISE)? The ISE is a computerized, multiple-choice examination sponsored by the AUA to assist residency program directors, faculty, and residents in evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the education of their training program, as well as the performance and progress of individual residents. There is no pass or fail level for this examination in contradistinction to the Qualifying Examination (Part I) of the American Board of Urology.
- What is the Oncology Knowledge Assessment Test (OKAT)? The OKAT is a computerized, multiple-choice examination sponsored by the AUA to assist uro-oncology fellowship program directors in evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the education of their training program, as well as the performance and progress of individual fellows. It also assists faculty and SUO members in evaluating their individual strengths and weaknesses and provides peer group comparisons.
- What is the date of the exam? The exam is hosted annually on the third Saturday in November. The 2023 exam will take place on Saturday, November 18, 2023.
- Are there alternative exam dates? At this time, there will not be a second test date offered for the exam.
- Is the In-Service Exam mandatory? No. The ISE is an educational tool offered by the American Urological Association (AUA) to assist residency programs with objective knowledge assessment for residents in training.
- How long are the exams? The ISE is allotted 4 hours for completion and the OKAT is allotted 3 hours.
- When do the exams begin? Each program determines their start time. As a guideline, the exam should be started after 7 a.m. and completed by midnight in your time zone.
- When does exam registration open? Preregistration/contact update information was sent to programs beginning in May. Registration for the exams will begin open on Tuesday, September 5th, 2023. Please note that residents and fellows do not register themselves, as all program registration will go through the examinee's program. If you are a program coordinator/director looking for more information on exam registration, please view our 2023 ISE Lunch and Learn Webinar.
- Where does the ISE take place? Each program will need to determine their venue for the exam (i.e., department/division computers or personal laptops brought onsite). The number of acceptable examinees per room is dependent to each location and will be left to the sole discretion of the host program.
- Can the ISE be offered remotely? The ISE is offered in person only. The AUA does not offer a remote option for the examinations. Please note IP Addresses are recorded and reviewed following the examinations. Failure by any program to administer the exams in a secure environment onsite will be subject to sanctions.
- Is the AUA dictating or mandating any physical set up? No. Please follow any institutional, local, state or federal guidelines for social distancing.
- Can the exam be administered at an off-site testing center? No. The AUA does not offer the ISE at outside testing centers like a Pearson facility.
- What are the options to administer the examinations? You may use different options to structure the exam according to the needs of your program, such as: one session/time slot in one room, one session/time slot in multiple rooms, two sessions/time slots in one room, two sessions/time slots in multiple rooms. The number of acceptable examinees per room is dependent to each location and will be left to the sole discretion of the host program. Physical distancing requirements for examinations will not be mandated by the AUA, and AUA assumes no responsibility for setting, monitoring or enforcing such requirements.
- Can a resident take the exam at another program? Participants wishing to take the exam at a site other than the one they have been assigned must receive approval from their residency program and the visiting program, and must complete a Site Change Form. Please contact Katie Kincaid at email@example.com to request the form.
- What about OKAT examinees? As in previous years, some programs may be hosting individuals taking the Oncology Knowledge Assessment Test (OKAT). Guest OKAT and ISE participants are responsible for contacting their host program site for testing arrangements, including start time, location, and method of testing (i.e., if they need to bring a laptop). Programs will be responsible for making accommodations for these individuals. Programs with an accredited fellowship program should contact their residency program director regarding testing arrangements.
- Can the exam be taken after sundown? Residency programs will determine the time slot(s) that they will be hosting the exam. The AUA allows the ISE to be taken at any time, as long as the exam is finished by 12:00am local time. However, please note that exam technical assistance begins at 7:00am EST and is limited after 7:00pm EST. If a residency program intends to host an exam after sundown, please contact Katie Kincaid at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What accommodations are available? Residency programs can reach out to Katie Kincaid at email@example.com for more information on exam accommodations.
- What if a registered examinee must miss the exam? If an examinee is unable to attend the exam on the examination day, please notify the AUA as soon as possible. There are no makeup exam days.
- Can examinees use personal laptops? Personal laptop computers may be brought onsite and used if a program doesn’t have enough desktops. It will be necessary to perform a system check and browser download on each computer used at least one week before the examination regardless of the venue selected.
- Can tablets/iPads be used for testing? No. The secure browser is not supported through tablets or iPads.
- What would be downloaded onto personal equipment? Examinees are required to download the AUA Secure Browser. Mac and Windows Secure Browsers are standalone executables about 2-4 MB in size (in other words, they don’t need to be installed). They can be run from any location on the device. It doesn’t transfer any information from the local computer, and is only used while an examinee is taking the exam. The Secure Browser prevents examinees from accessing web sites and other applications while taking the exam. When launched, the Secure Browser opens a full screen and will not allow examinees to leave the testing system without completely exiting the secure browser. After completing the exam, examinees can simply delete the secure browser executable (.exe) file from their computer. Please visit the Secure Browser FAQs page for more information.
- What are the minimum system requirements? Please visit the Secure Browser FAQs page.
- What is the primary objective of the proctor? The objective of a proctor is to maintain control and secure the test taking experience. This includes preventing the duplication of the exam by the examinees. If the AUA becomes aware that any program is disclosing, reproducing or discussing the content of any part of the examination, the program will be disallowed from future participation in the ISE.
- How many proctors are required? To ensure the integrity of the examination, the AUA requires at least one designated proctor per room, plus one additional as backup. This is important in the event of an emergency situation where one proctor is unable to assist. If more than three proctors are needed, please contact Katie Kincaid at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Who can be a proctor? Faculty, administrators, program coordinators, and office personnel can be proctors.
- If we use multiple rooms or multiple sessions, do we need more proctors? Programs that elect to administer the exams in two sessions or multiple rooms, will need proctors to be scheduled in each session and room accordingly.
- Will the proctors need to log in to each computer? Proctors will no longer log in to and touch each examinee computer prior to their arrival and entrance in the exam.
- What happens if we do not designate a proctor? Only designated proctors have access to the software and receive instructions for exam day. Any changes to Proctor Designations and/or Proctor email addresses must be reported to the AUA as soon as possible. New proctor information will need to be entered into the software before the examinations can be administered. Proctors will receive an email in November with instructions how to access and prepare examination day materials including the examinee roster, examinee instructions, and computer station set-up.
- What if the Program Coordinator wishes to have access to the proctor site or needs to make a change? The Program Coordinator should use the 3rd Proctor space to enter in information. All Proctor designations can be made on the registration site; please contact Katie Kincaid at email@example.com for proctor changes after the close of registration.
For additional questions about the AUA ISE or OKAT, please contact Katie Kincaid at firstname.lastname@example.org.