The NBME® Clinical Neurology Shelf Exam, or Clinical Neurology Subject Examination, evaluates a student’s mastery of neurology and its application when diagnosing patients. Though the clerkship is relatively short (about 4-6 weeks), the exam features long and challenging stems that don’t always cover what comes up in rotations.
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Not all students have to take the NBME Neurology Shelf Exam, and it’s not obligatory for obtaining a U.S. doctor’s license. However, most medical schools have a required neurology clerkship, and the most popular way to test students is by using the NBME’s official Clinical Neurology Subject Examination. Students should note: the exam can only be taken at authorized testing locations, like Prometric test centers or on campus at select medical schools.
The exam is formatted as an online test consisting of 110 multiple choice questions which must be completed in 165 minutes. Luckily for students, it has the same interface as the USMLE Step exams, with each question set up as a vignette. The exam is graded on a national average, though whether or not you pass your neurology clerkship will depend on your individual medical school’s requirements. More specifically, the number of correct answers you get places you in a percentile, which is then measured across national grades.
Neurology Shelf question stems are notoriously long and complicated. To best prepare, you need an essential resource that can equip you with both a comprehensive Qbank and an integrated medical knowledge library.
AMBOSS is an all-in-one resource that serves as both a clinical companion on the wards and a reliable study guide for your NBME® Clinical Neurology Shelf Exam. The medical library has neurology-specific Articles, which can be used as a point-of-care reference when you’re with patients or rounding with your team, and its robust Qbank is a reliable source for in-depth studying (even offline—check out our mobile apps for Android and iOS).