NBME logo
Date Updated: February 12, 2019

International Foundations of Medicine (IFOM)

The IFOM Clinical Science Self-Assessment

The International Foundations of Medicine® (IFOM®) Clinical Science Self-Assessment is the perfect way to assess an individual’s knowledge of the clinical sciences in advance of taking the IFOM Clinical Science Exam (CSE), but the exam is also used for other purposes.

The IFOM Clinical Science Self-Assessment is built to the same content specifications as the IFOM CSE and covers the same topics and physician tasks, but is 50% shorter (80 items instead of 160). Examinees can choose to take the IFOM Clinical Science Self-Assessment untimed or timed (to practice how quickly they need to move from item to item to complete the exam). Scores are provided immediately.

Individuals can order the IFOM Clinical Science Self-Assessment for themselves, or schools and other institutions can use the National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME)® Self-Assessment Services Voucher Program to order it for their examinees. When institutions order the self-assessment for their students, both the students and the institution receive the scores.

Language Availability

The IFOM Clinical Science Self-Assessment is available in English and Spanish.

Performance Feedback

Participants will receive a performance summary and a score interpretation guide immediately after completing a self-assessment.

  • The performance summary includes a total score and a list of all questions on the self-assessment with the correct answer displayed, by content category.
  • The score interpretation guide includes a conversion table that a participant can use to "translate" the self-assessment score to an approximate score on the International Foundations of Medicine Clinical Science Examination score scale.

Click here to review a sample performance feedback report

Important Changes to IFOM Performance Feedback in January 2019

Beginning with exam administrations on January 1, 2019, the NBME will report scores for the IFOM Clinical Science Exams (not the self-assessment) on a new score scale: The score scale will be changed to report equated percent correct scores instead of standard scores. The new format will make the scores easier to interpret than the current format, thereby enhancing the usefulness of the performance feedback.

The IFOM Clinical Science Self-Assessment will not report scores as equated percent correct scores, but the self-assessment score interpretation guide will provide a table that allows the examinee to look up the equivalent equated percent correct score. Scores on self-assessments taken prior to this change (i.e., 2018 and before) cannot be compared to self-assessment scores received in 2019 and after.

In addition, the content categorizations on the IFOM Basic and Clinical Science Exams and the IFOM Clinical Science Self-Assessment will be slightly changed and reorganized. The content category titles on the performance feedback will also be modified to reflect these changes.

The content of the IFOM exams remains largely unchanged, although, over time, the exams could have slight shifts of emphasis across organ systems based on the reorganization of content.

However, please note: The performance feedback from test administrations that occur through December 31, 2018 will differ, as described above (different method for reporting total test score, different content categories), compared to test administrations that occur on January 1, 2019 or later.

How to Purchase the Self-Assessment

Individuals: To purchase the IFOM Clinical Science Self-Assessment (US$35), visit the NBME Self-Assessment Services website: https://www.mynbme.org

Schools and Other Institutions: To learn more about and access the institutional voucher program, visit this page: http://www.nbme.org/Schools/Self-Assessments/sas.html



NBME logo