AMBOSS for the IFOM® exams

Start preparing for the BSE and CSE!

AMBOSS has helped thousands of international medical students score higher on the International Foundation of Medicine (IFOM®) Basic Science Exam (BSE) and Clinical Science Exam (CSE).

If you are looking for further information about the exam, please read the FAQ section at the bottom of this page

AMBOSS equips you with expert-written learning material covering all the topics tested in the IFOM® exams. The interlinked question bank with 4500+ exam-style questions ensures a complete preparation for the IFOM®, from one powerful and integrated resource!

Explore thousands of interactive multimedia including SmartZoom samples

Study for the Basic Science Exam (BSE)
Here’s how we can help

The IFOM® BSE tests the examinee’s ability to understand and apply knowledge from the preclinical curriculum to the practice of medicine.

AMBOSS users get access to more than 2500 case-based multiple-choice questions on the entire basic sciences curriculum.

All the content is expertly written by an editorial team of over 50 doctors strictly according to the content guidelines of the National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®).

The AMBOSS library and question-bank cover all the tested subjects to help you prepare comprehensively for the IFOM Basic Science Examination.

Please read the FAQ section below for further details about the exam

Powerful tools like ImageOverlays train your clinical and exam-taking skills

Study for the Clinical Science Exam (CSE)
We’ll show you how

The IFOM® CSE tests the examinee’s ability to apply and integrate clinical knowledge during real-life examination scenarios.

AMBOSS offers its users over 2,200 exam-like questions covering the clinical sciences, covering the entire syllabus tested in the IFOM CSE. All the questions are also integrated with a detailed, corresponding Article from the Knowledge Library, which covers all the aspects of the topic in detail.

All the content is optimised to provide our users with a closely representative and complete preparation for any NBME®-administered exam.

Please read the FAQ section below for further details about the exam

Improve your studies

Retaining knowledge will be easier with our personal assessment tools. The Learning Radar feature will mark information in red that you need to work harder on. Personalised Study Recommendations based on study objectives provide a breakdown showing how much time to spend with each Article.

Enable the Highlighting Tool in any question stem or turn on High-Yield Mode in the Articles to immediately see the most important information relevant for any topic. This condensed information helps you remember what you need to know for exam day.

Study during your downtime or on-the-go, even offline. Time management is a piece of cake with our Question Bank and Knowledge apps for iOS and Android. Practice going through questions while on your commute to the clinic,  or in your downtime.

Use real clinical data to get the big picture on any disease or condition. Both the Question Bank and Knowledge Library feature charts, X-rays with overlays, videos, SmartZoom samples and other images that illustrate key points on different topics.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the IFOM?


The IFOM® exams are standardized, objective exams that are used in various countries (Ukraine, Panama, and Oman, among others) as an international standard to measure the academic performance of their medical graduates.

The IFOM® exams consist of a Basic Science Exam (BSE) and a Clinical Science Exam (CSE), which are both developed and conducted by the National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®)–the same body that administers the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®).

Each IFOM® exam comprises 160 multiple-choice questions presented in clinical vignette style to assess a student’s ability to not just recall but also apply their acquired knowledge.

Why should/would a student take the IFOM exams?


The IFOM® exams serve different purposes in various countries and institutions globally.

In many countries, the IFOM® exams serve as mandatory exams used to determine the eligibility of a medical student to progress to a subsequent phase of their medical education. In each of these countries/institutions, these exams may be used for entirely different purposes. For example, as a graduation exam (like in Ukraine, Costa Rica, and Panama), an entrance exam to obtain a residency training position (like in parts of Qatar, Lebanon, and Oman), or as a year-end exam to pass between semesters (like in some universities in Ukraine and Mexico).

However, some students also take the IFOM® to compare themselves to an international standard, to apply to residency programs, and as practice before they take the USMLE® Steps.

How are the IFOM exams related to the USMLE Steps?


The IFOM® exams are developed and conducted by the National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®), which also administers the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®). The curriculum and question styles for the IFOM Basic Science Exam (BSE) and Clinical Science Exam (CSE) are analogous to those of the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) exams, respectively. However, topics and questions may be adapted to international medical conventions.

What is the IFOM-BSE?


The IFOM® BSE tests the examinee’s ability to understand and apply knowledge from the preclinical curriculum to the practice of medicine. The exam consists of 160 case-based questions in a multiple-choice format. These are divided in two 2-hour blocks of 80 questions each. This exam tests the student’s ability to understand and apply the knowledge from the following subjects:

    • Anatomy
    • Biochemistry
    • Histology and Cell Biology
    • Microbiology
    • Organ Systems
    • Pathology
    • Pharmacology
    • Physiology

What is the IFOM-CSE?


The IFOM® CSE tests the examinee’s ability to apply and integrate clinical knowledge during real-life examination scenarios. The exam consists of 160 clinical scenario-based questions in a multiple-choice format. These are divided in two 2-hour blocks of 80 questions each. This exam tests the student’s ability to understand and apply the knowledge from the following clinical subjects:

    • Family Medicine
    • Medicine
    • Obstetrics and Gynecology
    • Pediatrics
    • Psychiatry
    • Surgery

What are the benefits of passing the IFOM exams?


These can vary depending upon the context in which these exams are taken. However, some of the uses of the exam are:

Qatar:

The Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Qatar is the main provider of secondary and tertiary healthcare in Qatar and one of the leading hospital providers in the Middle East. A candidate must clear the IFOM (or the USMLE) to apply to the residency programs in any of the twelve hospitals in Qatar under the HMC.

Oman:

In the Sultanate of Oman, an applicant needs to clear IFOM-CSE to obtain a residency position in the country. The Oman Medical Speciality Board (OMSB) is responsible for postgraduate medical education in Oman and the IFOM-CSE is the only entry examination to OMSB residency training programs.

Mexico:

Students at the Tecnológico de Monterrey must pass the IFOM BSE to enter into the Clinical Program and the IFOM CSE to graduate from Medical University.

Panama:

The IFOM is required for students to enter into residency programs. Foreign graduates who wish to practice medicine in Panama must also take the IFOM.

Ecuador:

In Ecuador, students at some Universities are required to take the IFOM CSE in their last years, as part of their formal evaluations and as student assessment.

Costa Rica: 

The IFOM is required for students to enter into residency programs.

Lebanon: 

The American University of Beirut accepts IFOM BSE and IFOM CSE in lieu of the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 for residency positions. Furthermore, the IFOM BSE is required for 3rd year students and the IFOM CSE is required for 6th year students at the Beirut Arab University. Saint George Hospital in Lebanon also accepts IFOM scores for their residency applicants.

Egypt

The IFOM BSE and CSE are compulsory for students at the Armed Forces College of Medicine.

Ukraine:

In Ukraine, students can opt to take the IFOM exam in lieu of the local exam (KROK) to graduate.

How can AMBOSS help me in my IFOM preparations?


AMBOSS offers access to more than 2500 case-based multiple-choice questions on the entire basic sciences curriculum and over 2,200 questions covering the clinical sciences. All these questions are interlinked with a detailed, corresponding Article from the Knowledge Library.

All the content and questions are expertly written by an editorial team of over 60 doctors strictly according to the content guidelines of the National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®), which is the body that administers the IFOM® exams. Thus, studying from AMBOSS is sure to provide any student with a closely representative and complete preparation for any NBME®-administered exam, including the IFOM®.

How have AMBOSS students done on the IFOM previously?


We regularly receive numerous emails and messages from students from all over the world, telling us about how AMBOSS helped prepare them for the IFOM® exams and how it was a big factor in their success. We cannot possibly publish all those messages and experiences. However, we have documented one student’s experience and quotes from a few other students’ experiences here. Please feel free to take a look. Or simply, ask any student in your university that may have recently given their IFOM® exam with AMBOSS. We are sure that they would definitely have a positive experience to share with you.

If you want to say hi or if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at hello@amboss.com