Additional Answer Explanations Planned for NBME® Self-Assessments in 2020 and 2021

Posted December 21, 2020

Many students have expressed interest in having explanations for correct and incorrect answers on NBME® Self-Assessments. In 2020, answer explanations were added to Medicine forms 3, 4, 5 and 6; Surgery forms 3, 4, 5 and 6; and Obstetrics/Gynecology forms 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the Clinical Mastery Series. Starting Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, answer explanations will be available on Pediatrics forms 3, 4, 5 and 6.

Jennifer Wise, PharmD, said NBME plans to release answer explanations for all self-assessments over time.

“Explanations for the right and wrong answers can help students maximize valuable study time,” Wise said. “Students can more easily learn from mistakes and reinforce what they already understand.”

Self-Assessment Forms that Will Include Answer Explanations in Early 2021

In early 2021, students can look forward to seeing answer explanations for the following forms:

  • Clinical Neurology forms 3, 4, 5 and 6
  • Comprehensive Clinical Medicine form 5
  • Psychiatry forms 3, 4 and 5

New Self-Assessment Forms Coming Soon

Additionally, the following new self-assessment forms with answer explanations will be released during spring and summer 2021. (In January 2021, NBME will share more detailed information about these new forms with students and educators.)

  • Six new Comprehensive Basic Science Self-Assessment (CBSSA) forms that will be aligned with the Step 1 content distribution changes 
  • Comprehensive Clinical Science Self-Assessment (CCSSA) forms that will be aligned with the Step 2 Clinical Knowledge content distribution changes
  • Clinical Science Mastery Series forms in Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine

“We welcome students’ feedback on how we can improve their learning experiences,” Wise said, “not only during this challenging time, but throughout students’ educational journeys.”

Have questions about self-assessment forms you’ve purchased? Check out the FAQs. Or, contact us at, follow us on Twitter @NBMENow, or reach out to us on Facebook with your feedback.

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