BASIC SCIENCE SUBJECT EXAMS

The Basic Science Subject Exams are standardized, pre-built exams that assess student knowledge at the end of a discipline-based, pre-clinical course and include national normative data, so you can benchmark your cohort against examinees around the country.

Overview

Educators use the Basic Science Subject Exams to assess first-year and second-year medical students’ end-of-course knowledge in a discipline-based curriculum. They are also administered as a tool to help students with remediation in specific content areas after taking the Comprehensive Basic Science Exam.

In addition to helping you save the time and resources that go into creating your own assessment, the Basic Science Subject Exams enable you to:

  • Access overall and content area scores that can be compared with those of nationally representative groups taking the same exam, so you know how your cohort compares to students on a national level.
  • Gain a more thorough understanding of your examinees' mastery of your course material.
  • Provide your students with actionable feedback through in-depth score reports that help them progress on their learning journey.
  • Ensure quality with questions that are written and reviewed by committees of content experts.

 


Exam Content

Click on each Basic Science Subject Exam below to view content outlines and sample test questions.


Administration

The Basic Science Subject Exams are available for administration at your school. Web-based exams must be administered in a secure, proctored setting. NBME provides a web-based utility that checks both hardware and software configurations and downloads a plug-in that secures the browser.

The computer is locked down, preventing the examinee from accessing applications such as email or notepad. It also includes a function designed to detect any recording applications and programs that may be running on workstations or examinees’ personal laptops prior to the start of the exam.


Fees

 

July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023

(Per Examinee)

Prometric Test

(Per Examinee)

Basic Science Subject Exam Fees*

$45

Not Offered

*Fees are subject to change.

How to Purchase

The Basic Science Subject Exams are available to purchase through the online ordering system on the MyNBME Services Portal.

    NBME Executive Chief Proctors at medical schools and those with parallel responsibilities at residency programs or other organizations will have access to this portal.

    The following information must be provided in the web-based exam order:

    • Test date
    • Expected number of examinees
    • Number of any examinees who need extra testing time and the corresponding exam length (1.5x or 2x the standard time limit allocated for other examinees)
    • Test session start and end times
    • Names, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses for the Chief Proctors assigned to each testing room

    Score Reports

    All scoring feedback, norms, and grading guidelines for the Basic Science Subject Exams can be accessed through the MyNBME Services Portal.

    A brief description and samples of the various types of score reports and associated downloadable text files is provided below.

    • Provides detailed information about the computation of scores, the contents of each type of score report and the contents of downloadable data files.
    • It is included with the Roster Report and can also be accessed separately on the portal under the Score Reports tab.

    View Sample

    • Provides the total score for each examinee and descriptive statistics for the administration. A downloadable roster text file includes the total score and content area scores for each examinee.

    View Sample (Modular)

    View Sample (Non-Modular)

    • Available for any Subject Exam administration with at least 5 examinees and for which equated scores are available.
    • Provides information on the performance of your examinees and a national group of examinees on the major content areas on the exam.

    View Sample

    • Available for any Subject Exam with at least 5 examinees testing during a single form administration and for which equated scores are available.
    • Provides information on the performance of your group of examinees and a national group of examinees on each item.
    • Helpful in determining the extent to which your examinees have learned the content of individual items.
    • Provided for institutional use in assessing the performance of examinees. The written authorization of NBME must be obtained prior to any additional use of the data (e.g., in research papers).

    View Sample

    • Provides information about overall performance and performance on major content areas on the exam for each examinee.
    • Intended for distribution to examinees as an aid in self-assessment.

    View Sample

    • Provides information on the performance of each examinee and a national group of examinees on each item.
      • Available for any Subject Exam administration with at least 5 examinees and for which equated scores are available.
    • Intended for distribution to examinees as an aid in self-assessment.
    • Provides information enabling you to compare your examinees’ performance with a nationally representative group of examinees from LCME-accredited medical schools at the same stage of training.
    • The most recent norms for each exam are included with the score reports and can also be accessed separately on the MyNBME Services Portal along with earlier norms (when available) under the Score Reports tab.

    Interested in learning more about the Basic Science Subject Exams or another NBME product?

    Complete the consultation request form to get in touch with NBME staff.