Shelf Exam Tutoring

The NBME Shelf Exams, administered after clerkship rotations during your third year, test your subject-specific knowledge after each rotation and serve as the foundation for Step 2 CK prep.

NBME Shelf Exam Overview

What Are The Shelf Exams?

The NBME Subject Examinations are commonly referred to as the NBME Shelf Exams, or "Shelf Exams." The Shelf Exams are a series of subject-specific standardized tests that are administered after the completion of certain clerkship rotations during the third year of medical school. 

How Are The Shelf Exams Administered?

Each Shelf Exam is composed of 110 multiple-choice questions, and aims to assess your mastery of the subject-specific material of each clerkship.

How Important Are The Shelf Exams?

Performing well on the Shelf Exams is extremely important, as it sets the tone for establishing your confidence in clinical and medical knowledge, and serves as a critical foundation for material that is covered in Step 2 CK. Balancing clinical work during your rotations and studying for the Shelf Exams can be overwhelming, but utilizing efficient study methods like spaced repetition with active recall, will go a long way. It is also important to make sure that you are taking practice tests and thoroughly reviewing practice questions -- and learning from each right and wrong answer choice.

Which Shelf Exams Do We Tutor?

Our tutors have trained at the top medical schools and hospitals in the country, have average scores of 260+ on the USMLE exams, and are absolutely exceptional Shelf Exam tutors. We tutor for every Shelf Exam, including the Family Medicine Shelf Exam, Medicine Shelf Exam, Neurology Shelf Exam, OB/GYN Shelf Exam, Pediatrics Shelf Exam, Psychiatry Shelf Exam, and the Surgery Shelf Exam.

Why You Should Choose MED LEARNITY For Shelf Exam Tutoring

Personalized Learning

We invest the time to assess your personal needs and pair you with the Shelf Exam tutor who will be a perfect fit. All tutoring sessions are customized for you: lesson plans, study schedules, test-taking drills, and homework. All sessions are emailed to you to maximize your learning and retention. 

Real Doctors

Our team is made up of actual, practicing physicians who have trained at the top hospitals in the country. Our team is unrivaled because our daily practice of medicine allows us to understand the current state of medicine, residency, and admissions -- and use our expertise to help you excel.

Proven Results

We have helped over 500+ aspiring doctors achieve their goals on high-stakes exams. Many of our students return for tutoring for subsequent exams as they realize the value of our services. We are confident that your performance will significantly improve after working with us.

What To Expect From Our Shelf Tutors

At Medlearnity, Students Come First. We understand preparing for a Shelf Exam can be intimidating and deeply personal (to say the least). Therefore, we approach every student's situation with our utmost attention to detail to see how we can best assist you. Whether you are having challenges meeting your performance goals, or simply want to make sure you are on a path to success, our team is available to share our perspective. We hope you feel the 'Students First' mentality at Medlearnity from the quality of your sessions and expertise of our team.

What to Expect

  • A tutor who is an expert educator who has excelled on their Shelf Exams, and scored exceptionally well on the USMLE examinations (90+ percentile, ~250+)
  • We meet with you on an easy-to-access online platform that allows us to write on the screen like a whiteboard. All session recordings are emailed to you after the session in HD quality, so you can review them on 1.5x or 2x speed at your convenience. This helps to maximize your learning and retention for each tutoring session.
  • Constant communication and scheduling via email and phone in-between sessions. We will make sure your daily schedule is extremely efficient so that you can get the highest score possible on test day.
  • Test-taking advice and drills. During your Shelf Exam tutoring sessions, you will do intense drills with your tutor to make sure you have no weaknesses on test day. You and your tutor will work through high-yield content, test-taking advice, and study strategies that are tailored to your particular situation.
  • Optimal study strategy. We utilize unique methods like spaced repetition and active recall to help you understand foundational material and memorize information. Study time is precious, and we want to make sure you are being optimal, and studying correctly and effectively.

How to Get Started with Shelf Exam Tutoring


Sign up for our one-hour free trial session. You'll receive an email from us shortly thereafter for some more information so we can understand your particular situation and assess your personal needs to pair you up with the Shelf Exam tutor that's a perfect fit. This way, we're off to a very productive and personalized start, straight from your very first free trial session.


You'll receive an email introducing you to your new Shelf tutor, and instructions on how to join your first trial session and reserve your session time. During this first trial session, your tutor will review content and discuss study strategy. You can email your tutor beforehand if there is any particular content you want to cover or if you have any questions you'd like to address.


After your trial session, we'll send you a feedback report with next steps, our recommendations and a recording of your session so you can review any material you went over with your Shelf tutor. If you decide you'd like to continue working with us to achieve your goals, we'll set you up with a tutoring package that works best for you.

Book Your Free One-Hour Tutoring Session

The trial session is completely free, so that you can experience the high-quality tutoring we provide. We know that the high caliber of our tutoring services is truly unmatched, and we want you to experience it yourself without any obligation.

Real Medical Student Reviews

Sadjad is EXCEPTIONAL as both a person and a teacher.

I have worked with multiple tutors from med Learnity for step 1 & the medicine shelf. I likely would not have made it this far without them. Every tutor I have worked with has been extremely knowledgable & has an amazing understanding of all the concepts of medicine. I have never had people answer my questions so well until I started working with med Learnity. Additionally, one of my biggest challenges is test anxiety and timing. Each of my tutors went out their way to keep adjusting our preparation techniques until I was able to succeed. They would even talk to me about struggles in life and how to overcome them to maintain focus on school. Lastly, med school is long and can cause burn out. The team wants you to succeed and will keep you accountable. They reignited my passion for medicine and kept me on track. I highly highly highly recommend med Learnity if you are struggling passing step 1 or a shelf. If you put in the work with them, you will succeed (if I can do it, trust me anyone can!!). The most recent tutor I had was Sadjad who is EXCEPTIONAL as both a person and a teacher. While med Learnity is expensive, it is an investment in your future and they will get you where you want to be.

Stephanie T.
USMLE Step 1 and Shelf Student

For anyone who needs that extra guidance and help for step 1 and step 2

There are not enough words to express my gratitude for Akshay and his team. I used tutors through medlearnity for step 1 and step 2. I worked with Henry throughout most of second year tutoring for step 1. My institution did a poor job preparing for step 1, but with Henry's help and guidance I was able to pass step 1.

Throughout 3rd year I tutoring with Radhika for my shelf exam. SHE IS AN AMAZING TUTOR! After a few lesson she seemed to understand my learning style and catering to it. Right before my internal medicine shelf, I got a concussion. She worked around my schedule and was so supportive. Seriously without her, I wouldn't have been able to get through my concussion on top of a worldwide pandemic.

Leading up to step 2, I worked with Isao along with Radhika. They started to help me with strategy more than content. Leading up towards test day I felt more confident that I ever had with the help of this team.

Akshay is an amazing educator who truly cares about his students! I would highly recommend Medlearnity to anyone who needs that extra guidance and help for step 1 and step 2. Reference Link.

Mae L.
USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK Student

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