To use your own laptop to take an NBME exam online, the computer must first pass a certification. IT staff can help you do this on the day of the exam or prior to the exam day if you have trouble certifying it yourself.

If you have been locked out of the pre-certification due to "too many attempts", do not panic. On exam day, HMS-IT can still certify your computer for use during the exams or provide a loaner if needed.

Before exam day

Prior to running the laptop certification test, it is recommended that you follow these best practices:

  1. Quit all applications and restart the computer, making sure to de-select the box about restarting all apps on login.
  2. Quit all applications that open at login, including, but not limited to:
  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive, or other cloud storage/sharing applications,
  • VPN apps like Cisco or Junos Pulse
  • Spotify
  • Twitter
  • Instagram or other social media applications.
  • BetterSnapTool, Powershot or other applications that modify system behavior.
  • YouCamTray or other applications that access the built in WebCam.
  • Other applications in the menu bar or System Tray as needed.
  • Turn off any application firewalls. (Or just completely turn off the firewall during the exam. Remember to turn it back on afterwards).
  • Turn off Bluetooth.
  • Run the SecureBrowser Examinee Workstation Certification.
  • On exam day:

    • Make sure to bring your laptop’s power adapter. There are no spare power adapters available.
    • Make sure you are connected to the HMS Private Wi-Fi. This will ensure best performance with minimal interruption during the exam.
    • Restart your computer again after taking the exam.
    If you are blocked because of too many attempts 

    Students can only run the Examinee Workstation Certification 3 times in any 28-day period. After the 3rd attempt, examinees will be blocked from running the Examinee Workstation Certification for 28 days. HMS IT Staff employ a different certification method to certify your computer. The examinee block will lift automatically after 28 days.

    To avoid being blocked, please follow the best practices above before running the Examinee Workstation Certification. If you are still unable to successfully pass the Examinee Workstation Certification, IT support staff can assist in identifying the issue, up to 2 weeks prior to Exam day OR immediately prior to the exam start.

    Exam day loaner computers

    There are a limited number of loaner laptop computers available for taking exams. If technical support staff are unable to resolve an issue with a student laptop within a few minutes, you will be issued a loaner laptop at exam time. Technical support staff will start up the loaner and ensure that the Secure Browser application runs successfully before handing it to you. All loaner laptops must be returned to the exam proctors at the end of the exam.