NBME Workstation Certification

A Secure Browser is required for a NBME web-based exam. It does not require configuration or administrator rights to install. Examinees follow a few simple steps to run and then launch the Secure Browser on test day. It will detect if an examinee is running an application on their computer capable of recording exam content.

NOTE: The Secure Browser will only run on computers running MacOS or Windows. It will not work on iPads or tablets, computers running Linux, or virtual machines.

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

Step 1: Restart Computer

It is recommended to do a full restart before running this certification test (or taking an exam on exam day) to help ensure that all programs are closed. Common programs you should turn off include but not limited to:

  • Dropbox, Google Drive, or other cloud storage/sharing applications.
  • VPN applications such as Pulse, Cisco, etc.
  • Spotify, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media applications.
  • BetterSnapTool, Powershot, or other applications that modify system behavior.
  • Web camera applications such as YouCamTray, youcamservice, cam-helper, vcamsvc, webcamspliterserver, webcamservice, motioncontrol, lenovo motion control, etc.
  • Mac users need to quit the Image Capture Extension.

Turn off the firewall. Remember to turn it back on afterwards.

Turn off Bluetooth.

Step 2: Run the Certification Test

  1. Delete any old version of the Secure Browser from your computer.
  2. Go to http://wbt.nbme.org/exam and follow the on-screen instructions to run the Secure Browser.
  3. Select the Workstation Certification icon.
  4. Select 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

Please contact DOM IT (domhelp@uw.edu, 206-221-2459) for further assistance.