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Exam Results

Passing Standards

The NPLEX Part I – Biomedical Science Examination

The NPLEX Part I – Biomedical Science Examination (BSE) is a single, integrated examination that is designed to test your knowledge of biological structure/function and disease/dysfunction. To pass the examination, you must be able to demonstrate concurrent1 competence in both general exam areas (GEAs)2: Structure/Function and Disease/Dysfunction. [Note: To pass both GEAs, you will have to demonstrate minimal competence in each of five specific exam areas (anatomy, biochemistry & genetics, physiology, microbiology & immunology, and pathology).]

The NPLEX Part II – Clinical Science Examinations

The NPLEX Part II – Core Clinical Science Examination (CCSE) is a single integrated examination that is designed to test your knowledge of diagnosis, treatment, and medical interventions. To pass the examination, you must be able to demonstrate concurrent3 competence in four general exam areas (GEAs)4: Diagnosis, Materia Medica, Other Modalities, and Medical Interventions. [Note: To pass all four GEAs, you will have to demonstrate minimal competence in each of nine specific exam areas (physical & clinical diagnosis, lab testing & diagnostic imaging, botanical medicine, homeopathy, nutrition, physical medicine, psychology, emergency medicine, and pharmacology).]

You have passed a Part II – Clinical Elective Examination (Acupuncture, Minor Surgery, and/or Elective Pharmacology) when you have achieved a minimum converted5 score of 75.

1  You must pass both general exam areas within the same exam administration in order to pass the examination (e.g., passing one general exam area in one exam administration and the other in another exam administration, does not constitute a passing result).

2  You have passed the Part I – Biomedical Science Examination when you have correctly answered at least the number of questions that NPLEX subject matter experts (licensed/registered N.D.s) have determined are required to demonstrate competence in each of the two general exam areas (NPLEX uses a modified Angoff method to set the passing score).

3  You must pass all four general exam areas within the same exam administration in order to pass the examination (e.g., passing two general exam areas in one exam administration and the other two in another exam administration, does not constitute a passing result).

4  You have passed the Part II – Core Clinical Science Examination when you have correctly answered at least the number of questions that NPLEX subject matter experts (licensed/registered N.D.s) have determined are required to demonstrate competence in each of the four general exam areas (NPLEX uses a modified Angoff method to set the passing score).

5 A converted score of 75 is a scaled score that represents the minimum percentage of items you must answer correctly in order to pass the examination. It is not the percentage of correct answers. The actual percentage represented by a converted (scaled) score of 75 is usually in the range of 60-70%, depending on the difficulty of the particular examination.


Reporting of Exam Results

Approximately seven (7) weeks after the exam administration, you will be sent a report of your exam results by mail.

Exam results are the property of the examinee. NABNE serves as an unbiased repository of those results. Your exam results will not be released without your permission. To avoid possible misinterpretation and to protect your privacy, exam results will not be reported by telephone, fax, or e-mail.

Part I – Biomedical Science Exam Results

The report of your Part I – Biomedical Science Examination results will provide information regarding your overall passing status, and will include a visual scale that illustrates your performance in each of the two general exam areas, relative to the minimum percentage of items you must correctly answer to pass that general exam area.

  • Comprehensive Mastery indicates, with either a “P” (Pass) or “F” (Fail) designation, whether or not you have passed the NPLEX Part I – Biomedical Science Examination. You have passed the NPLEX Part I Biomedical Science Examination when you have achieved a “P” (Pass) in both of the two general exam areas:
    • Structure/Function, which reflects the result you achieved on the exam items that relate to anatomy, biochemistry & genetics, and physiology
    • Disease/Dysfunction, which reflects the result you achieved on the exam items that pertain to microbiology & immunology and pathology

If you fail the examination, your report will also provide a visual scale that illustrates the strength of your performance in each of the five specific exam areas relative to your performance in the other specific exam areas.

Part II – Clinical Science Exam Results

The report of your Part II – Core Clinical Science Examination results will provide information regarding your overall passing status, and will include a visual scale that illustrates your performance in each of the four general exam areas relative to the minimum percentage of items you must correctly answer to pass that general exam area.

  • Comprehensive Mastery indicates, with either a “P” (Pass) or “F” (Fail) designation, whether or not you have passed the NPLEX Part II – Core Clinical Science Examination. You have passed the NPLEX Part II – Core Clinical Science Examination when you have achieved a “P” (Pass) in all four general exam areas:
    • Diagnosis, which reflects the result you achieved on the exam items that relate to physical & clinical diagnosis, and lab testing & diagnostic imaging
    • Materia Medica, which reflects the result you achieved on the exam items that relate to botanical medicine and homeopathy
    • Other Modalities, which reflects the result you achieved on the exam items that relate to nutrition, physical medicine, and psychology
    • Medical Interventions, which reflects the result you achieved on the exam items that relate to emergency medicine and pharmacology

If you fail the examination, your report will also provide a visual scale that illustrates the strength of your performance in each of the nine specific exam areas relative to your performance in the other specific exam areas.

If you have taken any Part II – Clinical Elective Examination(s), the report you receive in the mail will include a section that shows  a “P” (Pass) or “F” (Fail) designation along with the converted score(s) you achieved.

NABNE will send this report of your CCSE exam results and your Acupuncture and Minor Surgery Examination scores (if you took either/both examinations) to the single regulatory you selected on your Part II – Clinical Science Examination Application. If you took the Elective Pharmacology Examination (EPE), your score on that examination will be sent to the regulatory authority you indicated only if that jurisdiction requires that you take the EPE. If, at a later date, the jurisdiction in which you are licensed requires the EPE, your score may be requested via the transcript process.

NABNE serves as an unbiased repository of your exam results. Your exam results will not be released without your permission. To avoid possible misinterpretation and to protect your privacy, exam results will not be reported to you by telephone, fax, or email.

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