All You Need to Know About CBT Exam

From late 2014, nurses and midwives trained outside the European Economic Area who are seeking UK registration must pass the NMC test of competence. The test of competence consists of two parts. Part 1 is a computer-based test (CBT). The CBT exam is multiple choice and can be taken at a Pearson VUE test center available in most countries around the world. 

Part 2 is a nursing or midwifery objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) – a practical nursing or midwifery examination. The OSCE can only be sat after successfully passing the CBT and is only available in the UK at a designated test center. This blog covers all the major points which you need to know about CBT exam for nurses.


  • CBT Exam Pattern
  • CBT Exam Tests Covers
  • Time For CBT Exam
  • Countries
  • CBT Exam Results
  • CBT Exam Preparation
  • Apply for CBT Exam
  • Advice for CBT Exam
  • CBT Exam Series Codes
  • CBT Passing Standards
  • CBT Current Passing Rates
  • Number of Attempts
  • FAQs

CBT Exam Pattern

The CBT is made up of 120 multiple choice questions (MCQs) to test your ability and knowledge to practice nursing safely in the UK. 
50 questions will relate to generic nursing competencies found in each domain of nursing. 
50 questions will be the application of generic nursing competencies to the specific field of nursing being applied for, for example, adult, child, learning disability or mental health nursing. 
20 questions will focus solely on the specific competencies required for the field of nursing being applied for. 

CBT Exam Tests Covers

CBT exam will test you on the following areas: 

 –  Professional values
 – Communication and interpersonal skills
 – Nursing practice and decision making
 – Leadership, management & teamwork

Time For CBT Exam

The questions on the CBT exam must be completed in a maximum of four hours for 120 MCQs. 


CBT exam is conducted in more than 180 countries:

  – Pakistan
  – India
  – Egypt
  – Gambia
  – Dubai
  – Nigeria
  – Senegal
  – Bangladesh
  – Afghanistan
  – Ghana
  – Kenya
  – Lebanon
  – South Africa
  – Uganda
  – Sri Lanka
  – Tanzania

And many other countries. And if you are welling for online CBT Exam then you can visit here.

CBT Exam Results

After 48 hours of taking the exam, you will receive an email from the NMC that will notify you whether you passed or failed the exam. You can also obtain your results by logging in to your Pearson Vue account which you created when you booked your exam. 

Apply for CBT Exam

Nurses seeking registration in the UK should ensure they have read and understand the requirements for registering as a nurse in the UK before starting the application process. Once the NMC has told you that you need to take the test of competence, you can book your CBT Exam here.  

Advice for CBT Exam

Some great advice when you answer questions on the CBT Exam 
Spend less than 2 minutes on each question to ensure you get through the exam 
Select the answer you feel is “most correct” if multiple answers seem to work 
If you are unsure of an answer, leave it and return back to it at the end when you have more time to focus on it. 
Make sure your answers are based on UK practices rather than practices from your home country. 

CBT Exam Series Codes

A full list of CBT exam series codes are provided below:

– Registered Adult Nurse: NMC_RNA
– Registered Children’s Nurse: NMC_RNC
– Registered Mental Health Nurse: NMC_RNMH
– Registered Learning Disabilities Nurse: NMC_RNLD
– Registered Midwife: NMC_RM
– Registered Nursing Associate: NAR

CBT Passing Standards

The differences between the overall pass marks for the separate CBT exams reflect the difference in the difficulty of individual questions within the exam.
No exam is easier or harder to pass and all exams are benchmarked against the same expected performance of nurses and midwives at the point of entry to the UK register who can demonstrate safe and effective practice.

CBT Current Passing Rates

– Adult nursing = 68%
– Mental health nursing = 72%
– Learning and disability nursing = 71%
– Children’s nursing = 71%
– Midwifery = 63%

Number of Attempts 

You may sit the CBT for three times as part of one application, with a minimum of 10 days between each sitting. If you are unsuccessful after your permitted attempts, your application will close. You’ll be required to submit a new application and will not be able to sit the CBT again for a minimum of six months.


Q: If test center closes? 

If you are impacted by a test center closure, you will receive an email with information on how to reschedule your exam.
Be sure to keep your email address up to date in your account profile.

Q: If fails in CBT exam?

The NMC will allow you to take the CBT exam a maximum of three times as part of your registration application. However, you’ll need to wait at least 10 days between each exam sitting. 
If you are unsuccessful after your permitted attempts, your application will close. You’ll be required to submit a new application and will not be able to sit the CBT again for a minimum of six months. 

Q: If have an issue on test day? 

Please inform the test administrator as soon as the issue occurs. A case will be filed, with most cases investigated and resolved within 3-5 business days.

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