PSB Admission Testing Instructions

Information regarding Testing Services.

Testing Services is offering remote testing for ReadingWritingMath, and Geometry placement. Use the remote testing form on the placement tests page to select the test or tests you would like to take.

Limited On-Campus Testing

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

All students applying to a Health Professions program at Elgin Community College are required to take the PSB 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 register at least one day prior to the testing date.

  • You must have an ECC student ID number and a valid email address.
    • 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 fee is $20 and due at the time of registration.
  • Visit for testing days, times, and registration.
  • In the event of an emergency, of if you are sick, do not come to test, please call 847-214-7150 to reschedule.

Only students on the roster for the scheduled test date will take the exam.

Exam Preparation

You can attempt this exam two times within a one-year period. Therefore, it is important to prepare carefully.

The PSB-HOA exam consists of 5 parts:

  1. Academic aptitude: 40 minutes for 75 questions, three parts:
    • 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 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 shortly 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 additional PSB attempt is $20 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-HOA scores are valid for a period of 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.)

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.

If you decide to apply to a different program, your scores must be re-normed for the new program. Contact the Testing Center at 847-214-7150 or at

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.