Using Study Mode & Exam Mode

When starting a Qbank session, either through a Study Plan or the creation of a Custom Session, there are two different question modes: Study mode and Exam mode. Please note - Custom Study Plans don't offer Exam mode question sessions. 

Exam Mode

The Exam mode is designed in a way to simulate your exam. It has the same design and features that you have access to on the day of your USMLE/Shelf exam so that you get accustomed to the layout and where everything is located in advance. There are a number of simple features included in this mode designed to help you progress through the block. 

You can use Mark to save a question to review later. You can create a Qbank session in either Study or Exam mode using questions marked in this way.

Lab Values provides you with the NBME Laboratory Reference Values to assist you in deducing the correct answer, the same as you will find in Study Mode.

You can use Notes to take your own notes within each question. Selecting the Notes button will create a textbox in the bottom-right corner. 

Clicking Calculator will have one pop-up in the bottom-right of the screen, which you can use for any calculations you have to do during the block. 

Reverse Color is an accessibility feature you will have during your NBME exams that switches the platform to dark mode for this question block. This feature is not yet available in Study mode.

Text Zoom is another accessibility feature that increases the text size of the questions. There are 3 settings to choose from.

The Pause feature allows you to pause the exam timer. Exam mode sessions end after the Block Time Remaining counter reaches zero. Pausing is one feature you will not have in the real exam, so if you want the full exam experience, be sure to use this feature sparingly when practicing.

Lock is for when you wish to take a break in the exam. The timer will continue to run, however, the screen showing your questions and answers will not be shown until you select Return to Exam

To exit the session, you can select End Block. This will bring you to the Session Analysis page, where you will be able to review the session. 


Study Mode

In Study mode, you can access all the features that will help you delve into the topics tested in the questions.

Key Info


This feature will highlight information in the question text that helps understand the focus of the question. The purpose of the Key Info feature is not only to guide but also to help you get accustomed to recognizing important information in a question, especially when starting your exam preparation.

Attending Tip


The attending tip will give you additional information on the case described that can guide you to the answer. Keep in mind that when the Attending tip is used, it is considered helpful and will be reflected in your Analysis. You can always work on questions in which you've previously used the attending tip by creating a Custom Session with the Status filter Answered with help. The attending tip is always displayed only for the active question, and will not auto-apply to the next question in your session. 



The Notes feature allows you to take your own notes within each question. Just select the Notes button and a text box will appear above the answer options! 

Show Answer / Show All Explanations
You can have the correct answer revealed by clicking on the Show Answer button at the bottom left of the question. If you'd like to see the explanations to all the answer choices after selecting the Show Answer button, the button will now be labeled Show all Explanations.


Reset Question
If you accidentally chose an answer, you can undo your choice by clicking on the Reset Question button. In this way, your answer choice will not be documented to your Analytics. Please keep in mind that the same applies to when you are reviewing your question sessions.


Rule Out Answer Choices
You can cross out any answer choices you've ruled as not relevant by clicking on the X button at the right side of each answer choice.


Lab Values
You can always open the Lab values in each question - this is something you have access to in the Study mode and the Exam mode, as it applies to the day of your exam as well.

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