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FAQs on the NMC’s CBT Exam

FAQs on the NMC’s CBT Exam

Jul 9, 2020.

Part of the registration process for an international nurse to work within the NHS, is passing the NMC’s ‘Competence Based Test’. The purpose of the CBT exam is to ensure the nurse has the right knowledge and skills to practise safely and effectively!

In this post, we answer everything you need to know, helping you to get one step closer to your new life in the UK!

What is the Competence Based Test?

The competence based test, also known as the CBT test is a 120 multiple-choice online question exam set by the NMC to test your ability and knowledge to practice nursing safely in the UK.

Where can I sit the CBT Exam?

The exam is available in most countries around the world and it must be sat a Pearson VUE Test Centre.

How much is the CBT Exam?

The cost of the CBT test is £83.

Where can I book the CBT Exam?

Before you can book your CBT exam, you must register with the NMC to find out if your qualifications are eligible for registration. Once the NMC has confirmed this, you must book your CBT exam here.

How long does the exam last for?

The exam lasts for 4 hours to give you enough time to read the question, re-read, answer with confidence and then double check your answers before you submit the exam paper.

What will the CBT exam test me on?

To practice nursing in the UK, you must have excellent knowledge of both the health needs of patients as well has how professional practice works within the UK. The CBT exam includes items written at a variety of different cognitive levels which are designed to test your knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation of professional nursing and midwifery practice.

In the UK, nursing is organised by four distinct fields of practice: Adult Nursing, Children’s Nursing, Learning Disabilities Nursing and Mental Health Nursing. Depending on what area of nursing you specailise in, you’ll be tested against a specific CBT and you should only sit the CBT of the field of practice in which you are seeking UK registration.

Your CBT exam will be structured as:

Part A: Numeracy – 15 marks in 30 minutes

Part B: Theory – 100 marks in 2 hours and 30 minutes

Typically, your examination will test you on the following areas:

  • Professional values
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Nursing practice and decision making
  • Leadership, management and team working
  • Specific nursing field competencies

Click here to read the NMC’s Code of Practice.

Good luck!

When will I receive my test results?

Your results will be available after 48 hours. You can check your Pearson Vue Account to see your results.

Your result will be either a pass or a fail and this is governed by an overall pass mark.

To find out the steps you need to take after you have passed your CBT exam, have a read of our blog post on how to obtain full NMC Registration!

Can I re-sit my CBT exam?

The NMC will allow you to take a maximum of three attempts as part of your registration application. However, you’ll need to wait at least 10 days between each sitting. If you unfortunately, fail on your third attempt, your application will close and you’ll need to start a new application if you would like to continue with your registration.

ID Medical can help you with your journey to the UK!

ID Medical works with 90% of NHS Trusts, helping international nurses secure their dream NHS post. We can support with:

At ID Medical, we’ll be here to support you throughout every single step of the way.


Register with ID Medical today by hitting this button!