NBME Exam Practice 2025
National Board of Medical Examiners

What to know about NBME?

For students, professionals, educators, and institutions dedicated to the increasing demands of medical education and health care, NBME 2025 offers a diverse range of high-quality evaluations and educational services. Working with a diverse group of specialists to serve these communities, including test developers, academic researchers, scoring experts, practicing physicians, and medical educators.

Take the FREE NBME Practice Test Now!

Excuse Absences

NBME helps health professionals across the care continuum enhance and demonstrate their knowledge—both in school and while practicing. We offer a portfolio of products that include assessment tools for every stage of the medical school journey, high-quality licensing exams, and a range of products and services for health professionals and educators.

Excused Absences

The following protocol applies to ALL students – and pertains to excused absences from NBME subject exams during their medical education at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine:

Clinical subject exams:

  • Any student unable to sit for a clinical subject exam in blocks 1-5 due to an excused absence must take that subject exam at the start of the winter break.
  • Any student who must retake an exam per clerkship protocol in blocks 1-5 may retake that subject exam at the start of the winter break or immediately after third year ends.
  • Any student who is unable to sit for a clinical subject exam in blocks 6-12 due to an excused absence or who must retake an exam per clerkship protocol in blocks 6-12 must retake that subject exam immediately after third year ends. Until a final clerkship grade can be calculated, the student will receive either an “Incomplete” or other grade per the clerkship grading policy.

Test-Taking Protocol

NBME examinations are now web-based, and accessed thru a secure server and start-up code provided at each exam administration.  NBME requires detailed instructions be read by a proctor prior to each exam; however, a few brief guidelines to note:

  • If you arrive after instructions have begun, you are not allowed to sit for the exam.
  • No study materials, electronic devices, or food/drinks are allowed in the testing area and all personal belongings (e.g., backpacks) must be secured in an area specified by proctors during the exam.
  • Once the exam has started, restroom breaks are permitted for one student at a time.

When assessing your students at the end of a course or clerkship, it helps to know how their performance compares to examinees on a national level. That’s why medical schools rely on our Subject Exam Program. It provides national normative data that reflects the performance of examinees from medical schools accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).

The Subject Exams are developed by committees of content experts and include score reports that deliver actionable performance feedback.

What is the exam all about?

The Subject Exams include:

  • The Basic Science and Clinical Science Exams, which are designed to assess basic and clinical science knowledge at the end of a course, clerkship, or other unit of instruction.
  • The Health Systems Science Exam, which faculty can use to support the implementation of health systems science curricula and education initiatives.
  • The Advanced Clinical Exams, which help measure the effectiveness of the fourth-year emergency medicine and internal medicine sub-internship experiences.
  • The Comprehensive Exams, which reflect the content of the USMLE® Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge Exams and are typically used to identify areas of strength and weakness prior to taking the USMLE.

Select a subject area below to view specific exam topics and click Content Outlines button to access full content outlines and sample items.

What is the exam all about?

Applicants should complete a data request form along with a 3 to 4 page proposal that describes:

  • The purpose of the study
  • The specific research questions or research hypotheses
  • The variables to be included (e.g., predictor and outcome variables)
  • The proposed analyses
  • A timeline (e.g., start and stop date; major milestones)
  • A list members of the research team, along with their titles, and affiliations
    • A statement describing their roles in the proposed project

The proposal should also indicate the importance, value or implications of the research, and plans for disseminating results.

The applicant should submit a bio-sketch or CV.  For those proposals that require data from organizations other than NBME (e.g., AAMC; medical schools), the investigator must include a statement that such organizations have agreed to make data available.

Proposals can be submitted by any investigator with a genuine interest in conducting original research in the field of measurement or assessment in health professions education. Preference is given to those with an established record of research, or who show promise of being able to complete a publishable research project. 

Proposals may be submitted any time, but will be reviewed every February and June, with submission deadlines of December 1 and May 1


NBME Questions and Answers PDF

The neurology shelf exam is regarded as one of the “easier” shelf examinations by many medical students because it does not cover such a vast range of topics when compared to other subject tests. We propose taking our free NBME Clinical Neurology Test if you’re looking for NBME clinical mastery series PDF.

The Psychiatry Shelf Exam is regarded as one of the easier of the Shelf Exams. Honoring as many rotations as possible can undoubtedly help if you’re pursuing a very competitive residency program. If you’re looking for NBME psych form 5 PDF or NBME psychiatry form 3 PDF, you’ve come to the right place. To help you prepare for the exam, we provide the NBME Psychiatry Test.

The NBME Internal Medicine Shelf Exam is difficult, especially when it takes place during your internal medicine clerkship. This exam measures a student’s grasp of general medicine concepts and their application to adult patients. If you’re looking for NBME medicine form 5 PDF or NBME medicine form 1 PDF, you’ve come to the right place. For the greatest preparation, we recommend taking the NBME Medicine Test.

The NBME Pediatrics Shelf Exam evaluates a student’s capacity to care for newborns, children, and adolescents. It is usually taken after the pediatrics clerkship in the third year of medical school. The Pediatrics Shelf Exam is an online test with 110 questions to answer in 165 minutes. If you’re looking for NBME pediatrics form 4 PDF or NBME pediatrics form 1 PDF, you’ve come to the right place. Take the free NBME Pediatrics Test to prepare for the Pediatrics Shelf Exam.

The NBME Surgery Shelf is a case-based exam that assesses students’ competence to diagnose and treat surgical patients, including evaluating when surgery is necessary. The NBME surgery shelf exam will assess your knowledge of a variety of surgical topics. If you’re looking for NBME surgery form 4 PDF and NBME surgery form 5 PDF, you’ve come to the right place. Take the NBME Surgery Test to find out where you stand on the exam.


NBME Questions and Answers

Take NBME 19, 18, 17 or 19, 18 and 16 if you want to be selective and know which one you must take before entering into the exam center. NBME form 19 is the most recent, but it is not the most difficult. The most recent NBMEs are difficult because they are the most recent.

Each section will take 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete, giving you a total of 5 hours to finish the exam.

These are available for purchase on their official website.

2 hours and 45 minutes of administration

The most predictive NBMEs are NBMEs 22 and 23, which are also the most similar in terms of question style.

Because the test is based on real patient interactions rather than multiple choice questions, there are no NBMEs for Step 2 CS. The most useful guide in preparation for Step 2 CS is First Aid for the USMLE Step 2 CS, according to most students. You should also practice with the official USMLE program numerous times to gain a feel for the exam template.

The NBME Step 1 Self-Assessments exams are available in six different formats: 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, and 25.

The gold standard NBME for Step 2 CK is the NBME self-assessment form 7.

You can pause the evaluation at any moment by clicking the Pausebutton in the screen’s navigation panel and then clicking OK in the message box that appears. If the time given for your assessment hasn’t run out, you can use the Pausebutton to exit the assessment and resume it later.

There are a total of 26 NBME Shelf examinations.

For Step 2 CK, there are three NBMEs.

The cost of all NBME Self-Assessments is $60.

The accessible NBME CBSSA (Comprehensive Basic Science Self Assessment) examinations constitute the core of many students’ preparation for the USMLE Step 1 exam. Forms 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24 of the NBME CBSSA are currently available and are regarded the greatest and most accurate approach to assess one’s expected performance on the USMLE Step 1 at this time.

The exam score sheet indicates that the exams are bent to a mean of 70 with an 8 standard deviation, however the percentiles do not match.

Except in the rare case of extreme scores (consistently above 250 or below 210), no scoring pattern on NBMEs appears to accurately predict your performance on the actual exam (the UWorld Self Assessments tend to over-predict your test-day score, but are relatively reliable for this purpose, in this case).

This is scaled to have a mean of 500 and a standard deviation of 100, and it runs from 10 to 800. Because the NBME examinations vary in complexity and hence scale the scores based on past data from first-time Step 1 examinees, the number of incorrect answers does not immediately correspond to a score.

There are 110 multiple-choice questions on each shelf exam.

The NBME CBSE exam consists of 184 multiple-choice questions divided into four blocks, each lasting one hour.

NBME 18 was 100 percent “predictive.” However, my overall NBME 15-18 average was also 262. The actual exam felt a lot like the NBME 17 and 18 exams.

NBME 19 was 4 points underpredicted, whereas 18 was 18 points overpredicted.

From top to bottom, read NBME/USMLE questions. Usually read the question from beginning to end. The hard data is frequently ignored. Don’t try to avoid agonizing. Try not to change your responses. Be adaptable.

There are no exact methods for calculating offline scores.

The majority of them are things you can work on. Like, -revising a weaker subject -paying complete attention to the reading of the questions -answering more questions so you can spot any sickness pattern right away. If you do this after each and every NBME, your score will undoubtedly improve.

Taking an NBME Self-Assessment every few weeks will help you get more out of your study time. It will also assist you in ensuring that you are devoting your time and effort to the most appropriate subject areas and themes. Use the information in your diagnostic feedback report to adjust your study schedule and focus on your areas of weakness.

Enables health professionals across the care continuum to improve and demonstrate their knowledge—both in school and on the job.

Shelf examinations are where medical students in their MS3 who are doing clinical rotations are examined and scored on their mastery and application of medical knowledge in a real-world situation.

Is a three-part exam for medical licensing in the United States. The USMLE evaluates a physician’s ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, as well as demonstrate essential patient-centered abilities, that are critical in health and disease and form the foundation for safe and successful patient care.

The National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) works with health-care institutions to assess competence, promote learning, and improve knowledge and expertise. NBME provides a variety of services to medical schools and other organizations throughout the world in addition to our assessment products.

Take the NBME Practice Tests at the Start of Your Study Time Taking the NBME free practice examinations at the start of your study period will help you establish a baseline.

The most recent NBME step 1 is usually the most predictive. NBME 19 is now the most predictive NBME. However, some students claim that NBME 19 is a NBME that undervalues your result because it is so new. Earlier NBMEs, on the other hand, overestimate your score.