User guide - Creating a Qbank session


In the Qbank, there are a variety of ways to create study sessions from the thousands of questions on the AMBOSS platform. You can personalize your study sessions by organ, exam, symptom, difficulty, clinical subject, and more. This guide explains how to set up a study session that's tailored to you.

Create a session

To immediately start building your own Qbank session, hover over “Qbank” in the menu on the left and select “Create a Session.”

You'll see a number of options for starting your session:

  • “Exam Preparation” creates a study session for a Shelf/USMLE study objective.
  • “Custom Session” creates a study session according to your own personal preferences, using our filters.
  • “By Organ” creates a study session with all Qbank questions associated with a particular region or system.
  • “By Symptom” creates a study session with all Qbank questions associated with a particular symptom.
  • “Quick Session” allows you to create a random session based on the number of questions you want to answer or the approximate amount of time you want to spend on the session.

Exam Preparation

  • Here you can start a custom session specifically designed to prepare you for the individual Shelf or USMLE Step exams.
  • To simulate the USMLE testing environment, check the “Exam Simulation” box.

Custom Session

  • “Custom Session” allows you to create a personalized study session based on clinical subject, learning card, organ system, symptom, difficulty level, and number of times you have already seen the question in previous Qbank sessions.
  • In the lower right-hand corner, you can see the number of questions available based on your selected criteria.
  • To simulate the USMLE testing environment, check the “Exam Simulation” box.

You can combine the different filters! But be careful: The more filters you select, the fewer the questions will be available.

Clinical Subjects

  • Here you can select subjects based on the NBME guidelines. Click on the “Overview” button to see the subjects and select which ones you would like to study.

Learning Cards

  • When you select one or more learning cards, you restrict your custom session to the Qbank questions associated with the selected learning card(s).


As you answer questions in the Qbank, you can store specific questions in both predefined and custom folders. To do this, select the icon resembling three binders in the upper left-hand corner.

  • In the “Custom Session” section of the Qbank, you can select any of these folders as a filter for your current session. This is a good way to create sessions consisting of a particular style of question or group and retake sessions as you see fit.

You can also combine the “Folders” filter with other filter options!


  • If you'd only like to see questions that are relevant to a specific exam, e.g., USMLE Step 2 or the Shelf exam on surgery, you can indicate that here.

Organ Systems

  • Here you can refine your session to include all of the questions associated with a particular tissue, organ, or organ system (e.g., the vascular system or lungs).


  • Here you can filter sessions according to symptom and pathology.
  • Answering a number of questions on a specific symptom can help you to better internalize and differentiate between differential diagnoses.
  • Note that many questions are associated with multiple symptoms, and some questions aren't associated with any. Therefore, you might see the same question in multiple symptom filters, while some questions you may never see if this filter is turned on.

By Organ or By Symptom: the “Virtual Patient”

Here you can create a custom session filtered by organ system or symptom, using the 'Virtual Patient' to select specific regions or organ systems.

  • Hover over the region for which you would like to create a Qbank session. Click on the region to narrow your selection with the list on the right.
  • To remove a symptom or an organ from your selection, click the 'x' on the right.
  • The number of questions that are available for the filters you selected can be seen in the lower right-hand corner of the page.
  • You also have the option to further optimize your 'By Organ' and 'By Symptom' sessions by clicking “Custom Session” at the bottom of the selection page.

In the 'By Symptom' section, the multisystem filter allows you to create a session that also tests comorbidities, which helps you hone your differential diagnosis know-how.

Quick Session

A quick session is ideal if you have a limited amount of time to devote to a study session, would like to explore a broad range of Qbank questions, and/or want to get started quickly. You can select a specific number of questions (with the associated recommended time allotment), and you can also choose to filter by organ system.

  • Things to know about a quick session:
    • Quick sessions are designed to allow you to familiarize yourself simply and gradually with a subject area.
    • In the beginning, AMBOSS will only include questions from the Qbank that are not part of case studies.
    • If you begin to see the same questions, it means that you have already answered the majority of the available Qbank questions on the selected subject. For subjects with fewer questions (e.g., human genetics) this can happen very quickly.
    • If you do not select a subject, a random selection of questions will be generated from all subject areas.

Previous sessions

By hovering over “Qbank” with your cursor on the left side menu and clicking on “Previous Sessions,” you can see an overview of your past sessions.

  • The progress of these sessions can be visualized with the 'PROGRESS' bar. The bar starts out empty and fills with color as you complete the session. The color changes from pink to green based on the percentage of correct answers for that session.
  • To continue working on an unfinished session, click on the session name.

There are a series of buttons beside each previous session:

  • “Play” or triangle button: Takes you back to the question you were last working on in the session.
  • Analytics button: Takes you straight to an analysis of your performance in this specific session.
  • Repeat Qbank button: Starts the same session again.
  • Red repeat Qbank button: Starts the same session again, but only with the incorrectly answered questions.
  • Rename button: Allows you to rename the session. This is particularly useful if you create a lot of custom sessions!
  • Delete button: Removes the custom session from your overview and “Previous Sessions” list. Deleting a previous session will not, however, remove statistics related to this session from your analytics.

You can also hover over any of these buttons to see what they do.

last updated 03/14/2018
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