Nursing & Midwifery Council Computer Based Test
Exams in all their forms have the ability to paralyse us with anxiety, fear and uncertainty. The higher the stakes, the higher the experienced anxiety. To be able to progress with your NMC registration, the CBT must be passed. It is this that causes unnecessary pressure and may hamper our chances of success.
The aim of this article therefore is to help you take control. All the resources you will need are available in abundance using the NMC as a resource and the Test of Competence Blueprint. The NMC registration process is admittedly complex, but it is not an impenetrable barrier. Most candidates pass this, and so will you.
Where to start? Before you book your NMC CBT, please make sure you will have enough time to study and prepare before the exam day. You can reschedule your exam up to 24 hours prior to your exam. If you feel you need more time to prepare – reschedule. Don’t risk failing because of a lack of preparation. To understand the CBT it is important to understand the NMC’s revised code of practice. The majority of questions in the CBT has the code integrated right into it. You must understand The Code completely and be able to implement this into your reasoning when going through and studying the four domains. These are: Professional Values, Communication Skills, Nursing Practice and Decision Making, and Leadership, Management and Team working.
You will do yourself a great favor by understanding the NMC’s code. Many questions in the CBT has this as a basis of each question. One may deduct that the NMC is testing your ability to integrate the code for nursing practice in the answer you select. When you sit the CBT, you will understand the value, as their may be many questions that you will instantly recognize because you have studied the Code.
Nursing blogs and forums are another place where you can get an idea about the CBT. But I would almost hesitate to dabble here. Some members who have done the test already may mislead you, or create unnecessary panic by saying it was difficult or the like. Your success depends on your preparation and nothing else. There are also other websites that provide specialist information and courses on the CBT. These are usually at quite a high cost, so the choice is yours. MMA provides ample guidance with regards to the CBT. We will share our compilation of Q&A’s with us, when you register on our site. It is part of our UK Nursing Programme, so be sure to let us help you.
Regardless of which method you choose, there is no such thing as an easy way to pass this test. You must prepare and prepare well. Besides the Code, another area which is quite simple to get your proficiency up and increase your chances are medication calculations. There are a number of questions about medication calculations. You will have to have your wits about you during the exam. These are easy points if you are prepared, and a disaster if you are not – since medication calculations are critical questions. Selecting the wrong answer here may make you fail even if you did well in the rest of the test. Since medication calculations are not hard, and part of your daily functions and workflow as a nurse, you should know them by heart.
Depending on your learning style, working and family circumstances, these factors will influence how much time you will have to put into preparation. Many sites site 6 – 8 weeks, and I believe this to be an accurate time-frame for most candidates. When preparing, it is not necessary per se to memorize each fact by heart. Besides that it would be almost impossible, this is not the point. Remember, you are already a registered nurse with experience. You are not a complete newbie to nursing, so you should have confidence in your own abilities as well. Reading and concentrating through the work (by following the links on the blueprint and saving the pdf’s) will give you more than enough leverage and self confidence to take on the CBT. In my experience (and strictly my experience) I did not perceive the CBT to be difficult. I did not feel that they were out to trick me in any way. Most of the questions were straight forward – straight forward in context of the amount of preparation that you put into it. It will be difficult if you are not suitably prepared. Since your career and aspirations to work in the UK pivot on this important exam, it requires a serious and thorough approach. Some of the work you may encounter may be completely new to you, as the UK has its own laws and regulations pertaining to healthcare. Since you will be working in such an environment it is important that you are familiar with the different acts (i.e. Mental Health Act). Dementia is very important – as populations in the world become older and live longer, dementia is an integral part of nursing care. And since many of the patients you will work with in the future will fall into the geriatric category, it is important that you cover all aspects of this. Read all questions carefully. Your IELTS academic training will be useful here. Differentiate between singular and plural. If questions state a singular answer, dont select one with a plural answer. The approach to any Multiple Choice Exam (MCE) is to read what they ask and choose the best answer. Sometimes if you are not sure of the answer straight away, but reading all answers and understanding them – some logical deduction can make the difference between choosing the right answer instead of the wrong one.
I hope this sheds some light on what you previously may have perceived as mission impossible. It is not impossible at all. Do your part, and the rest falls into place perfectly. Good luck!