As a nurse trained in Nigeria, one criterion for getting and securing a nursing job in the UK is to pass the NMC’s competence test. The first part of the examination is a computer-based test (CBT). The second part is a nursing or midwifery Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). You only write the OSCE exam after successfully passing the CBT exam.
In this article, we will discuss all you need to know about NMC’s CBT exam.
Content of the CBT Exam
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This is the first thing you need to know about NMC’s CBT exam. The CBT exam aims to test your competence and practical knowledge of the nursing profession. This exam tells the regulatory body if you are fit to practice nursing in the UK or not.
The CBT exam was restructured recently. Now, it has 115 multiple-choice questions. The new CBT exam has two modules; Part A and Part B. Part A contains 15 questions that focus on your numeracy skills as a nurse. Part B contains 100 clinical questions for nursing or midwifery.
Duration of the CBT Exam
You have 3 hours to answer all 115 questions in the CBT exam.
The time slot for Part A is 30 minutes, while Part B is 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Remember, the timing is strictly regulated by the computed system. So, you must be fast enough to finish within the time frame.
You can spend a maximum of 2 minutes on each question to ensure you get through all the questions. If you are unsure of a particular question, leave it and move to the next question. You can return to that question at the end when you have more time to spare.
Applying for the Exam
You can register for the CBT exam through Pearson VUE.
Visit the Pearson VUE online portal and create an account for the CBT exam.
Pearson Vue will send you an email to confirm your account creation and a temporary login password.
Now, log into your account to book and pay for your exam.
The registration fee for the exam is £85.
The exams are arranged in codes. Click on the ‘View Exams’ button to choose your exam code.
Make sure you choose the exam code that fits the type of nursing job you are applying for.
Here are the exam codes that match each application type.
- Children’s Nurse – RNC
- Adult Nurse – RNA
- Mental Health Nurse – RNMH
- Learning Disabilities Nurse – RNLD
- Midwife – RM
For your first attempt, select both modules; Part A and Part B. At first, the individual price for each module will be displayed on the screen. After choosing both modules, you will be charged a total fee of £85.
You can write the exam in any certified Pearson VUE test centre in Nigeria.
Preparing for the CBT Exam
If you want to ace this exam, you need to read extensively on nursing practices in the UK. Your answer to each question should be in line with standard nursing practices in the UK, not Nigeria.
You can read these materials to prepare for your CBT exam.
- The Code: Professional Standards of Practice and Behaviour for Nurses, Midwives and Nursing Associates
- Test of Competence 2021: CBT Information Booklet for Nurses
- The Test of Competence 2021: CBT Information Booklet for Midwives
- Test of Competence 2021: Preparation Materials
Getting Your Results
The result of your CBT will be ready within 48 hours. The Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC) will send an email notifying you if you passed or failed the exam.
You can view the complete result by logging into the Pearson VUE account you created to pay for the exam. Go to the ‘Exam History’ section and click on ‘Relevant Exam Entry’ to see the full breakdown of your scores for Part A and Part B.
Also, note that your CBT exam result will be valid for two years.
Resitting the CBT Exam
Each part of the exam is graded separately. So, you can pass Part A and fail Part B, and vice versa. If you fail the CBT exam, you only need to resit the part you failed.
The Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC) gives a maximum of three attempts to write and pass the exam. However, you have to wait for 10 days between each exam sitting. If you are still unsuccessful after the third attempt, you have to wait six months to pay and submit a new application.
If you are resitting both Part A & B, you will pay the standard fee of £85. But the fee for resitting only Part A is £50. To rewrite Part B only costs £70.
There is a saying that success occurs when opportunity meets preparation. NMC’s CBT exam is not as hard as you may think. All it takes is adequate preparation and study. Now, you’ve learnt everything you need to know about the NMC’s CBT exam, you are good to go. We can’t wait for you to pass your test and move on to the next stage of your UK nursing job application. All the best!