Which NBME Practice Exam Forms Should You Take for Your USMLE Step 1, Step 2, Step 3 and Clerkship

Below is a complete list of all forms available this year for the USMLE NBME self-assessment and practice exams for USMLE Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3 offered by the NBME and some guidance on using them in your study preparation.

  • Step 1 practice exams are termed: Comprehensive Basic Science Exams
  • Step 2 practice exams are termed: Comprehensive Clinical Science Exams
  • Step 3 practice exams are termed: Comprehensive Clinical Medicine Exams
  • Clerkship practice exams are termed: Clinical Science Mastery Exams

The expanded feedback option, which is available for some of the self assessments, is an additional $10. It provides a count of incorrect items with an opportunity to review them as well as the ability to obtain a longitudinal assessment.  The expanded feedback does not tell you which questions you answered incorrectly, nor does it include explanations to the exam questions. Students we have spoken with speak highly of the longitudinal assessment. The longitudinal assessment highlights your strong and weak areas and indicates lower performance, borderline performance or higher performance.

Further, the longitudinal assessment is an excellent way to determine what areas you should devote more time to studying so that you can improve. Please note, NBME practice exams taken on or after March 6, 2015 cannot be longitudinally compared to exams taken before that date. You can take the practice exams in standard-paced or self-paced mode. We recommend taking the practice exams in standard-paced mode; you can still pause in standard mode.

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Step 1 NBME Advice

Based on student feedback, the following advice is what we have found most helpful to students. Take Forms 11 and 12 to get a good baseline assessment before starting your intensive review period. Forms 13, 15 and 16 appear to be the best indicators of your Step 1 score.  We suggest you take these during your intensive review period to help determine if you are ready to take Step 1. The NBME removed NBME 7 and added a new NBME 17 in March of 2015. We do not have enough student feedback to make a recommendation about Form 17 at this time.

USMLE Step 1 NBME Assessments

Assessment Price (USD)
Comprehensive Basic Science (Forms 11, 12, 13, 15, 16 and 17) $50
Comprehensive Basic Science w/ Expanded Feedback (Forms 11, 12, 13, 15, 16 and 17) $60

 

Step 2 NBME Advice

Based on student feedback, we recommend taking all four forms from oldest to newest.

USMLE Step 2 NMBE Assessments

Assessment Price (USD)
Comprehensive Clinical Science (Forms 3, 4, 6and 7) $50
Comprehensive Clinical Science w/ Expanded Feedback (Forms 4, 6, and 7) $60

 Step 3 NBME Advice

We recommend taking an NBME at the beginning of your study period to make decisions about your board preparation goals. We have a blog on USMLE Step 3: Preparing for Computer-Based Case Simulations that will assist you in understanding and preparing for Computer-based Case Simulations.

 

USMLE Step 3 NMBE Assessments

Assessment Price (USD)
Comprehensive Clinical Medicine (Forms 3 and 4) $50
Comprehensive Clinical Medicine w/ Expanded Feedback (Form 3 and 4) $60

The Clinical Science Mastery exams are new for shelf practice exams and cover the following disciplines; Clinical Neurology, Medicine, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Surgery.

Clerkship NBME Advice:

We recommend you take the assessment in standard mode for the Clinical Science Mastery Exams so you get used to doing that many questions.

Clerkship NMBE Assessments

Assessment Price (USD)
Clinical Neurology w/ Expanded Feedback (Form 1) $20 – Standard-Paced or Self-Paced
Medicine w/ Expanded Feedback (Forms 1 and 2) $20 – Standard-Paced or Self-Paced
Ob/Gyn w/ Expanded Feedback (Forms 1 and 2) $20 – Standard-Paced or Self-Paced
Pediatrics w/ Expanded Feedback (Forms 1 and 2) $20 – Standard-Paced or Self-Paced
Psychiatry w/ Expanded Feedback (Forms 1 and 2) $20 – Standard-Paced or Self-Paced
Surgery w/ Expanded Feedback (Forms 1 and 2) $20 – Standard-Paced or Self-Paced

Additional information on NBME practice exams can be found here: http://www.nbme.org/Students/sas/information.html

It’s important to have a strategy for what and when you will study. Many students find the structure of the Doctors In Training USMLE Step 1 Review Course, the Doctors In Training USMLE Step 2 Review Course and the Doctors In Training USMLE Step 3 Review Coursebeneficial to their exam preparations. Our courses present the high yield information you need to know and are updated annually to reflect student feedback.


About DIT Advising Team

The Doctors In Training Student Advising Team offers many advisory services including the following: customizing individual study plans for USMLE Step 1/ COMLEX Level 1 or USMLE Step 2 CK/ COMLEX Level 2, advising students with respect to combating everyday stress and test anxiety and preparing students for the residency application process.

One Response to “Which NBME Practice Exam Forms Should You Take for Your USMLE Step 1, Step 2, Step 3 and Clerkship”

  1. mfaber says:

    I don't know about you guys, but I took Form 13 about a week before my Step 1 USMLE exam. I only scored a 209 (HOLY CRAP), but then I ended up scoring a 223 on test day. I would take these NBME exams with a grain of salt...identify your weaknesses and focus on that. Don't worry about the numbers.

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