Coronavirus (COVID-19): Assessment Information and Updates

Posted October 28, 2020
coronavirus

Across the globe, schools and workplaces have adopted social distancing policies and remote work and learning where necessary to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. NBME continues to prioritize investigations into alternative assessment delivery methods for physicians, medical school faculty, and students.

We are actively working with the medical education and regulation community to also help expand testing opportunities for examinees.

Below, learn about available options for continuing testing: 

  • Web-Conferencing with Remote Proctoring for Test Administrations during the 2020-2021 Academic Year
  • NBME® Subject Examinations, Customized Assessment Services (CAS), and International Foundations of Medicine® (IFOM)®
  • NBME Assessment Updates for Testing at Prometric Centers
  • New and expanded learning resources available, including a new educational web series.
  • USMLE Program weekly updates and resources available in response to the changing environment
  • Additional Resources

NBME remains committed to supporting continuity of the medical education system for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to share new information as it becomes available. 

 

Web-Conferencing with Remote Proctoring for Test Administrations available throughout the 2020-2021 Academic Year

Web-Conferencing with Remote Proctoring of Subject Examinations, Customized Assessment Services (CAS) and IFOM's web-based Basic Science Examinations (in English only) and Clinical Science Examinations (in English and Spanish) has been available since April 2020. All exams are also available for web-based administration with in-person proctoring. The medical school ordering system has been updated to enable schools to indicate whether their exams will be administered in person or remotely with web conferencing.

While the implementation associated with remote administration may evolve in different ways over the next several months, NBME will continue to make Web-Conferencing with Remote Proctoring available during the 2020-2021 academic year. We will continue to connect with educators, administrators, and clinicians to gather feedback and recommendations, share our findings, and discuss potential enhancements to this option. 

  • Executive chief proctors can access information about security and approved web-conferencing tools and obtain Web-Conferencing with Remote Proctoring instructions on the NBME Services Portal.
  • Read a story about how NBME psychometricians examined the potential effect of the proctoring setting on examinee performance during the COVID-19 pandemic here.

 

NBME Subject Examinations, Customized Assessment Services, and IFOM

Subject Examinations

NBME® Subject Examinations are available for ordering and administration through the Web-Conferencing with Remote Proctoring option. Ambulatory Care, Histology and Introduction to Clinical Diagnosis will be made available through this option beginning Oct. 29, 2020.

All Subject Examinations are also available for web-based administration with in-person proctoring. The medical school ordering system has been updated to enable schools to indicate whether their exams will be administered in person or remotely with web conferencing.

Prometric test centers: Please check the Prometric website ongoing for updates.

 

Customized Assessments

Customized Assessment Services (CAS) is available for ordering and administration for Web-Conferencing with Remote Administration as well as in-person administration with physical proctors. Learn more here

 

IFOM

  • Web-based Examinations: Web-Conferencing with Remote Proctoring of IFOM's web-based Basic Science Examinations (in English only) and Clinical Science Examinations (in English and Spanish) has been available since April 2020. 
  • All of the IFOM exams (including the Basic Science Exam in Spanish) are also available for web-based administration with in-person proctoring. The medical school ordering system has been updated to enable schools to indicate whether their exams will be administered in person or remotely with web conferencing.
  • Paper Examinations: Institutions considering IFOM exam administrations by paper must contact ifom@nbme.org to discuss their interest before placing orders.
  • IFOM Individual Testing at Prometric: Please check the Prometric website for updates regarding test center closures and re-openings.

Registration for IFOM individual testing in 2020 has closed and will reopen on Jan. 4, 2021. Testing for both 2020 testing windows has been extended to Nov. 6, 2020. Please consult the 2021 Candidate Brochure, found on the How to Apply page, for complete information about 2021 registration and testing periods.

For questions about Subject Examinations or Customized Assessments, please feel free to contact us at assessmentservices@nbme.org. To learn more about IFOM, contact us at ifom@nbme.org.

 

NBME Assessment Updates for Testing at Prometric Centers

NBME® exam programs are considered essential services programs (listed below) for testing at Prometric centers. For updates on site openings, please visit Prometric's announcement page.

Essential Services Programs include (in no particular order):

  • USMLE (Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge, and Step 3)
  • North American Veterinary Licensing Examination® (NAVLE®)
  • Certification examinations
  • IFOM*
  • NBME Subject Examinations*

* NBME Subject Examinations and IFOM are considered essential. However, to ensure that examinees for licensure and certification have a better chance of scheduling, NBME requests that medical schools use Web-Conferencing with Remote Proctoring for NBME Subject Examinations and school-based administrations of IFOM. More information is available above and in the NBME Services Portal

 

Additional Resources

For information about USMLE, please visit the announcement site here

Questions? Contact NBME Customer Support at https://www.nbme.org/contact or 215-590-9700

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