National Board Medical Examiners | NBME

The NBME develops and manages the USMLE. While the individual licensing boards grant the license to practice medicine, all medical boards in the US accept a passing score on the USMLE as evidence that an applicant demonstrates the core competencies to practice medicine. 

Practice Exams and Diagnostics

NBME practice exams are an essential part of your Step 1 preparation. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • NMBE practice tests are typically taken in October and then another during dedicated study time (January).
  • Students typically have a complete picture of areas of improvement after these two practice tests.  
  • Exams consist of 4 sections, which is equivalent to about half of the real exam.
  • Choose the standard-paced (timed) setting to familiarize yourself with test conditions and to assess your readiness.
  • The predictive value of the exams will not be the same if you choose the self-paced setting. 

NBME tests are highly predictive of your real USMLE performance. This feedback will help focus your study and provide a baseline score.  Your Learning Specialist can help you use this feedback to develop an effective and realistic study plan.

Explore NBME's homepage
Understanding test questions (NBME) video series
Review the NBME's homepage for the USMLE
Check out the USMLE Bulletin now
Learn more about the testing accommodations for USMLE