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What is Part I?

Part I tests six basic sciences areas:

  • General Anatomy
  • Spinal Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Chemistry
  • Pathology
  • Microbiology

Each test has 90 standard multiple-choice questions, 80 of which are scored. The 10 non-scored questions are used for diagnostic purposes. Each Part I subject is allotted 75 minutes of testing time, with a 20-minute break between subjects.

Please see this page for information about how the NBCE will be modifying this exam in 2019.

Who can take Part I?
What topics are included in Part I?

The NBCE develops every exam based on a test plan. The detailed Part I test plan includes topics, subtopics, and weightings (the percentage of the test devoted to each topic).

Does the NBCE publish a list of books to help me prepare?

The NBCE uses reference texts from the chiropractic colleges. See the list of Part I reference texts.

Can I see sample questions?

The NBCE offers sample tests for each Part I subject. Each sample test contains 50 questions and costs $15.

What can I expect at the test site?

The NBCE is committed to exam security. The only items you are allowed to bring into the testing area are two forms of ID and a key to your car. (NO remote keyless entry devices are allowed.) Please review the complete list of test site rules before you arrive to take your test.

Where can I take Part I?

The NBCE offers Part I at chiropractic colleges across the country. Some test sites offer the option of computer-based testing. You can select a test site when you apply. See the list of accredited test sites, along with other eligible colleges.