Examination Security

Section 123 of the Business and Professions Code provides that it is a misdemeanor for any person to engage in conduct which subverts or attempts to subvert any licensing examination or the administration of an examination.

Section 496 of the Business and Professions Code also provides that a board may deny, suspend, revoke, or restrict the license of an applicant or licensee who subverts or attempts to subvert a licensing examination. In addition to any other penalties, a person found guilty of violating section 123 shall be liable for the actual damages sustained by the agency administering the examination, not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000), and the costs of litigation. Conduct that may violate the security of an examination is explicitly identified, and it includes, but is not limited to:

  • Removing examination material from a test site without authorization.
  • Reproducing examination material without authorization.
  • Using paid test takers for the purpose of reconstructing an examination.
  • Using improperly obtained test questions to prepare persons for examination.
  • Selling, distributing, or buying examination material.
  • Cheating during an examination.
  • Possessing unauthorized equipment or information during an examination.
  • Impersonating an examinee or having an impersonator take an examination.

This law and its sanction can be invoked without a criminal proceeding. Upon application by a board, a superior court may issue an injunction or restraining order to prevent an action or actions that would compromise examination security.