Test Accommodations


Reasonable and appropriate accommodations are provided in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for individuals with documented disabilities. The purpose of test accommodations is to provide access to the examination program. While presumably the use of accommodations will enable the individual to better demonstrate his/her knowledge or skill, accommodations are not a guarantee of improved performance, test completion, or a particular outcome.

The ADA defines disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities as compared to most people in the general population. Examples of major life activities include, but are not limited to, walking, seeing, hearing, and learning.

Determination of whether an individual is substantially limited in functioning as compared to most people is based on an individualized assessment of the current impact of the identified impairment. Supporting documentation is necessary to determine what, if any, accommodations are appropriate for the disabled individual in the examination setting and context. It is essential that supporting documentation provide a clear description of the functional impairment and a rationale for the requested accommodation that is relevant to the setting and context of the specific examination.

The following information is provided for examinees/candidates, evaluators, and others involved in the process of documenting a request for accommodations. Individuals requesting accommodations are welcome to share these guidelines with their evaluator, treating professional, and others so that appropriate documentation can be assembled to support the request.

Overview and Instructions to Request Test Accommodations:

  1. Read the Guidelines carefully. Share them with the professional who will be helping you prepare your documentation.
  2. Read the instructions for completing the Request for Test Accommodations form.
  3. Complete and sign the appropriate request form.
  4. If appropriate, have your medical school complete the Certification of Prior Test Accommodations form.
  5. Attach documentation of the disability and your need for accommodation.
    • Compare your documentation with the information listed in these guidelines to ensure a complete submission.
    • Incomplete documentation will delay processing of your request.
  6. Send your request for test accommodations and supporting documentation to the address noted on the form. If you choose to e-mail your request:
    • E-mail attachments must be PDFs for documents. Photographs of Personal Items may be in a file format for digital photos such as JPGs/JPEGs.
    • Maximum allowed file size is 15 MB (per total message including pdf attachments, body text, and any overhead such as header size).
    • Please be aware of outgoing e-mail restrictions on your server.
  7. NBME Disability Services will acknowledge receipt of your request by e-mail within a few business days of receiving your request for test accommodations. If you do not receive an acknowledgement within that timeframe, please contact Disability Services at 215-590-9700.


Test Accommodations:

Test accommodations include but are not limited to the following:

  • Assistance with keyboard tasks
  • Audio rendition
  • Extended testing time
  • Additional break time


All submitted disability related documentation is considered personal and confidential and is securely maintained. Access to such information is limited to those individuals responsible for processing and reviewing the documentation for the purpose of determining eligibility for test accommodations, including a professional review by experts in the appropriate area of disability. No information concerning a request for accommodations is released to a third party without a written request or consent from the individual, subject to any legal requirements to provide documents that NBME may have in its custody or control, and to the possible need to disclose such information to attorneys or other third parties in the event of any disputes relating to an accommodation decision.