Changes to the NBCE Microbiology Exam and the Chiropractic Practice Exam

The NBCE Board of Directors has approved the move of public health exam content from the Microbiology and Public Health examination in the basic sciences battery of exams (Part I) to the Chiropractic Practice examination of clinical sciences series of exams (Part II).  The new Microbiology exam will be administered with the September 2010 Written Examinations, while the changes to the Chiropractic Practice exam will be instated with the March 2011 administration.  This change increases the weighting of the public health content of the NBCE exams, a change made to better reflect current chiropractic educational and practice standards and is based on a recent Delphi study that elicited feedback from chiropractic colleges on their curriculum.

The new Microbiology test plan weightings are:

  • Immunology                                              23%
  • Bacteria                                                     20%
  • Viruses and prions                                     15%
  • Fungi                                                         10%
  • Parasites                                                    10%
  • Epidemiology and disease control             22%

The weightings of the Chiropractic Practice exam will be adjusted as follows:

  • Spinal analysis and patient evaluation     27%
  • Chiropractic adjustive technique               28%
  • Patient care                                              25%
  • Community health and wellness                11%
  • Occupational and environmental health     9%

These exam updates have been reported to academic officers and college presidents at recent meetings and college officials have expressed support for the change.  NBCE staff are now working to update reference texts and exam content for the revised exams. The NBCE web site and Examination Information Brochure will be updated soon.


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