TAKING A SUBJECT EXAM

The Subject Exams are used by medical schools to measure their students' knowledge across a broad range of topics.

They include both the Basic and Clinical Science exams, which serve to assess students at the end of a course or clerkship, and the Comprehensive exams, which help to gauge readiness for the USMLE®.

Exam Content

The following is a full list of our available Subject Exams. To learn more about the specific topics covered on each exam, access the complete content outlines by clicking Learn More.

Behavioral Sciences

Biochemistry

Gross Anatomy only

  • Gross Anatomy  + Embryology

Histology

Microbiology only

  • Microbiology + Immunology

Neuroscience

Pathology

Pharmacology

Physiology

Introduction to Clinical Diagnosis

Ambulatory Care

Clinical Neurology

Family Medicine Modular

  • Core
  • Core + Chronic Care
  • Core + Chronic Care + Musculoskeletal 

Medicine

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Pediatrics

Psychiatry

Health Systems Science

Emergency Medicine

Internal Medicine

Comprehensive Basic Science

Comprehensive Clinical Science

Taking the Exam

Preparing to take a Subject Exam?

Here are some tips to help you get ready for test day:

  1. Take a Self-Assessment from our Clinical Science Mastery Series (for the Clinical Science Subject Exams) or the Comprehensive Self-Assessments (for the Comprehensive Basic Science or the Comprehensive Clinical Science Subject Exams)
  2. View the exam Subject Exam Timing Guide
  3. Access Subject Exam Content & Sample Items

Score Reports

Individual Performance Profiles are available for many Subject Exams.

Profiles are intended for distribution to examinees as an aid in self-assessment. For each major content area on the exam, examinee performance is displayed graphically with performance bands representing areas of strength and weakness. 

An examinee version of the Score Interpretation Guide is provided with each profile.

Sample Score Reports

View samples for score reports and other performance profiles.

Exam Rules & Conduct

The examination materials used in the NBME examinations are the confidential, copyrighted property of NBME. If you reproduce and/or distribute examination materials, by any means, including reconstruction through memorization without the express written consent of NBME, you are in violation of the rights of the owners. Every legal means available to protect NBME examination materials and secure redress against those who violate copyright law may be pursued.

  • The confidentiality of examination content must be maintained at all times. You are prohibited from communicating, publishing, reproducing, or transmitting any part of your exam, in any form, or by any means, verbal or written, for any purpose.
  • If you become aware of any suspicious activity related to an NBME exam administration, notify the proctor or submit a report.
  • NBME reserves the right to discontinue examination services to an institution at any time in order to maintain the security and integrity of the NBME’s examination program
  • Do not bring any personal/unauthorized items into the secure testing area. Such items include but are not limited to, outerwear, hats, food, drinks, purses, briefcases, notebooks, notes, pagers, watches, cell phones, recording devices, and photographic equipment.
  • You are not permitted to access any unauthorized items during the exam administration.
  • Do not make notes on your note board prior to entering your CIN or start up code. Once your exam begins, you are permitted to make calculations or notes ONLY on the erasable note board provided.
  • You must adhere to the instructions provided by proctors administering the examination.
  • Carefully review and agree to abide by any instructions provided or that appear at the start of the examination session.
  • Test proctors are not authorized to answer questions from examinees regarding examination content, testing software or scoring.
  • Do not leave the testing site at any time during your administration unless you inform and obtain permission from the testing proctor or are instructed to so do by test administration staff.
  • Failure to follow test day rules and procedures may result in the withholding or cancellation of your scores, and/or a bar from future exams administered by the NBME.

If you are testing at a Prometric test center, please review the instructions on your scheduling permit and familiarize yourself with Prometric’s testing center regulations

NBME encourages you to provide information concerning any activity of which you are aware that may compromise the security and integrity of the NBME’s examinations. Please contact NBME using our contact form to report such information.

Resources

Visit the links below for more information on the Subject Exams.