How Overseas Nurses and Midwives can prepare for the recruitment competency tests

Sep 18, 2019
Paul Johnson


The recruitment competency tests is a two-stage test taken by aspiring nurses and midwives before being duly recognized as part of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

To ensure that the aspirants are well prepared to take the tests, there are mock tests designed just like the real one. By practicing those tests, they become familiar with likely questions to be asked.

The computer-based test (CBT)

The Computer Based Test consists of 120 Multiple Choice Questions with a timeframe of 4 hours. It is to be taken by nurses and midwives who have been trained overseas (outside the European Union and European Economic Area) and are seeking employment in the UK.

Based on the newly updated syllabus, there is a CBT online practice which consists of 3 practice sessions followed by the mock test.

As stipulated by Nursing and Midwifery Council, these are the main areas covered in the Adult Nursing Test:

  • Professional values
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Nursing practice and decision making
  • Leadership management and team working.

As part of the overall exam success, the CBT test will contain a set of questions centered on the patient or public safety.

Topics ranging from general theoretical and technical instruction to the subject-specific to the activities of midwives are all in the syllabus.

The mock test contains multiple-choice questions, just like the real Computer Based Test. It also covers all the four fields specific to the adult nursing addressed in the trial. It is to ensure the overseas nurses and midwives can pass the CBT by preparing with this material. It also strengthens the confidence level of the candidates significantly well.

The practice session is in such a way that, the nurses and midwives who participate get prompt feedback on their performance. It helps the candidates understand the approach and standpoints of the NMC CBT.

It is advised you time yourself while answering the questions. Spending nothing less than 2 minutes on each question asked will help a great deal in time management.

You need not worry about negative scoring, as the CBT does not implore that marking system. Make sure you chose your answers correctly. There should be no guesswork or a random selection of solutions.

The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

The second part of the test, known as the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). OSCE is to test the clinical expertise and experience of the candidates primarily.

The OSCE plays out scenarios which nurses and midwives will likely encounter when they evaluate, strategize, carry out care. The clinical examinations are distinct, and each represents a “station,” which each candidate is expected to visit.

Below is a list of universities currently approved as OSCE test centers

  • University of Northampton
  • Ulster University
  • Oxford Brookes University

On a final note, candidates may take the CBT and OSCE up to three times in a single application, with a minimum of 10 days between each sitting. If you are unsuccessful after your permitted attempts (both CBT and OSCE), your form closes. You’ll have to submit a new application without sitting for the CBT or OSCE for a minimum of 6 months.