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Surgery SHELF Exam

There are approximately 100 questions and a little over 2 hours to complete the exam. Most questions are presented as a case described in a paragraph, similar to the case-based format presented in General Surgery Review. Laboratory or radiographic findings are often provided, however, they are often supplementary hints, not central to getting the right answer. Many correct answers can be chosen based on the history and physical. Cases in both the SHELF exam and General Surgery Review present risk factors for disease at the beginning of the question, such as age and gender. Knowing and identifying the classic risk factors of surgical conditions can also be helpful in making an educated guess, when all else fails. The SHELF exam is graded on a curve, and the passing threshold is usually around 55-60 out of the 100 questions. Many medical schools require a SHELF exam percentile score of 70-90% or higher in order to receive a grade of honors. We welcome your suggestions to custom tailor General Surgery Review for future students.


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