The NBME® Clinical Science Pediatrics Shelf Exam assesses a student’s ability to administer medical care to infants, children, and adolescents. It is typically taken during the third year of medical school, after the pediatrics clerkship. Success on the exam will depend on what is learned throughout the clerkship, both in the classroom and on the wards.
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Not all students have to take the NBME Pediatrics Shelf Exam, and it’s not obligatory for obtaining a U.S. doctor’s license. However, most medical schools have a required pediatrics clerkship, and the most popular way to test students is by using the NBME’s official Clinical Pediatrics Subject Examination. The exam can be taken on campus at select medical schools or at authorized testing locations, like Prometric test centers.
The Pediatrics Shelf exam is formatted as an online test consisting of 110 questions which must be answered in 165 minutes. It shares the same interface as the USMLE Step exams, with each question presented as a hypothetical clinical scenario. The exam is graded on a national average, though whether or not you pass your entire clerkship will depend on your individual medical school’s requirements. More specifically, the number of correct answers you get places you in a percentile, which is then measured across national grades.
Pediatrics features tricky topics: children and adolescents come with their own set of medical issues, and many of the rare conditions covered on the exam might not ever come up while on the wards. With that in mind, it’s best if students give themselves a head start and try to cover as much material as possible.
While students have long relied on traditional textbooks and resources for the exam, they are often too expansive and unwieldy to use when short on time. A more unified and condensed solution is available for more streamlined studying.
AMBOSS is both a clinical companion on the wards and a reliable study guide for your NBME® Clinical Pediatrics Shelf exam. Access pediatrics-specific Articles in the Library when you’re with patients or rounding with your team and thousands of practice questions in the Qbank that can help you study more in-depth (even offline—check out our mobile apps for Android and iOS).