Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about ABIM’s accommodation for test takers.
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When should I submit my request for an accommodation?
All requests must be received by the examination registration or seat scheduling deadline. However, we recommend submitting your requests as far in advance of the deadline as possible. Some requests involve a substantial investment of time to review if, for example, additional supporting documentation is needed and, once granted, to make the necessary arrangements.
If I have a disability, why can't I automatically receive the testing accommodations I want?
ABIM grants reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, (i.e., "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities"). Not every physical or mental impairment meets this definition. Also, if a person is found to have a disability, this does not automatically mean that the nature and severity of the disability warrants testing accommodations.
May I request a paper-delivered format?
In fairness to all candidates and to help ensure the integrity of the certification process, ABIM examinations are only available on computer. ABIM considers the full range of available accommodations to assist candidates with disabilities. Providing a paper-assisted exam is very difficult and usually not considered a reasonable accommodation.
Is there an additional fee for test accommodations?
No, ABIM does not charge to grant testing accommodations. However, the supporting medical documentation required for your request is obtained at your expense.
What happens after I submit my request for accommodations?
After you submit your request for a testing accommodation, including the necessary supporting documentation, ABIM will conduct a review of the impairment and testing accommodation requested. This review is conducted at no expense to the candidate. Where appropriate, the review may include an assessment of the supporting documentation by an outside expert engaged by ABIM for this purpose.
What types of accommodations does ABIM offer?
I use assistive technology on a daily basis. Can I use it during the exam?
Send an email to the ABIM Special Exams Coordinator at email@example.com to discuss your options. We will work to find the best solution for your testing needs.
Do I need special approval to bring snacks/water?
Food and drinks are not permitted in Pearson VUE exam testing rooms. If there is a medical necessity to have these items then an accommodation request must be submitted by completing the comfort aid form (pdf).
What if I received accommodations from another organization?
I do not have a disability but need to bring a medically necessary material (e.g., medication, crutches), do I need to apply for accommodation?
Pearson VUE does not require candidates to seek prior approval from ABIM in order to bring certain comfort aids into the testing room. You can view a list of comfort aids that Pearson VUE has allowed in the past. If there is a medical necessity to have an item then an accommodation request must be submitted by completing the comfort aid form (pdf).
My disabilities fall into two different categories. How should I submit my request?
Candidates seeking accommodations for multiple impairments that fall into two or more categories should submit one request but supply supporting documentation for each disability.
What if I am unsure which type of accommodation I need?
If you are uncertain into which category your impairment or condition falls, please contact the ABIM Special Exams Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance.
I am a nursing mother who needs additional break time for pumping. Do you offer accommodations?
Yes. ABIM recognizes the importance of a mother's decision to breastfeed her child and will consider requests for medically necessary testing accommodations to support nursing mothers. Deadlines apply so please be sure to read Testing Accommodations for Nursing Mothers for guidance.