How to Prepare for an ABPS Board Certification Exam

How to Prepare for an ABPS Board Certification ExamCandidates for certification by a Member Board of the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) must pass a computer-based, written examination in order to achieve board certification. Some Member Boards also require an oral exam. For those boards, candidates must first successfully complete the written component before they are permitted to take the oral exam.

The written exam consists of multiple choice questions administered over a four-hour session. It is offered at testing centers throughout the United States and Canada, in May, August, or October of each year, depending on the specialty. Oral exams are offered once a year in Tampa, FL.

Questions for the written exam cover key topics selected by subject matter experts as relevant and indicative of the skills and knowledge of physician specialists. The ABPS recommends that candidates prepare for exams by reviewing the exam description for their chosen specialty.

To find descriptions, visit the ABPS homepage. Under the Board Certifications link at the top of the page, click the link to the specialty of choice. Then, click the Examination Description link on the left. Candidates will find an outline detailing exam subject areas, including the approximate percentage of questions in each area. Candidates should focus their study on the areas listed. Be advised, however, that while the outline can be an effective study guide, it is not a guarantee of success.

As a further aid for candidates who wish to prepare in specific exam areas, the Examination Description page also includes a link to study references.

To learn more about the ABPS exams or eligibility requirements, contact the ABPS. The ABPS is the official multi-specialty board certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc. ®

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Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

ABPS is a leading advocate for its Diplomates, their patients, and the public at large by promoting high-quality evidence-based patient care. ABPS certifies physicians through industry-leading rigorous examinations in various boards and offers continuous recertification making sure that these physicians are qualified to practice safe state of the art medicine.

Leslie Mukau, MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine
In this time of uncertainty, Disaster Medicine Certification has helped tremendously to demonstrate to hospital leadership my commitment to disaster preparedness and knowledge of planning, response, and mitigation. ABODM certification focuses on the knowledge and skills a physician needs to become a recognized leader in the four stages of disaster preparation and management: planning, coordination, execution, and debriefing.

Lewis W, Marshall, MD, JD, FAAEP, FAADM
Disaster Medicine | Emergency Medicine
ABPS board certification validates a physician's competence in their medical specialty. This is important to a patient seeking medical care. Physician recertification through ABPS assures that we maintain knowledge and expertise throughout our career. The ABPS is a collegial and committed organization of physicians and administrative staff. The organization has given me the opportunity to become involved in all facets of the board certification process and physician governance.

Lawrence Stein, MD, FAASOS
Orthopedic Surgery