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ABIM offers a two-year assessment option, called a Knowledge Check-In (KCI), for many physicians to provide them with more convenience in meeting the assessment requirement of the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. KCIs take about three hours, and include access to UpToDate® during the exam without the need for a personal subscription.

Physicians choosing the KCI can take it in either a test center or online, such as from their home or workplace. If taking it in a test center the experience is similar to the traditional 10-year MOC exam, with the main difference being the shorter testing format.

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Compare the Knowledge Check-In to the Traditional MOC Exam

Eligibility and Registration

Registration opens for all 2019 ABIM assessments on December 1, 2018. Find more information about your specialty, including KCI exam dates, content (blueprint), tutorial and scoring.

You can try the KCI if it is offered in your specialty. If you are not currently certified, or you are in a grace period, you can regain certification by passing two consecutive KCIs and completing any outstanding MOC points requirements. If you are in the grace period for the 10-year MOC exam, you can meet your assessment requirement by passing two consecutive KCIs.

The first year a KCI is offered in a specialty it is considered “no consequences”, meaning that if a physician is unsuccessful on one or more attempts of the KCI, they will get another opportunity to take and pass the KCI 2 years later. They will continue to be publically reported as certified as long as they are meeting all other MOC requirements.

When is the Knowledge Check-In available in my specialty?

Review the rollout schedule below to see when the Knowledge Check-In is available in your specialty. The Knowledge Check-Ins will be offered every other year from the year they are first offered within a specialty. For example, Knowledge Check-Ins that start in 2019 will be offered again in 2021.

Get MOC assessment information in your specialty, including dates, scheduling, content (blueprint), tutorial and scoring.

The Knowledge Check-In opens in my specialty in 2019. What does this mean for me?

If the Knowledge Check-In opens in 2019 for your specialty and you are eligible, you can choose that option.

Because 2019 is the first year the Knowledge Check-In is offered in your specialty, if you’re unsuccessful, you will get at least one additional opportunity to pass it two years later, in 2021.

The chart below illustrates potential scenarios and next steps, depending on whether you pass or fail the Knowledge Check-In:

*For the first administration of the Knowledge Check-In in 2019 for the following specialties: Cardiovascular Disease; Geriatric Medicine; Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism; Gastroenterology; Hematology; Infectious Disease; Pulmonary Disease; and Rheumatology.

Physician A passes the first administration of the Knowledge Check-In in 2019 and in 2021 and 2023. She will be able to continue within the two-year assessment pathway, and her next Knowledge Check-In will be in 2025.

Physician B fails his first Knowledge Check-In in 2019, but it did not count against him since it was the first administration. He was able to take the Knowledge Check-In again in 2021 and, since he passed, was able to continue in the two-year assessment pathway. Even though he fails in 2023, he will be able to try the Knowledge Check-In again in 2025.

Physician C passes her Knowledge Check-In in 2019. Even though she fails in 2021, she was able to take the Knowledge Check-In again in 2023. Since she passed in 2023, she will be able to continue within the two-year assessment pathway because she did not have two consecutive fails.

Physician D fails his first Knowledge Check-In in 2019, but it did not count against him since it was the first administration. Unfortunately, he also fails in 2021. This means he will have to pass the traditional MOC exam in 2022 in order to maintain his certification. He can enter the Knowledge Check-In pathway again once he passes the traditional MOC exam in 2022, but he will not have to take another assessment until 2032. Since the Knowledge Check-In is only offered every other year, he would have to take it by 2031 if he wants to get back on that pathway before his next assessment is due.

Physician E passes his first Knowledge Check-In in 2019, but fails in 2021 and 2023. This means he will have to pass the traditional MOC exam in 2024 in order to maintain his certification.

Get MOC assessment information in your specialty, including dates, scheduling, content (blueprint), tutorial and scoring.

The Knowledge Check-In opens in my specialty in 2020. What does this mean for me?

If you take the Knowledge Check-In in the first year it is offered in your specialty and you are unsuccessful, you will get at least one additional opportunity to pass it two years later.

If you wait to take the Knowledge Check-In the year it is due (not in the inaugural year) and fail, you may have to take the traditional MOC exam the next year.

The chart below illustrates potential scenarios and next steps, depending on whether you pass or fail the Knowledge Check-In:

*For the first administration of the Knowledge Check-In in 2020 for the following specialties: Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Critical Care Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Hospital Medicine, Interventional Cardiology, Medical Oncology, Sleep Medicine, and Transplant Hepatology.

Physician A passes the first administration of the Knowledge Check-In in 2020 and in 2022 and 2024. He will be able to continue within the two-year assessment pathway, and his next Knowledge Check-In will be in 2026.

Physician B fails his first Knowledge Check-In in 2020, but it did not count against him since it was the first administration. He was able to take the Knowledge Check-In again in 2022 and, since he passed, was able to continue in the two-year assessment pathway. Even though he fails in 2024, he will be able to try the Knowledge Check-In again in 2026.

Physician C passes her Knowledge Check-In in 2020. Even though she fails in 2022, she was able to take the Knowledge Check-In again in 2024. Since she passed in 2024, she will be able to continue within the two-year assessment pathway because she did not have two consecutive fails.

Physician D fails his first Knowledge Check-In in 2020, but it did not count against him since it was the first administration. Unfortunately, he also fails in 2022. This means he will have to pass the traditional MOC exam in 2023 in order to maintain his certification. He can enter the Knowledge Check-In pathway again once he passes the traditional MOC exam in 2023, but he will not have to take another assessment until 2033. Since the Knowledge Check-In is only offered every other year, he would have to take it by 2032 if he wants to get back on that pathway before his next assessment is due.

Physician E passes her first Knowledge Check-In in 2020, but fails in 2022 and 2024. This means she will have to pass the traditional MOC exam in 2025 in order to maintain her certification.

Get MOC assessment information in your specialty, including dates, scheduling, content (blueprint), tutorial and scoring.

What if I find that the Knowledge Check-In doesn’t work for me? Can I switch back to the traditional 10-year MOC exam?

In the example above, this physician passed. Her next assessment is due in 2022. In 2022, she decided to switch back to the 10 year pathway. Her original assessment due date of 2023 was restored. She attempted the 10 year MOC exam in 2023 and passed. She is certified and her next assessment is due in 10 years.

Can I take multiple assessments in one year?

Physician A has an assessment due in 2020. She attempted the KCI in the spring of 2020 and failed. She re-attempted the KCI in the fall of 2020 and passed. She is Certified, and her next assessment will be due in 2022.

Physician B also has an assessment due in 2020. He attempted the KCI in the spring of 2020 and failed. He chose to switch to the 10 year MOC exam and passed in the fall of 2020. He is certified, and his next assessment will be due in 10 years.

What if I fail multiple Knowledge Check-Ins before my 10-year deadline? Will I be forced to take the 10 year exam early?

In the example above, this physician has an assessment due in 2024. She decided to take the KCI early in 2020 and failed. Her next assessment is due in 2022. She attempted the KCI again in 2022 and failed. Her next assessment is due in 2024. She attempted the KCI in 2024 and passed. She is certified and her next assessment is due in 2 years.

Tips for all physicians taking the KCI

  • Take the exam tutorial to practice using UpToDate® and become comfortable with the interface.
  • Review the exam blueprint to gain a better understanding of the content that will be covered. All KCIs are currently breadth of discipline.
  • Sign in to your Physician Portal and review your appointment time.
  • Familiarize yourself with the exam day schedule.
  • You may have the option to receive your exam results immediately. All physicians will receive their complete score report within three to four weeks of taking the KCI.

If choosing the online option there are a number of things physicians can do to help the exam day experience go well.

Before Exam Day (Online)

  • Complete the System Check using the same computer and in the same location you'll be using on exam day. It may be helpful to take the System Check before registering to make sure your equipment is compatible with the exam software.
  • Watch the What to Expect on Exam Day video to help you prepare your testing space and equipment.
  • Review the FAQs for more detailed information about computer requirements and security.

On Exam Day (Online)

  • Sign in to your Physician Portal and start your exam 30 minutes early to allow for any troubleshooting.
  • Make sure you are using the same computer you used to complete the system check.
  • Prepare your testing space: desk cleared, door closed and webcam/microphone functioning.
  • You’ll need to present the greeter with a valid ID.
  • Use a hardwired internet connection instead of WiFi to improve connectivity.
  • Need help? PearsonVUE staff are available to assist you via chat.

After Exam Day

  • Physicians may have the option to receive their exam results immediately.
  • All physicians will receive their complete score report – highlighting how they performed in different areas of the exam – within three to four weeks of taking the KCI.