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Practice tests for the Test of Competence 2021

The NMC is introducing a new Test of Competence in August 2021. They have produced practice tests to help you check your understanding and readiness for the new CBT and learn more about the question format, style, and level of difficulty.

The questions are specifically written for the practice tests and the content is mapped to the seven platforms of the Future Nurse standards and to the six domains of the Future Midwife standards.

The practice tests for numeracy are the same as the live exams in that there are 15 questions of applied numeracy set in a nursing or midwifery context. The nursing numeracy exams as well as the practice tests contain both generic numeracy questions and numeracy questions set in either an adult, child, mental health or learning disabilities setting.

How to answer questions in the numeracy exam:

You will only be awarded a mark for a question if you use the correct answer format. Please see below what is accepted as the correct format:


Some questions require you to enter a number with no other text. This is usually a whole number but may be a decimal value. Please follow any instructions about how many decimal places to use. When entering numeric answers, only include significant digits, do not add extra zeroes after the decimal point unless the answer requires them. For example, if an answer is 1.5, and needs to be entered to one decimal place do not enter 1.50 or 1.500 as these may not be shown as correct on the item review screen.


Some questions require you to enter a number and a unit. Always use the standard scientific abbreviation for the unit such as: kg, mg, L, or mL. Do not add an "s" after the unit. Do not write out the full name of the unit. Do not add any additional text such as the name of a medicine, this will cause the item to be marked as incorrect.

For example, if the correct answer to a question is 5 mL, then the following responses would be marked as incorrect:

  • 5 mL of water
  • 5 milliliters
  • 5 mls
  • five mL

The clinical practice tests differ from the live exams in that the practice test contains 50 clinical questions instead of 100. Each field specific clinical practice test consists of 45 generic questions and 5 questions that are specific to either adult, child, mental health or learning disabilities.

You can take the practice tests as many times as you want. The practice test is timed in order to replicate similar exam conditions. You’ll have 30 minutes to complete the numeracy practice tests and 1 hour 15 minutes to complete the clinical practice tests.

Once you have completed the practice test, you will be able to see which questions you got correct. There will also be an information button for each question in the clinical practice test that you can click on in order to see to which part of the blueprint the question is linked to.

List of all practice tests available



Last updated: 2022-11-15