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NBME Surgery Shelf Exam Review Questions and Practice Tests

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  • Customize practice tests by subject
  • Track your progress with advanced analytics and reports
  • Timed option to simulate real test conditions
  • Compare your progress against the national average

“This Q-bank is awesome. When I used this bank for the first time, I said to myself 'oh wow' because I was missing little bits and pieces which I filled in with BoardVitals. These questions are hard but very similar to questions on NBME exams. I would strongly recommend BoardVitals for everyone who is studying for Step 1, 2, 3 and shelf exams. I used this bank for Step 1, and right now I'm using it for Step 2 and for my upcoming Internal Medicine shelf exam.”

Nadia Badar
Medical Student

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Surgery Shelf Exam Board Review Topics Covered:

  • Vascular
  • Breast
  • Alimentary Tract
  • Abdomen
  • Surgical Critical Care
  • Applied Science
  • Miscellaneous Topics
  • Transplantation
  • Surgical Specialties
  • Skin and Soft Tissue
  • Trauma
  • Endoscopy
  • Pediatric Surgery

About the NBME Surgery Shelf Exam (Subject Exam)

As outlined by the NBME, the Subject Exams are designed to provide institutions with effective evaluation tools and useful examinee performance data that can be compared with a large representative group of examinees at the same stage of training.

What content is covered on the Surgery Shelf Exam?

According to the NBME Clinical Science: Surgery content outline, the following topics are covered on the exam:

System

  • Immune System 1%–5%
  • Blood & Lymphoreticular System 5%–10%
  • Nervous System & Special Senses 5%–10%
  • Skin & Subcutaneous Tissue 1%–5%
  • Musculoskeletal System 3%–7%
  • Cardiovascular System 10%–15%
  • Respiratory System 8%–12%
  • Gastrointestinal System 20%–25%
  • Renal & Urinary System 3%–7%
  • Female Reproductive System & Breast 3%–7%
  • Male Reproductive System 1%–5%
  • Endocrine System 3%–7%
  • Multisystem Processes & Disorders 5%–10%
  • Social Sciences 1%–5%
    • Medical ethics and jurisprudence
    • Issues related to death and dying and palliative care

Physician Task

  • Applying Foundational Science Concepts 8%–12%
  • Diagnosis: Knowledge Pertaining to History, Exam, Diagnostic Studies, & Patient Outcomes 50%–60%
  • Health Maintenance, Pharmacotherapy, Intervention & Management 30%–35%

What question formats are on the Surgery Shelf Exam?

As outlined in the NBME Guide to the Subject Examination Program, the following question formats will be on the exam:

Application of Knowledge

This exam will have an increased emphasis on the application of knowledge instead of the recall of isolated facts.

Vignettes

Questions are framed in the context of clinical vignettes.

Single-best-answer (A-type)

This is the most widely used MCQ format. Each question is comprised of a focused item stem (e.g., a clinical vignette) and a lead-in question, followed by a series of options with one correct answer for each item.

Extended Matching (R-type)

These questions are organized into sets that use one list of options for all items in the set. Examinees must select one best answer.

NBME Surgery Shelf Exam Prep and Readiness

Surgery Shelf practice questions are a great way to make sure you’re ready for the exam, especially if you’re scoring higher than your peers. We make sure that every question tracks how well others are doing so that you make sure you meet the percentile threshold. We also offer a pass guarantee on all of our shelf exam question banks.

Surgery in general is not a harder exam than the other shelf exams. Like many of the shelf exams, there is an emphasis on ‘next best’ questions... focus a portion of your study time on the next best action to take. Several of the physicians we interviewed indicated that it was their easiest exam. It’s 100 MCQ, and you’re given 130 minutes, so you’ll need to move quickly, and a couple of physicians ran out of time in the process.

If you need any help, feel free to reach out us.

View all of our NBME Shelf Exam Prep Offerings here.