UWorld ABIM® Exam Guide

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What is the ABIM exam?

The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) offers a one-day Internal Medicine Certification Exam that allows internal medicine physicians to demonstrate that they have “met rigorous standards and have the clinical judgment, skills and attitudes essential for the delivery of excellent patient care.”

Candidates may sit for the exam if they have successfully completed at least 36 months of a full-time internal medicine residency that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, or the Collège des médecins du Québec and if they meet all other requirements of board eligibility.

What is on the ABIM exam?

The Internal Medicine Certification Examination consists of multiple-choice questions with a single best response. The ABIM 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:
  • Allergy and Immunology
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Dermatology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism
  • Gastroenterology
  • Geriatric Syndromes
  • Hematology
  • Infectious Disease
  • Nephrology and Urology
  • Neurology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Medical Oncology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Otolaryngology and Dental Medicine
  • Psychiatry
  • Pulmonary Disease
  • Rheumatology and Orthopedics

How long is the ABIM exam?

  • One-day examination divided into 4 blocks (2 hr allowed per block)
  • Maximum of 60 questions per block
  • Maximum of 240 questions on the overall examination

When can I take the ABIM exam?

The ABIM is administered once a year, typically over several dates in August. The registration period for the exam is typically the December-April period preceding the August test dates.

How do I study for the ABIM?

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 ABIM practice questions to test your knowledge, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and stay up to date with current standards of care.

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

Performance on the ABIM exam is reported using a standardized score scale of 200 to 800 (with a mean of 500). You must earn at least the standardized passing score to earn a “Pass” result on the exam.  The standardized passing score is typically 366.

What are the pass rates for the ABIM?

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

How soon will I get my ABIM exam results?

The ABIM typically releases exam results within three months of the last date that the exam is administered. Examinees are usually notified by email when their score report is ready to be viewed on the ABIM Physician Portal.

How many times can I take the ABIM?

The ABIM Internal Medicine Certification Exam cannot be taken more than three times in a row (over 3 consecutive years). After three failed attempts, you must wait one year before being able to register for the exam again. Each subsequent attempt incurs a full examination fee. The exam must be passed within 7 years of a candidate becoming “Board Eligible” or Board Eligibility status will be lost.

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