Part III

Status Update:

The Part III exam has been updated to include the Diagnostic Imaging Interpretation (DXI) domain, which was previously included in the Part IV exam. If you have already passed the Part IV exam with the Diagnostic Imaging (DIM) domain, you will be taking the Part III without  DXI.  Helpful hint: All Part IV exams prior to January 2022 include the DIM domain.

If you have not previously passed a Part IV exam, and do not plan to take the Part IV exam in 2021, you will be taking the Part III with DXI. Pease make sure you are referencing the correct test plan below. If you are still unsure which version of the Part III you will be eligible to take, please contact us. More details about this change to the Part III and Part IV exams are available here: https://www.nbce.org/pad/ 

Part III without Diagnostic Imaging Interpretation

Part III is a computer-based test, delivered on chiropractic college campuses.

Part III consists of two sessions, 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 session is allotted two hours of testing time, with an optional 15-minute break between sessions. Testing appointments are 4 hours and 30 minutes.

 

Part III with Diagnostic Imaging Interpretation

Available October 2021, the Part III Exam will be updated and includes diagnostic interpretation (DXI).

The UPDATED Part III Exam consists of two sessions, with a total of 80 traditional multiple-choice questions, 20 case-study vignettes, and 20 diagnostic imaging studies, broken down as follows:

  • Each session has 40 traditional multiple-choice questions, 10 case-study vignettes, and 10 diagnostic image sets.
  • Each traditional multiple-choice question consists of a question with four possible answers; only one of which is correct.
  • Each case-study vignette has one question with five possible answers; two of which are correct.
  • Each radiograph has two questions with four possible answers each, that require one correct answer per question.

Each session is allotted two hours of testing time, with an optional 15-minute break between sessions. Testing appointments are 4 hours and 30 minutes.

Part III without Diagnostic Imaging Interpretation 

Tests 9 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 with Diagnostic Imaging Interpretation (DXI)

Multiple-choice and Case-related questions cover nine clinical content categories:

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

The Diagnostic Imaging Interpretation (DXI) section is comprised of six categories:

  • Arthritic Disorders
  • Congenital Anomalies and Skeletal Variants
  • Trauma
  • Tumors and Tumor-like processes
  • Miscellaneous Osteoarticular
  • Soft Tissue

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.

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

 

Topics, Sample Questions, And Reference Texts

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

The NBCE offers a Sample Test for Part III.  The sample test contains 69 questions and costs $20.

The NBCE uses reference texts from the chiropractic colleges for the Part III Exam. See a comprehensive list by clicking on one of the links below.

 

Part III without Diagnostic Imaging Interpretation Links:

Part III Test Plan

Sample Test for Part III

Part III Reference Text List

 

Part III Links with Diagnostic Imaging Interpretation Links (DXI):

(Available October 2021 Exam)

Part III with DXI Test Plan

Part III with DXI Reference Text List

 

 

Test Sites And Test Site Rules

The NBCE offers Part III at chiropractic colleges and Prometric testing centers across the country. Each test site utilizes computer-based testing. You can select a test site when you apply. See the list of accredited Test Sites.

The NBCE is committed to exam security. The only item you are allowed to bring into the secure testing area is one form of ID. The NBCE will provide a place to store your car key (one key allowed). Please review the additional Test Site Rules before you arrive to take your test.

Exam Administration Dates

Dates & Deadlines (PDF)

Administration Dates Exams Offered
Mar. 27 OR Mar. 28, 2021 Part III and Physiotherapy
Jul. 17 OR Jul. 18, 2021 Part III and Physiotherapy
Oct. 16 OR Oct. 17, 2021 Part III with DXI and Physiotherapy

 

What Is A Passing Score For Part III?

The NBCE recommends a passing score of 375 for the Part III Examination. Most states require or accept the Part III Examination in lieu of a state-level written clinical competency examination. For current information on state regulations pertaining to Part III scores, you must contact the licensing board of the state(s) in which you plan to practice.

 

Fees

Part III $710

 

Withdraw / Reschedule

Prior to the published application deadlines, examinees may withdraw from or reschedule their Parts I, II, III, Physiotherapy computer-based exams using the Prometric scheduling tool. After published deadlines, you may not make any changes to your appointment and the NBCE will issue no refunds.

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