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How to Prepare for the Test

The OSCE is designed to assess your ability to competently apply your professional nursing or midwifery skills and knowledge in the UK. It is set at the level expected of nurses and midwives as they enter the profession (at the point of registration). This means you must show that you are capable of applying knowledge to care at the level expected of a newly registered nurse or midwife.

The Legacy Test of Competence 2014 is made up of six stations, each lasting up to 15 minutes with an additional five minutes preparation time prior to commencing the scenario. Four stations will be scenario-based and relate to the holistic assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation stages of nursing and midwifery care. Two stations will be testing practical clinical skills.

The Test of Competence 2021 is made up of ten stations, each lasting up to 20 minutes with an additional five minutes preparation time prior to commencing the scenario. Four stations will be scenario-based and relate to the holistic assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation stages of nursing and midwifery care. Four stations will be testing practical clinical skills (two pairs of two skills). Two stations will assessing the candidate’s values and behaviours and evidence-based practice.

The OSCE tests your ability to apply knowledge to care rather than how well you can remember and recite facts. All of the test scenarios and any questions relate to current best practice and you should answer them in relation to published evidence and not according to local arrangements. During the Test of Competence, make sure that you read the station instructions carefully and do not be afraid to look at them again if you are unsure; You will not be penalised for this.

We have a range of downloads available that will aid and support your OSCE preparation. We highly recommend that you take the time to read the relevant Candidate Information Booklet below:

Trusts and Agencies

We have a wide range of dates available and do offer bespoke test days for Trusts. For further information, please see our Trusts and Agencies page.

Support for you

We are offering a Train the Trainer session to NHS Trusts and Agencies only. This online course will enable you to understand how the test is administered and the assessment criteria, assisting you in preparing your candidates for the OSCE.

To find out more about the sessions please email Julie.young@northampton.ac.uk.

Feedback from the ‘Train the Trainer’ sessions

‘The content of the course was very helpful to gain in depth understanding of the process’

‘Useful for potential trainers/facilitators to understand the process of the OSCE and help their candidates prepare’

‘Relaxed and informal style of training’

‘Friendly helpful trainers’

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