Part I

What Is Part I

Part I is a computer-based test, delivered on chiropractic college campuses.

Each domain consists of 50 standard multiple-choice questions.

Part I is divided into three sessions; each session consists of two domains. Each domain is allotted 42 minutes with an optional 15-minute break after each session. Testing appointments are 5 hours.

Part I Tests Six Basic Science Areas (Domains):


  • General Anatomy
  • Spinal Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Chemistry
  • Pathology
  • Microbiology

Who Can Take Part I?


Topics, Sample Tests and Reference Texts

The NBCE develops every exam based on a test plan. The detailed Part I Test Plan includes topics, subtopics, and weightings (the percentage of the test devoted to each topic).

The NBCE uses reference texts from the chiropractic colleges. See the list of Part I Reference Texts.

The NBCE offers Sample Tests for each Part I subject. Each sample test contains 50 questions and costs $15. You will receive an overall score for the test, but will not see which questions were answered correctly/incorrectly.


Test Sites And Test Site Rules

The NBCE offers Part I at chiropractic colleges and Prometric testing centers across the country. Each test site utilizes computer-based testing. You can select a test site when you apply. See the list of accredited Test Sites.

The NBCE is committed to exam security. The only item you are allowed to bring into the secure testing area is one form of ID. The NBCE will provide a place to store your car key (one key allowed). Please review the complete list of Test Site Rules before you arrive to take your test.

Exam Administration Dates

Dates & Deadlines (PDF)

Administration Dates Application Deadline
Jan. 13 OR Jan. 14, 2024 December 14, 2023 – 5pm (MT)
Apr. 20 OR Apr. 21, 2024 March 21, 2024 – 5pm (MT)
Aug. 17 OR Aug. 18, 2024 July 18, 2024 – 5pm (MT)


What Is A Passing Score For Part I?

In order to achieve a passing score, you must demonstrate proficiency in each domain. The NBCE recommends a passing score of 375 for each domain of the Part I Examination.



Part I                                    $710

Individual Domains           $335


Withdraw / Reschedule

Prior to the published application deadlines, examinees may withdraw from or reschedule their Parts I, II, III, Physiotherapy computer-based exams using the Prometric scheduling tool. After published deadlines, you may not make any changes to your appointment and the NBCE will issue no refunds. I understand that I will not be refunded any of my exam fees if I change or cancel my testing appointment within 29 days of the first day of my scheduled testing weekend, or fail to appear for my exam.


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