UWorld ABFM® Exam Guide

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What is the ABFM exam?

The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) offers a one-day Family Medicine Certification Examination that allows physicians to demonstrate their expertise and awareness of best practices across the breadth of Family Medicine. Candidates may sit for the exam if they have successfully completed (or are nearing completion of) an ACGME-accredited Family Medicine residency and are board eligible.

What is tested on the ABFM exam?

The Family Medicine Certification Examination consists solely of multiple-choice questions with a single best response. The ABFM website provides an exam blueprint that contains a list of categories from which questions will be drawn, as well as the targeted percentage of questions in each category. Tested categories include:
  • Cardiovascular
  • Endocrine
  • Hematologic/immune
  • Integumentary
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Nephrologic
  • Neurologic
  • Psychogenic
  • Reproductive — female
  • Reproductive — male
  • Respiratory
  • Special Sensory
  • Population-Based Care
  • Patient-Based Systems

How long is the ABFM exam?

  • One-day examination divided into four 95-minute blocks
  • Maximum of 75 questions per block
  • Maximum of 300 questions on the overall examination

When can I take the ABFM exam?

The ABFM exam is administered twice a year, typically over several dates in November and April/May. The exam may be taken upon completion of a Family Medicine residency, or within the last few months of a Family Medicine residency for residents who are in good standing. The exam should be taken within 3 years of completing residency to avoid additional requirements.

How do I study for the ABFM exam?

Typical of most high-stakes exams, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to studying. However, creating a study plan that includes exam simulation is an effective way to set yourself up for success. We recommend using UWorld’s ABFM practice questions to test your knowledge, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and stay up to date with current standards of care.

How is the ABFM exam scored? What score do I need to pass?

Your responses to the questions on the ABFM are converted into a scaled score ranging from 200 to 800. You must earn a score greater than or equal to the minimum passing standard (MPS) to pass the exam. The APFM MPS for the 2020 examination year was 380.

What are the pass rates for the ABFM exam?

The ABFM publishes annual pass rates on its official website. Most first-time takers pass the exam.

How soon will I get my ABFM exam results?

Preliminary results are typically received 3-7 business days following completion of the examination. A preliminary pass (or fail) is given to candidates whose exam attempt is clearly above (or below) the MPS; a pending result is given when the exam attempt is close to the MPS. Final and official examination results are typically received 6-8 weeks from the last date in the examination window.

Can I retake the ABFM exam?

If your first attempt was unsuccessful, you may retake the ABFM exam, provided you continue to meet the requirements. Each subsequent attempt incurs a full examination fee.

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