NBME Workstation Certification

A Secure Browser is required for a NBME web-based exam. The Secure Browser will only run on laptop/desktop computers running MacOS or Windows. It will not work on computers running Linux, or virtual machines.

There is now an iPad app for taking NBME exams. Go to the App Store and search for NBME Exam Delivery.

Examinees testing with personal laptops must download the Secure Browser and perform the Workstation Certification Test prior to test day following the steps below:

Step 1: Restart Computer

This will make sure that there are no lingering processes running on your computer that might interfere with certification.

Step 2: Run the Certification Test

  1. Delete any old versions of the Secure Browser from your computer.
  2. Go to http://wbt.nbme.org/exam and follow the on-screen instructions to download the Secure Browser.
  3. Launch the Secure Browser and click on the Test Compatibility button under the Workstation Certification icon.
  4. Click the Examinee Personal Laptop Certification link. The utility will test the laptop for compatibility with web-based testing.
  5. If the test is successful, you will be prompted to launch a sample exam as the final step. If you are able to complete the sample exam, you’re done and your computer should work on exam day!
  6. NOTE: Any software you install between when you certify and when you take your exam may cause your computer to fail certification. It is always safest to re-certify your computer before every exam. If your computer is not certified before exam day, you may not be able to take the exam on your scheduled exam date.

Step 3: Troubleshooting and Assistance

If the test is not successful, you will be prompted to bring your laptop to the Chief Proctor or Technical Staff. At this point, you should go through the troubleshooting process below, make sure that you have closed/disabled all the programs that may lead to a certification failure. Once you have closed all programs per the instructions below, try Step 2 again. If the test is still unsuccessful, DO NOT keep attempting. The maximum number of times that an examinee can fail the certification test is 3 times in 28 days. If certification doesn’t work after two attempts, you should contact technical support (see below).

Windows Troubleshooting

Disable Windows Defender
  1. Select Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security > Virus & threat protection > Manage settings (or Virus & threat protection settings in previous versions of Windows 10).
  2. Switch Real-time protection to Off.
Disable SmartScreen

How to disable Windows SmartScreen in Windows 10: https://winaero.com/blog/how-to-disable-windows-smartscreen-in-windows-10/

Close Programs Using Task Manager

Open the Task Manager by holding Ctrl+Shift+Esc or Ctrl+Alt+Delete to look for any suspicious programs. Select the program then click End Task to close the program.

Mac Troubleshooting

Uninstall GoPro

GoPro runs persistently and is not easily disabled. Remove and delete the GoPro application, then restart your machine.

Close Programs Using Activity Monitor

Press Command+Space to open the Spotlight, then search for Activity Monitor and open. Click the program you want to close then click Quit.

Technical Support Contact

If you are unable to successfully pass the certification check, please contact DOM IT (domhelp@uw.edu, 206-221-2459) for further assistance.