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The NBME Subject Examinations, commonly referred to as the NBME Shelf Exams, are a series of subject specific standardized tests administered after certain 3rd year rotations. The exams are used at virtually all LCME-accredited medical schools in the United States and Canada, as well as many osteopathic medical schools, and approximately 25 international schools. The Surgery Shelf Exam is designed to test student knowledge on the pharmacotherapy, intervention/ management, and diagnosis of conditions requiring surgical intervention across all systems of the human body.

What is the Surgery Shelf Exam?

The Surgery Shelf Exam is a 110 multiple-choice question exam that aims to assess student mastery of the surgical management of a wide range of health disorders at the conclusion of the Surgery clerkship. Due to the wide coverage of topics, the Surgery Shelf exam is considered the most challenging and important of the Shelf Exams.

How is the Surgery Shelf Exam scored?

The Surgery Shelf, like all other shelf exams, is scored as a percentage correct out of all items. The Surgery Shelf Exam report will provide an in depth analysis with a bar graph detailing your performance, broken down by topic.

How is the Surgery Shelf Exam administered?

The Surgery Shelf Exam is administered via the NBME’s web-based interface either at your institution in a secure testing area or at a Prometric center. Expect that your test will be timed (typically 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete all 110 items) and proctored.

The Elite Difference is in the Details

There are several different Surgery Shelf Exam tutoring options available to students, so what makes Elite the best? When you sign up to work with an Elite Shelf Exam tutor, you are getting much more than access to our world class MD tutoring services. 24/7 email support, a student success team, organized custom curriculum, and our 100% unused hour refund guarantee are just a couple reasons our students love us.

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Who Needs a Surgery Shelf Exam Tutor?

Receiving 1-on-1 help from a Surgery Shelf Exam tutor is always helpful, but it isn’t necessary for everyone.

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As pioneers in the online tutoring industry for medical school exams, we've been teaching exclusively online for the past 10 years. Our teaching methodology is based upon research in education and is custom tailored to your needs as a student.

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Shelf Exam Information Resources for Students

Have a question about the Surgery Shelf Exam or the Shelf Exams in general? Visit the Elite Medical Blog for a collection of articles written by our MD and MD Candidate tutors covering a variety of popular topics.

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