Part III

Exam Changes to be Implemented - August 2024

NBCE announces changes to the Parts I, II, III, and Physiotherapy exam to begin in August 2024. Click here for new exam schedule information.

Part III with Diagnostic Imaging Interpretation

The NBCE Part III examination with DXI is composed of three types of test items;

– Traditional multiple-choice (TMCQ), 80 questions

– Extended multiple-choice cases (EMCQ), 20 cases

– Diagnostic imaging interpretation (DXI), 30 imaging sets

TMCQ items consist of one question followed by four potential answers, one of which is correct. EMCQ items provide case information of a patient, followed by a question with five answer choices, two of which are correct.

Each item of the DXI portion of the exam consists of images followed by one question with four possible answers, one of which is correct. The DXI portion of the exam tests the examinee’s ability to interpret diagnostic images, and comprises approximately 20% of the exam content.

The content mapping for the Part III test plan is divided into two sections; the first portion of the test plan covers the TMCQ and EMCQ items. The second portion of the test plan covers content only included in the DXI portion of the exam. (Content categories outlined in the blue box).

Administration of the test is divided into two sessions, and the three types of items are equally divided between the first half and second half of the exam. Each session is allotted 120 minutes with an optional 15-minute break between sessions. Testing appointments are 4.5 hours.

The NBCE Part III Exam:

There are two versions of the exam:

You will automatically be assigned the version of Part III you are eligible for when you apply. 

  • When you see V2PT3 on your application – you will take the version outlined on this page (with DXI).


Part III with Diagnostic Imaging Interpretation (DXI)

Traditional multiple-choice (TMCQ) and Extended multiple-choice cases (EMCQ) cover nine clinical content categories (80%):

  • Case History
  • Physical Examination
  • Neuromusculoskeletal Examination
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Clinical Laboratory and Special Studies
  • Diagnosis or Clinical Impression
  • Chiropractic Techniques
  • Supportive Interventions
  • Case Management

The Diagnostic Imaging Interpretation (DXI) section is comprised of six categories (20%):

  • Arthritic Disorders
  • Congenital Anomalies and Skeletal Variants
  • Trauma
  • Tumors and Tumor-like processes
  • Miscellaneous Osteoarticular
  • Soft Tissue

Who Can Take Part III?

  • Your coursework must be at an eligible chiropractic college.
  • You must have completed NBCE Part I.
  • You must be within nine months of graduation before the administration of Part III.
  • Your registrar must approve your application.

See additional eligibility requirements if you have graduated, or are retaking Part III.


Topics, Sample Items, and Reference Texts

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

The NBCE uses reference texts from the chiropractic colleges for the Part III Exam. See a comprehensive list by clicking on one of the links below.

The NBCE offers Sample Items for the Part III Examination with Diagnostic Imaging Interpretation. Click here for an example of a Traditional Multiple-Choice (TMCQ), Extended Multiple-Choice Case (EMCQ), and Diagnostic Imaging Interpretation (DXI) question.


Part III Links with Diagnostic Imaging Interpretation Links (DXI):

Part III with DXI Reference Text List

Part III with DXI Test Plan

Part III with DXI Sample Items


Test Sites And Test Site Rules

The NBCE offers Part III 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.

NOTE: If you schedule both the Part III and PHT exams the same day at a Prometric Test Center, be mindful of scheduling overlapping appointments. You are responsible for allowing enough time to complete the first exam, then register for the next exam. If you fail to register on time for the second exam, NBCE and Prometric are not responsible for rescheduling or refunding your fee due to overlapping appointments.

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 additional Test Site Rules before you arrive to take your test.

Exam Administration Dates

Dates & Deadlines Through July 2024 (PDF)

Dates & Deadlines Effective August 2024 (PDF)

Administration Dates Application Deadline
JULY 20-21, 2024 June 20, 2024
5PM (MT)
AUG 10-25, 2024 16 days prior to the scheduled test date
SEP 14-29, 2024 16 days prior to the scheduled test date
OCT 12-27, 204 16 days prior to the scheduled test date


What Is A Passing Score For Part III?

A passing score of at least 375 is required for the Part III Examination. Most states require or accept the Part III Examination in lieu of a state-level written clinical competency examination. For current information on state regulations pertaining to Part III scores, you must contact the licensing board of the state(s) in which you plan to practice.



Part III $710


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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