NMC Test of competence

NMC Test of Competence


Part One Header

Passing the NMC test of competence is an important part of your UK nursing registration process. The nursing Part 1 Computer Based Test (CBT)  is made up of two parts. Part A Numeracy, which consists of 15 Numeracy questions, Part B Clinical, which consists of 100 multiple choice questions. The candidate must pass both parts of the CBT, to obtain the completion certificate or confirmation from the NMC. In total the CBT test will last 3 hours, 30 minutes for the Part A Numeracy and 2 hours, 30 minutes for the 100 clinical questions.

We have comprehensive online CBT training with multiple opportunities to practice mock tests. We have considered the CBT test requirement carefully and put together this online CBT course with a 20-day study guide for you.

Free NMC CBT Test Access

NMC CBT Training Full Course Access

CBT Preparation Guide for Adult (General) Nursing

This guide doesn’t guarantee you passing the test however, how well you prepare depends on the individual candidate. The Part 1 test questions may vary in order to check your clinical knowledge, skills and experience. This reference guide only gives you suggestions and some important documents to refer to.

The Royal Marsden Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures book will be a starting point for every overseas nurse. By reading the initial few chapters it will help the candidate to understand UK nursing and health care practices. If you are taking the Part 1 test of competence for UK nursing registration, you have to think in a UK nursing & health care format. You have to understand the UK health care language, standards, policies etc. The Royal Marsden Manual contains these basic aspects for you to follow and interpret.

The important Chapters to read in this book are;

  1. Managing the Patient Journey
  2. Supporting the Patient Through the Diagnostic Process
  3. Supporting the Patient Through Treatment
  4. Overall Chapters 1, 2,3 & 4
  5. Refer and Read
  6. NMC Registration Guide for Part 1 Test
  7. Registering as a Nurse or Midwife from Outside EU
  8. NMC Standards Guidance
  9. NMC the Code for Nurses
  10. The NMC Nursing Blue Print
  11. Adult Nursing Field Specific Competencies

The Royal Marsden Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures 9th Professional Edition – This book will be a good start to understand the UK nursing system.

Other topics to focus on;

  1. Safeguarding Children and the Elderly
  2. Medication Management
  3. Obtaining Consent
  4. Infection Control
  5. Care for Patients with Dementia or Dementia care


Always keep in mind that you need not memorise everything. As long as you get yourself familiarised with UK practices, prepare well, you will put yourself in a better position to pass the test. The key is to be able to read all that is needed and not to overload yourself with information that is irrelevant. This test only contains 120 questions and you cannot expect everything to appear in there. Most questions are situational.

The book that we would recommend is The Royal Marsden Hospital Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures. All the UK standards and policies when it comes to clinical procedures for nurses are in this book. It is also difficult to suggest that you read a particular book to understand the disease concept or pathophysiology and its treatment. However as an adult nurse you are expected to have basic knowledge on well known disorders, their signs and symptoms, treatment and nursing action e.g. In Renal System Acute Kidney Failure; in the gastro intestinal system the laparotomy wound due to adhesions.

The nursing Part 1 Computer Based Test (CBT)  is made up of two parts. Part A Numeracy, which consists of 15 Numeracy questions,  Part B Clinical, which consists of 100 multiple choice questions. The candidate must pass both parts of the CBT to obtain the completion certificate or confirmation from NMC. The total CBT test time will 3 hours, 30 minutes for the Part A Numeracy and 2 hours, 30 minutes for the 100 clinical questions.

Make sure that when you answer, you base it on the UK standards and policies that you have read and not from your home country’s standards which can get a bit tricky because that is what you are used to. When it comes to pharmacology, you need to know your basics, how to manage IV and simple calculations, this will be enough. Pathophysiology may not be there but the focus is more on the nursing interventions for certain types of conditions.

Please refer to NMC website for the up to date information

There is always a saying that if you prepare well, you will not fail. Use the right resources and have a structured plan to study. Don’t just rely on the sample questions from your colleagues, this will not prepare you to write/choose the appropriate answer.

Once overseas applicants have passed the online eligibility assessment, they sit the CBT. The CBT tests their theoretical and practice-based knowledge. Applicants book the test directly with Pearson VUE, the NMC’s independent CBT provider, at a test centre in their country of residence.

One of the main mistakes is not knowing the UK standards of nursing practice, secondly not knowing what resources to refer to and thirdly not giving enough time for test preparation.

Yes, this may relieve your anxiety related to what to expect on the exam date. However, the actual test questions may differ.


As you know face to face OSCE training and the OSCE online learning can help many nurses to prepare for the OSCE comprehensively, as OSCE is a practical test and you have to demonstrate skills and APIE scenarios within a given time. Every nurse is strongly advised to take appropriate training and coaching to pass their OSCE on the first attempt. Together with Health Skills Training Onsite Face to Face training and online OSCE training, you can greatly help yourself prepare for your OSCE test to the fullest potential and reduce your anxiety/stress that you may feel because of the OSCE test.

  • Online OSCE learning can act as an additional support to your face to face learning
  • You can start preparing for your OSCE in good time
  • You can access Online Learning wherever you are and know what to expect
  • Many nurses would need more time to prepare for their OSCE and online learning videos can act as an important resource to prepare at their own pace
  • You may want to self-learn and take the OSCE test without the face to face training. Online OSCE learning can be a good form of support in self-learning.
  • Some prefer to continue their learning by observing. Online OSCE learning can give you access to watch the stations being performed as many times as you want.
  • Health Skills Training Ltd OSCE Online Learning and face to face learning help you to prepare for your OSCE with perfection.
  • It can save your money and time

test can be very difficult for many nurses. If you are thinking of saving a few hundred pounds instead of getting quality training, you will end up spending more money and time on re-sits. Many will end up failing twice and either have to re-register or wait for another three months to take their re-test.
Health Skills Training has the most excellent experience in terms of preparing you well for your OSCE test.

We focus on the following areas for your OSCE

  1. Our training follows the NMC 10 station OSCE assessment approach
  2. You get to observe and learn the correct methods of OSCE through our detailed demonstrations. We demonstrate every station.
  3. You get to practice the OSCE stations in detail with the appropriate equipment
  4. We have a flexible approach towards training and have a learner-centred approach
  5. We provide direct feedback and identify areas for nurses to improve
  6. Many nurses struggle to perform under pressure or during the exam situation. We identify their challenges and give appropriate coaching and advice to overcome these challenges.
  7. Many nurses struggle to complete tasks in 15 minutes, this may be because of communication issues; not knowing how and where to focus; not knowing what and how to speak in the exam. However, we identify and fix these difficulties to speed up their procedure and show them how to complete each procedure under 15 minutes.
  8. We spend time on Care Plan writing and Transfer of Care letter writing. We then review nurse’s care plans and provide feedback.
  9. Our support doesn’t just end with training, we provide excellent aftercare and strongly advise each nurse to call us a few days before their test to have a final recap.

OSCE test preparation cannot be done at home or in an environment where you do not get expert help. You need an expert who has experience in OSCE training and assessment who can observe you when practicing and provide you with valuable feedback.
We have built our quality by being honest and direct to nurses when we provide them with feedback. We also tell nurses when they are ready for their test. We only advise nurses about additional training when absolutely necessary. 

Health Skills Training specialises in providing training for adult health OSCE, mental health OSCE and paediatric OSCE.

A detailed structured training will be provided and all candidates are supported until they pass their OSCE exam.

  1. The NMC OSCE is a thorough exam that requires major practice and training. Therefore you can assume the intensity of the assessment and preparation required for you to pass your OSCE
  2. International nurses should know the UK system of health care & nursing practice
  3. There is no room for minor errors
  4. Know the equipment well as many nurses struggle when the 15 minute clock starts.
  5. It is easy to pass your OSCE on the first attempt as on your second attempt your anxiety levels automatically will be higher. The appropriate training is a must to prepare well for your OSCE.

Health Skills Training can help you pass your OSCE. Why not give us a call to discuss your training needs.

Contact us via email info@healthskillstraining.com, office phone 0161 743 4626, mobile phone 07711 554472.
We provide Mental Health Nursing OSCE and Children Nursing OSCE (Paediatric) if nurses are specifically looking for this OSCE training. All the Skills and Scenarios required are covered in detail during training. Why not ring us to find out more 0161 743 4626 or 07711 554472

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B Kelly from USA
The training was great I feel much more prepared now than I did before recommend HST Ltd for their OSCE preparation.

G Moraes from India
BLS, Wound care and IM injections practice I enjoyed the most and recommend OSCE training for all.

J Eke from Nigeria
Trainer from HST Ltd was very knowledgeable and he built my confidence by demonstrating the right method and allowing us practice.

K Haynes from Australia
The process of what to expect and how to carry out the tasks was the most interesting thing I learned in the training.

N Perry from Australia
All steps of 6 workstation practice was interesting; I was fully stimulated all day to learn. I feel this day will be beneficial to my OSCE exam

E Perez
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