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.

I feel truly blessed and grateful to be an internal medicine board-certified diplomate with the American Board of Physician Specialties. Their ongoing, steadfast commitment to physician board(s) enhancement, forward focused vision, and tenacity is second to none. ABPS has become a recognized choice in Physician Board Certification.

Adam Rench, MD
Internal Medicine
To be the best, you must measure yourself against the best. Achieving Board Certification in Emergency Medicine by the ABPS gave me the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the art of EM in an objective way. The high bar that ABPS sets for candidates to be allowed to take both the written and oral exam is a testament to ABPS's rigorous vetting of one's ability to practice Emergency Medicine at a high level. By maintaining these credentials, I've been able to instill confidence in my abilities at the department/employer level and ultimately with the patients that choose to seek emergency care at the facilities at which I practice.

Royce Mathew Joseph, MD
Emergency Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has supported the entire field of Integrative Medicine in sponsoring our board. It has been so validating of the importance of prevention-oriented and holistic approaches to care while emphasizing the scientific basis of this specialty to have it recognized by ABPS. I am proud to have been one of the first groups to be board certified by ABPS in Integrative Medicine, leading the way for others committed to training in this specialty.

Myles Spar, MD
Integrative Medicine