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Office of Medical Education - IT - NBME - Computer Based Testing

NBME Shelf On-Line Computer Testing

Zoom, Camera, and Microphone Requirements --

  • Please ensure that Zoom is installed and updated on your laptop prior to the exam (https://zoom.us/download)
  • A working camera and Microphone are required for taking Shelf Exams Online

Prior to the testing date, download and perform the Workstation Certification Test on your computer you'll be testing on by visiting:


and downloading the secure browser. Click on Workstation Certification, and the Examinee Personal Laptop Certification Link.

Here you will find more in depth information about common known issues to avoid and how to resolve prior to completing the Workstation Certification and on the exam day.


Windows Troubleshooting

  • Please disable Windows Defender.  The newest update causes problems with NBME
  • Windows 10 users: Please disable the SmartScreen filter.
  • Please disable any type of Web-camera enabling software (see below)

Disable Windows Defender:

Turn Windows Defender real-time protection on or off

Select the Start button, then select Settings > Update & Security.
Select Windows Defender, then turn Real-time protection on or off.

Disable SmartScreen


Mac Troubleshooting

Mac Users  

Please quit all applications, including the browser after you’ve downloaded the Secure Browser from the NBME site.  You will need to do this prior to every exam.

We have developed a program which will, in most cases, close all of your applications (including Dropbox and Google Drive).  You can download and run the program here:



  • Unzip the program
  • Run from your downloads folder.

Uninstall GoPro (if on your machine) -- GoPro runs persistently and is not easily disabled.

  • Remove and Delete the GoPro application
  • Restart your machine

Quitting Image Capture Extension

The most common known issue is a process running that the NBME thinks is capturing images is called Image Capture Extension. Below are the steps to resolve the Image Capture Extension or Screen Caputer process.

1. Run the Activity Monitor application located in your Applications folder inside the Utilities folder, or search spotlight and type in Activity Monitor and press Return.


2. Look for Image Capture Extension or ScreenCapture in the list of process names.


3. If found running, use the force quit feature in Activity Monitor to end the process (the X icon in the upper left of the monitor)



**Check to ensure that Image Capture Extension is no longer running


4. Launch the secure browser

secure browser image


These instructions were modified from Texas A&M (https://medicine.tamhsc.edu/oat/nbme/nbme-common-issues.html)