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Preparing For Your Examination

ABIM President and CEO outlines ABIM exam and what you can expect the day of the exam.

The ABIM Internal Medicine Certification Examination is designed to evaluate the knowledge, diagnostic reasoning, and clinical judgment skills expected of the certified internist in the broad domain of the discipline. The ability to make appropriate diagnostic and management decisions that have important consequences for patients will be assessed. Exams feature multiple-choice questions with a single best answer. The overwhelming majority of ABIM exam questions use a clinical stem (patient-based case scenario) format that assesses the higher order cognitive abilities required for clinical decision-making.


Blueprints show content specifications for each assessment. They include an outline of the content areas and their approximate percentages for a typical assessment. They will guide you as to what will most likely be on the assessment, what might be on the exam and what you don’t have to worry about. They’re a great starting point as you begin to prepare. Review the Internal Medicine Certification Examination blueprint.

Important Tip:

  • The exams are given in modular format with a maximum of 60 multiple-choice questions per exam session. Answer every question because your score will be determined by the total number of questions answered correctly. There is no penalty for guessing. For each question, there is one best answer. Be sure to check the Review Screen in the exam for any unanswered items, which will be indicated as “incomplete.” You will have two hours to complete each session.

Assessment Checklist

  • Review ABIM's policies
  • Sign in to your Physician Portal and register
  • Schedule your seat
  • If you have a disability and need an accommodation, submit a request
  • If you are pregnant or nursing and need an accommodation, submit a request
  • Review exam blueprint
  • ABIM will send you exam appointment reminders 45 days and two weeks prior to your scheduled exam
  • Review what to expect on exam day
  • Make sure you have two forms of identification that will be accepted at the test center. Your name on the identification must be identical to the name ABIM has on file.
  • If you have changed your name, send proof of your name change prior to the exam to ensure you’re able to test. Email Request
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