The American Board of Internal Medicine examination (commonly known as the ABIM exam) is designed to certify qualified individuals for practice in specialty areas of medicine. These assessments are all-day events, known in the medical community for their rigor.
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The initial certification exams take about ten hours, while certification maintenance exams take about eight. Some special exams, like the Cardiovascular Disease ABIM exam, can take in excess of 14 hours. The longer exams are broken up into two days of testing.
The exams are broken up into sections consisting of up to 60 multiple-choice questions. At the very most, one section of an ABIM exam may last two hours. The protocol for the exams is very specific and there are strict guidelines for registration and attendance at the exam center.
After you register for the exam, you will receive a confirmation notice. Your registration confirmation notice will indicate the appropriate arrival time, which will be thirty minutes before appointment. Late arrivals will not be admitted into the testing area. You should scout the ABIM exam location ahead of time to make sure you know how to get there. Driving directions will be provided in advance of the exam.
You will need to have proper identification in order to sit for the ABIM exam. Two forms of identification are required: one must be government-issued with a recent photograph and signature, and one identification document is acceptable with signature only. Your fingerprint, signature, and photograph will be taken for identification. This information will not be used for any other purpose.
You are not allowed to bring personal items into the ABIM exam area; specifically, cell phone, watches, study materials or papers, tobacco, food or drink. You will be given a locker at the testing site to hold your personal materials. If you need medication, you must obtain approval from the test administrators beforehand. Should you find it necessary to leave the testing area during the test, the clock continues to run, so you should only interrupt your ABIM in the event of an emergency.