NMC conducts tests of competence

The NMC conducts tests of competence to check the professional capacity of every applicant to work independently without errors and within the time frame with utmost care patient safety and personal safety.

There are only two tests of competence conducted by the NMC:

1) CBT (Computer Based Test)

The NMC CBT is a multiple-choice test and can be taken at any of the Pearson VUE test centers available in most countries around the world. Candidates will be given a short tutorial on how to use the computer before starting the examination.

The CBT comprises of 120 multiple-choice questions. All questions are scored as correct or incorrect and there is no partial credit. The time limit for direct testing is four hours and this includes any breaks from testing, which are optional. To be successful in CBT an applicant should qualify the test with 68%. We provide organized NMC CBT preparatory materials for all the candidates enrolled with us.

The NMC has taken continuous steps in reducing the CBT fee. The latest fee is £83 with effect from 7th October 2019.

2) OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination)

It is the second test of competence conducted by NMC UK, where the examiners are putting the nurses to rigorous scrutiny to test their practical ability covering every aspect of their core field (Nursing). Most of the NHS trust hospitals in the UK would have dedicated OSCE training division with ample amenities like simulators, lab, mannequins, and instruments almost replicating an OSCE test center, to enable the nurses to learn and practice and acclimatize about the test.

Hospitals will also have trainers and training support staff to ensure every Pre-registered nurse is clear and confident to appear in the OSCE. They will also have syllabus & a pre-planned curriculum typically focusing on the OSCE preparations.

There are only 3 OSCE test centers in the whole UK.  They are:

  • Oxford Brookes University.

  • The University of Northampton.

  • Ulster University, Northern Ireland.


OSCE is conducted in two phases in two days. Each phase would last around 5 hours. Every examinee should qualify both the phases. The cost of the OSCE examination is £794 which is funded by the hospitals in general. The results would be published in 3 days after OSCE. If a candidate fails in any one of the phases, the candidate can opt to reappear that particular phase as early as 10 days after the results by paying a re-sit fee of £397 only.

On successful completion of OSCE, the candidate can go ahead with the final step in the registration process with the NMC. The candidate will be issued with NMC pin number and thereby enters the NMC’s register. As a registered nurse the candidate is entitled to band 5 payment as per the NHS payment structure.

We have a dedicated CBT and OSCE, study group. Click on the link to join.

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