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Examination Day

The National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) strives to provide you with a positive testing experience on your exam day. You will be taking your exam at a Prometric Testing Center. Prometric and the NBOME have taken steps to protect the security and integrity of your exam and we appreciate your patience and understanding as you follow our procedures and guidelines. These “Test Day Tips” will help you prepare for your visit to the testing center and will help you familiarize yourself with what happens during the exam day. For more examination details, refer to the COMVEX Bulletin of Information. Additional information about taking your examination at Prometric may be found on the Prometric website.


Prometric has enacted procedures to help ensure your safety during your testing appointment. Please refer to the Prometric website for current information.

Prometric Testing Center Tutorial

Arrival and Check-In

Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before your examination start time. You will be greeted by a test center administrator (TCA) who moves around the testing center to routinely monitor testing activity and observe and report any irregular behavior. TCAs prepare each work station for the next candidate after it has been used, which in some cases may be every two hours. TCAs are unable to answer NBOME policy questions. Contact the NBOME Client Services team at clientservices@nbome.org with any policy questions.

Testing Accommodations

Candidates with disabilities, including hearing impairment, should refer to our application for testing accommodations. If you believe you may require testing accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, please refer to the COMVEX Bulletin of Information. For more information on testing accommodations, please review our test accommodations page and consult the Request for Test Accommodation Instructions and Forms.


Be sure to bring one form of current, non-expired government-issued identification that includes your picture and signature. Please see the Prometric website for information regarding acceptable expiration dates. All other ID policies specific to the program still apply. Acceptable forms of identification are:

Important Notice: Your first and last name must match what the NBOME has in its registration records in order for you to be able to take the examination. To ensure that your identification matches the information we have on file for you, log on to your NBOME online account and check our records as soon as possible. If the name on your identification does not reflect what is on your registration, contact NBOME Client Services at clientservices@nbome.org as soon as possible to update your profile.

Personal Belongings

The Test Center Administrator (TCA) will assign you a secure locker in which you will be required to store all of your personal belongings, including food, water, and medications. You will receive a locker key with a blue tag. You may keep only your identification and locker key with you in the testing room.

Enhanced Security

Prometric has recently implemented enhanced security measures in order to inspect for camera devices that could be used to capture examination content. You will need to remove eyeglasses for close visual inspection by a TCA. These inspections will take a few seconds and will be done at check-in and upon return from breaks.

Jewelry, except for wedding and engagement rings, is prohibited in the testing room. Hair accessories are subject to inspection. We advise you to not wear ornate clips, combs, barrettes, headbands, or other hair accessories. If you arrive wearing any of these items, you may be prohibited from wearing them in the testing room and asked to store such items in your locker.

Food and Drinks

You will not be permitted to bring food or drink into the testing area of the center. Food and drink will need to be stored in your assigned locker and you can access them during the authorized 10-minute breaks and the 40-minute lunch break. If you have a medical need and require food or drink during the testing period, you must submit the request in writing to the NBOME at clientservices@nbome.org for consideration in advance of the examination.


Noise-reducing headphones are provided at each testing center.

Ear Plugs

You may bring your own earplugs to decrease distractions or the noise you hear in the testing area. A TCA may request to inspect your earplugs.

Biometric Check-In

A TCA will complete your biometric-enabled check-in, which includes verifying your identification, signing in, taking a digital photo, and scanning your fingerprint. Your fingerprint record will serve as your biometric identification each time you enter and exit the testing room.

Metal detector

A TCA will ask you to turn your pockets out and will use a handheld metal detector wand to ensure that you do not have any remaining personal belongings with you before entering the testing center. This procedure will be repeated each time you depart and re-enter the testing room. Please view this short video of the typical Prometric check-in process.

Examination Hours

After you check in, the total examination day will last approximately eight hours, consisting of a brief tutorial, two optional 10-minute breaks, an optional 40-minute lunch break and seven hours’ total exam time divided into two three-and-a-half-hour sessions of two sections each. Examinees are reminded that the test has a 3.5-hour morning session and a 3.5-hour afternoon session.

Confirmation Screen

Once you are seated at your station, a screen will appear, asking you to confirm your name and other pertinent information. You will need to respond within two minutes. It is important to note if you surpass the allotted two minutes, the system will “time out,” preventing you from continuing. A timer will not be displayed on the screen.


There is a 10-minute tutorial before you begin your examination. You are strongly encouraged to view the tutorial. It contains important information about the examination format and features that will help you throughout your test day. You will need to begin your examination as soon as the tutorial has ended. If you delay, the system will “time out” and prevent you from continuing.

Optional Examination Breaks

There are three (3) authorized breaks you can choose to take during the course of the exam day: one (1) optional 40-minute lunch break and two (2) optional 10-minute breaks. For all breaks, you will need to leave the testing room. Remember that when you re-enter the testing room after any break, you will need to show a valid ID and your fingerprint will be taken. Please allow sufficient time to check in and be seated.

The break time will not be deducted from the time you have to take the examination. If you exceed the break time, the additional break time will count against the time you will have to take the exam.

Following each break you take, the next section will begin, regardless of whether you are seated at the work station or not. You may choose to forego all or part of any break, but unused time will not be added to your examination time.

Authorized 10-Minute Breaks

The first optional 10-minute break occurs in the morning between the first and second exam sections. The second optional 10-minute break occurs in the in afternoon between the third and fourth exam sections. During the 10-minute breaks, locker access will only be granted for food, drink, and medication.

Authorized 40-Minute Lunch Break

The 40-minute lunch break will take place when the morning session is completed (after section 2). During the lunch break you will be able to access your locker for food, drink, medication and other materials you have stored.

Unexcused Breaks

Any breaks in addition to the three authorized breaks will be considered unexcused and will be reported to the NBOME by a TCA.

Examination Features

COMVEX new examination features include a built-in standard calculator and lab values with reference ranges (where applicable) embedded directly into test questions.

Check Out

Upon completion of your examination, you will sign out and return your locker key.

Video/Audio Monitoring

Please be aware that you will be monitored by video and audio recording throughout the duration of your examination.

Adverse Testing Conditions

If you experience adverse testing conditions and believe that those conditions have substantially affected your performance, we ask that you provide the NBOME with written, verifiable evidence within 10 days of your examination day. If you do not report your concerns according to NBOME guidelines, you waive any objection to the testing conditions and will not have any recourse at a later date or when scores are released. Please refer to the COMVEX Bulletin of Information for more details on adverse testing conditions.


Need information or help? Please contact the Client Services department Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Central Time, at 866-479-6828.

Reference Materials

Fundamental Osteopathic Medical Competency Domains

Practice & Preparation Resources

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