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What is Part III?

Part III tests nine clinical areas:

  • Case History
  • Physical Examination
  • Neuromusculoskeletal Examination
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Clinical Laboratory and Special Studies
  • Diagnosis or Clinical Impression
  • Chiropractic Techniques
  • Supportive Interventions
  • Case Management

Part III consists of two sections, with a total of 110 standard multiple-choice questions and 10 case vignettes, broken down as follows:

  • Each section has 55 standard multiple-choice questions, plus five case vignettes.
  • Each of the five case vignettes contains three extended multiple-choice questions.
  • Each extended multiple-choice question requires three answers.

Each section is allotted two hours of testing time, with a 20-minute break between sections.

Who can take Part III?
  • Your coursework must be at an eligible chiropractic college.
  • You must have completed NBCE Part I.
  • You must be within nine months of graduation before the administration of Part III.
  • Your registrar must approve your application.
  • The NBCE withholds release of official Part III transcripts until you have passed Part II.

See additional eligibility requirements if you have graduated, or are retaking Part III.

What topics are included in Part III?

The NBCE develops every exam based on a test plan. The detailed Part III 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 Part III reference text list.
Can I see sample questions?
The NBCE offers a sample test for Part III. The sample test contains 69 questions and costs $20.
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 additional test site rules before you arrive to take your test.
What time is my test?

Part III exams are offered in March, June, September and October. (See the scheduled administration dates.) The March and September administrations offer both paper-and-pencil and computer-based formats. The June and October administrations offer the computer-based format only. Scheduling options vary depending on the format you choose. (See the paper-and-pencil and computer-based schedules.)

Where can I take Part III?

The NBCE offers Part III at chiropractic colleges across the country. Some test sites offer the option of computer-based tests. You can select a test site when you apply. See the compete list of test sites.