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Date Updated: January 4, 2013

Resources for Health Profession Services

Self-Assessment Examinations

The NBME offers web-based self assessments that may be useful study tools for individuals who are preparing to sit for examinations with content in the basic sciences, clinical sciences, or clinical medicine.

Comprehensive Basic Science Self-Assessment (CBSSA)

The Comprehensive Basic Science Self-Assessment (CBSSA) uses multiple-choice items based on information typically covered during basic science medical education courses.

A CBSSA test form presents 200 multiple-choice items that reflect the content of Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). Participants will receive a performance profile immediately after completing the CBSSA. The performance profile is similar to that which a USMLE Step 1 candidate receives, providing an assessment score and a graphical display of relative strengths and weaknesses in general topic areas. Participants have the option to receive expanded feedback in addition to the performance profile. This feedback includes the number of items answered incorrectly by content category and the ability to review text of incorrectly answered items. In addition, examinees who take the CBSSA more than once will receive a longitudinal performance profile that includes a graphical representation of performance over time for various content categories.

Comprehensive Clinical Science Self-Assessment (CCSSA)

The Comprehensive Clinical Science Self-Assessment (CCSSA) uses multiple-choice items based on information typically covered during the core clinical clerkships in allopathic medicine.

A CCSSA test form presents 184 multiple-choice items that reflect the content of the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge Examination. Participants will receive a performance profile immediately after completing the CCSSA. The performance profile is similar to that which a USMLE Step 2 candidate receives, providing an assessment score and a graphical display of relative strengths and weaknesses in general topic areas. Participants have the option to receive expanded feedback in addition to the performance profile. This feedback includes the number of items answered incorrectly by content category and the ability to review text of incorrectly answered items. A longitudinal performance profile, which provides a graphical representation of performance over time across various content areas, is provided to examinees who take the CCSSA more than once.

Comprehensive Clinical Medical Self Assessment (CCMSA)

The Comprehensive Clinical Medical Self Assessment (CCMSA) presents 180 multiple-choice items that are based on information typically covered in clinical medical encounters and reflects the content of the multiple-choice component of the USMLE Step 3 Examination. 

The CCMSA does not include computer-based case simulations. Participants will receive a performance profile immediately after completing the CCMSA.  The performance profile is similar to that which a USMLE Step 3 candidate receives, providing an assessment score and a graphical display of relative strengths and weaknesses in general topic areas.

Clinical Science Mastery Series

The Clinical Science Mastery Series includes self-assessments for individuals who want to evaluate knowledge of the clinical sciences typically covered during a clerkship or medical education course. Examinations are built to the same content specifications as the corresponding NBME clinical science subject examination. Web-based self-assessments are available for each of the following:

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Medicine
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry
  • Surgery

Participants will receive a performance report which provides a self-assessment score, the number of incorrect items by content category and the percentage of incorrect items marked. Participants also have the ability to review text of incorrectly answered items.

Note that the materials presented in the CCBSA, CCSSA, CCMSA, and the Clinical Science Mastery Series are provided by the NBME for educational purposes only. The NBME does not warrant that any individual performance on any of the available self-assessment examinations will predict performance on a USMLE Examination or a clinical science subject examination and cautions participants against making any predictive inferences.

For details about purchasing one of NBME's self-assessment services, please visit the NBME Self-Assessment Services (NSAS) Interactive Website.

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