skip to main content

NBME Exam Instructions

About the Exam

The NBME Exams will be given using a secure browser you will load onto your personal laptop at the start of the exam. The NBME requires that each examinee perform a compatibility test with your laptop three days prior to the exam. This process is called a Workstation Certification.

NOTE: Please, download the New NBME Secure Browser released June 25, 2018.

Follow the Technical and Exam Day instructions to complete the Workstation Certification for your computer.

NOTE: The Technical instructions do not apply if you are in Dallas or Houston.

Technical Instructions

To be completed THREE DAYS before the exam

1. Browser Settings

a. The NBME Supports the following browsers

  • Internet Explorer
  • Safari
  • Chrome
  • Firefox

b. Browser settings:

  • JavaScript enabled
  • Cookies enabled
  • CSS enabled

2.Turn off all programs except your web browser

a. For Mac use Force Quit (opt-cmd-esc)
b. For Windows use Task Manager (ctrl-alt-del, select Task Manager)

Be sure all of the following are disabled:

  • Toolbars, Adware or Spyware programs
  • Windows updates or virus scanner updates
  • Any instant messaging programs
  • Webcam, screen or image capture programs
  • Cloud services, such as Dropbox
  • Uninstall Citrix Receiver
  • In addition, you need to check out the common known issues to avoid and how to resolve them prior to completing the Workstation Certification and on the exam day.

3.Go to and follow the on-screen instructions to run the Secure Browser.

If you have a Mac computer, you may need to change your Security Privacy settings for Allow apps downloaded from to Anywhere.

4.Select the Workstation Certification icon.

5.Select the Examinee Personal Laptop Certification link.

The utility will test the laptop for compatibility with web based testing.

6.All computers must be certified at least three days prior to the examination.

You must confirm to the College of Medicine that you have passed or failed the certification process.

If you failed the certification you must schedule an appointment with OIT or OAT on your campus to make your computer compatible.

Please select your Campus to go to the Google Form:

No loaner or backup computers will be available to students who do not complete this process.

Exam Day Instructions

Unauthorized personal items and/or services

Students are not allowed have the following items in the testing room.

  • Coats or outer jackets including hoodies
  • Headwear (unless for religious purposes)
  • Beverages or food of any type
  • Backpacks, briefcases, or luggage (this includes laptop sleeves or any type of laptop bag)
  • Cell phones
  • Reference materials (book, notes, papers)
  • iPods/iPads
  • Calculators
  • Paging Devices
  • Recording/filming devices
  • Headphones/Headsets

Unauthorized items will be confiscated prior to the exam and returned to the student upon completion of the exam.

Authorized personal items and/or services

  • Students are required to bring a laptop, AC power adaptor and Ethernet cable. If necessary, an Ethernet-to- Thunderbolt or Ethernet-to-USB adaptor is required.
  • Students may utilize if needed, mouse, mouse pad, or ear plugs (headphones/headsets are NOT allowed).
  • Students are required to present a Photo I.D. at check‐in.
  • Students are required to know their UIN number prior to entering the testing room for login to the exam.


  • Students are required to present a photo ID during check‐in.
  • Students are required to sign‐in on the roster. Workstation number assignment will be listed by student's name.
  • Staff will check each student's laptop and accessories to make sure there are no unauthorized items.
  • If you need to take a restroom break during the examination, click the Pause button at the bottom right of your screen.

NBME Workstation Certification Common Known Issues

Prior to the testing date, download and perform the Workstation Certification Test on your computer you'll be testing on by visiting and downloading the secure browser. Click on Workstation Certification, and the Examinee Personal Laptop Certification Link.

Here you will find more in depth information about common known issues to avoid and how to resolve prior to completing the Workstation Certification and on the exam day.

Windows Users

The built-in web camera and other recording programs most known to cause issues with the secure browser are:

YouCamTray.exe, youcamservice.exe, cam-helper, vcamsvc.exe, webcamspliterserver.exe, webcamservice.exe, or similar processes with camera wording.

Generally these services were installed by the original manufacturer and aren't used or never have been needed. Some of the software packages can be found that contain offending services are: Lenovo Utilities, IBM ThinkVantage, and ArcSoft. If unsure, search the exe file or contact technical support.

To look for these processes prior to running the secure browser, you can open up the Task Manager window by using the pressing and holding the keys Ctrl+Shift+Esc or Ctrl+Alt+Delete and selecting Task Manager.

Look under the tabs Processes, Details and Services. Select the process if running and end it so that it is not running by selecting End Task or right clicking to End Task, or set the program so it does NOT run at the start-up of your computer.

If you need to uninstall a program go to the Control Panel located in the Windows Start Panel, or press the Windows Key, and select Uninstall a Program under Programs. You may need to restart your computer after uninstalling a program./p>

If you find no services running and/or have ended any that may have been running, run the secure browser and complete the workstation certification and fill out the Google Form that you were either successful or not.

Macintosh Users

Please quit all applications, including the browser after you've downloaded the Secure Browser from the NBME site. Macintosh users will also need to uninstall the Citrix Receiver application prior to running the check and on the test day. The instructions to uninstall and reinstall are very simple and described below. You will need to do this prior to every exam.

Uninstalling and Reinstalling the Citrix Receiver

  1. Open the DMG file used to install Citrix, CitrixReceiver.dmg, or re-download it from Citrix' Website.
  2. Double click on the dmg file, and select Uninstall Citrix Receiver.
  3. Click Open
  4. Click Continue
  5. Enter your computers password
  6. A confirmation will appear that it has been uninstalled. To simply reinstall it after the test, double click on the dmg and select Install Citrix Receiver and follow the short installation steps. Remember you will need to do this prior to every exam.

Quitting Image Capture Extension

The most common known issue other than Citrix for Mac is a process running that the NBME thinks is capturing images is called Image Capture Extension. Below are the steps to resolve the Image Capture Extension process.

  1. Run the Activity Monitor application located in your Applications folder inside the Utilities folder, or search spotlight and type in Activity Monitor and press Return.
  2. Look for Image Capture Extension in the list of process names.
  3. If found running, use the force quit feature in Activity Monitor to end the process (the X icon in the upper left of the monitor)
  4. Launch the secure browser and complete the workstation certification
  5. After you've completed the workstation certification please fill out the Google Form indicating whether successful or need technical assistance.