Conducting Tests

North American Technician Excellence

2111 Wilson Blvd. Suite 510Arlington, VA 22201Phone: 703-276-7247Toll Free Phone: 877-420-6283 (NATE)

Conducting Tests


Testing Procedures – 10 Steps

  1. Test Organization (TO) decides to hold a testing session.
  3. TO sends out session information notices to candidates and creates session on 
  5. TO designates proctor for test session.
  7. TO collects registrations and payments from candidates.
  9. TO completes exam order on If your shipment needs to be processed in three days, an expedite fee will be applied to the shipping cost. 
  11. NATE via Midlland Printing ships sealed exams to proctor.
  13. Proctor conducts testing session.
  15. Proctor bundles sealed, completed exams and unused exams.
  17. TO attaches payment and ships to test administrator, Castle Worldwide within 24 hours of test date via trackable shipping (Fed Ex, UPS, etc.)
  19. Castle Worldwide sends grades to candidates, and aggregate score to TO, if requested.

Test Day

NATE requires all TOs to provide the following on test day:

  • A controlled, quiet, well-lit and comfortable environment so candidates are not distracted or disrupted and exam security can be maintained
  • At least 36 inches of space between each candidate
  • Side-by-side seating facing in the same direction
  • Closed doors during the test
  • No. 2 pencils for each candidate
  • Scratch paper for paper and pencil tests
  • For electronic testing, the option of scratch paper, which must be collected and destroyed after the session is completed
  • Admittance of only registered proctors, assistant proctors and candidates during test session
  • No admittance of new candidates after testing has begun

After the test session is completed, your Proctor must pack up all used and unused tests to place in the return box or envelope. Be sure that your Proctor includes a fully completed and signed Test Session Audit Form.

All tests must be shipped by trackable method within 24 hours of the test date to Castle Worldwide


Paper and Pencil Test Sessions

All NATE HVACR Testing Organizations (TO’s) and Proctors must be familiar with and understand the Testing Organization & Proctor Guidelines before conducting a testing session. The information found in this section is meant to highlight the activities of a testing session and not meant to replace the Testing Organization Guidelines.

Hosting the Test Session

Testing can be done at the Testing Organization’s facility or at an off-site location. TO’s are required to provide a controlled, quiet, well-lit and comfortable environment so candidates are not distracted or disrupted and exam security can be maintained.

The TO must provide at least 36 inches of space between each candidate and the room must be set up so candidates are seated side-by-side facing in the same direction. During the test, all doors must be closed. The TO will be expected to provide # 2 pencils to each candidate. Scratch paper is provided for the paper and pencil exams. TO’s may provide scratch paper for electronic testing but must collect the scratch paper and destroy it after the session is completed. Candidates may use only non-programmable calculators during the test. No programmable calculators, cell phone, Blackberry’s etc. are allowed in the testing area.  Most tests are closed book, except for the senior-level HVAC Efficiency Analyst test and Ground Source Heat Pump exam (check the specific KATE for testing requirements.  During the testing session, only registered proctors and candidates may be in the exam room. Once the session begins, no new candidates may enter the room.

For information on accommodating candidates with disabilities see Testing Organization and Proctor Policy and Procedure Guidelines, or the Candidate Handbook.

Scheduling Testing Sessions and Ordering Exams

Testing Organizations set their own testing schedules. Once a TO decides to conduct a test go to to create a test session.


A proctor is responsible for running the testing session. 

One proctor is required for up to 35 candidates in a single room. If there are more than 35 candidates or multiple rooms are in use, you will need additional proctors. There must be a proctor in each session or each separate room at all times.

Exam Fees

Each Testing Organization sets its own fee for exams and is responsible for collecting payment.  Note: The candidate is not technically certified until all fees are paid to NATE. For information on Testing Organization pricing, please call the NATE office at 1-877-420-6283

Registering Candidates for Exams

TOs establish their own procedures for registering candidates. To assist you with this process, NATE has developed a sample registration form which can be downloaded by clicking here.

Privacy Policy

Federal Privacy law prohibits NATE from releasing individual exam results to anyone other than a candidate without written permission. By signing the Third Party Release Form the candidate is authorizing NATE to release results. Candidates may change their release status by logging onto their record at

After the test session is completed

Pack up all the tests both used and unused and the proctor packet and put in the return box or envelope. BE SURE that the Test Session Audit Form is included and completely filled out and signed.

Tests must be shipped by trackable method within 24hours of the test date to Castle Worldwide.


Purchase Orders

If your organization works with purchase orders be certain that you have acquired an approved purchase order before ordering NATE tests or giving an online test.