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Date Updated: July 5, 2018

International Foundations of Medicine (IFOM)

For Institutions

The International Foundations of Medicine® (IFOM®) program now comprises three exams:

The IFOM BSE and CSE are intended to measure the core knowledge expected of international medical students and graduates at critical points in their education and training. Both are available on paper or the web.

The IFOM Clinical Science Self-Assessment is intended as preparation for taking the IFOM CSE or other similar exams and for personal benchmarking; it is available only on the web.

The IFOM BSE and CSE are comprehensive tests created by the IFOM Committee, a group of faculty convened by the National Board of Medical Examiners® that represents all major medical specialties and the global medical community. Most test questions are written in clinical vignette style, i.e., with problems presented within a clinical context, so that examinees can demonstrate the ability to apply their medical knowledge.

IFOM Institutional Pricing

The standard prices listed below include the examination itself, instruction on using the NBME’s web-based testing system, proctor manuals for both paper and web-based exams, and standard score reports, which are distributed electronically to organizations via the NBME Services Portal (NSP).

IFOM Basic Science Examination…………US $50 per exam
IFOM Clinical Science Examination……..US $75 per exam

Additional fees may be charged for other services related to the IFOM examinations, including but not limited to, shipping of paper examinations, translation services, or other special services.

Institutions can purchase vouchers for the IFOM Clinical Science Self-Assessment, for distribution to students or other examinees, for US $35 each, using the NBME Self-Assessment Services Voucher Program.

Volume-based price discounts may be available for large orders.

If Your Institution Would Like to Use IFOM

. . . the following steps will need to be taken:

  1. Browse these webpages to ensure you have all the information you need about IFOM content, administration options, standard score reporting, and pricing.
  2. If your institution is a medical school, ensure it is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools and that it has a "Sponsor Note" confirming that students and graduates of your school are eligible for Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates® (ECFMG®) certification. If you cannot get your school listed or sponsored by ECFMG, contact us at ifom@nbme.org.
  3. Contact ifom@nbme.org with questions, and/or when you are ready to discuss using IFOM and having your institution set up to do so. NBME staff will schedule a conference call or Skype with those who will be responsible for IFOM use at your institution (normally, the dean, head of assessment, or other leaders).
  4. If, after the call or Skype, all parties agree that your institution should use IFOM, your institution and NBME will execute a contract to establish the terms of use.
  5. The dean of medicine (if your institution is a school) or other chief executive (if a non-school organization) will submit a letter to NBME appointing an Executive Chief Proctor (ECP).
  6. NBME staff will set up your organization and ECP in our systems, including the NBME Services Portal (NSP), where you will order and pay for exams. Proctor manuals and other instructions are available on NSP.
  7. If you will be administering IFOM as a web-based test (WBT), NBME staff will offer and schedule a 90-minute live web-based training session for your chief proctors on using the NBME’s WBT ordering, rostering, and testing systems.
  8. Your ECP will then be able to order paper or web-based exams.

Ordering IFOM Exams

After your institution has access to NBME systems, your proctor can order exams and view information on the NBME Services Portal (NSP). When choosing a test date, please consult the list of holidays and blackout dates posted on NSP. As explained on the IFOM Scoring and Score Reporting Page, organizations that have administered IFOM to 20 or more examinees can order Group Summary Reports for an additional US $3500. These detailed reports compare the performance of the examinee group with the International Comparison Group (ICG) and help highlight areas of strength and weakness in a medical school curriculum.

Web-based exams

  • Orders can be placed up to 2 calendar days before the test date.
  • Orders lock 5 calendar days before the test date, so if you order less than 5 days prior to the test date, your order will be final.

Paper exams

  • Orders must be placed at least 30 days prior to the desired test date, using the online ordering system on the NBME Services Portal (NSP). If you have any questions about ordering a paper exam, please e-mail support@nbme.org for more information.

When ordering your exams, you will be asked to pay by wire transfer, credit card, or check.



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