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Longitudinal Knowledge Assessment

TAKE THE WHEEL WITH THE NEW LKA

The new Longitudinal Knowledge Assessment (LKA), launching in 2022, puts you in control by offering greater flexibility and faster feedback. Learn more below. Still have questions? Check out our new LKA microsite for more answers.

If you’re interested in participating in the Longitudinal Knowledge Assessment (LKATM) and due for an assessment in 2022 there’s still time as the first quarter is open until March 31, at which time those questions will expire. Please note you can only start the LKA in your assessment due year, and you should begin early in that calendar year so you do not inadvertently miss any questions.

And remember, because a pass/fail decision isn’t made until the end of the 5-year cycles, as long as you are already certified and continue to meet the LKA Participation Requirement and any other MOC requirements, you’ll be reported as certified the entire time. Even better, the LKA is included at no extra charge as part of your MOC fees.

The LKA was designed with physicians' personal and professional needs in mind: greater flexibility, more convenience, increased relevancy and faster feedback. Learn more via the FAQs below, or check out our dedicated LKA website. The traditional, 10-year MOC exam will also remain available as an assessment option.

Availability

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What are my ABIM assessment options?

ABIM offers multiple ways to maintain your certification. Use the interactive tool below to select your specialty from the dropdown, then find your due year to learn more about your assessment options. Once you select a specialty, a second tool will display, making it easy to compare two or more specialties at a time if you maintain multiple certificates.

To find your specific due dates, please sign into your personalized Physician Portal.

 
Active Year

When will the LKA be available in my specialty?

2022 Longitudinal Rollout
2023 Longitudinal Rollout

Four specialties—Critical Care Medicine, Infectious Disease, Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine and Pulmonary Disease—will launch in 2023. Recruitment for volunteers to help write ABIM test questions typically starts in the spring, which would have occurred during the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. ABIM leadership consulted with physicians currently serving on its Exam Committees and Item Writing Task Forces in these disciplines, and recognizing the increased clinical obligations they were facing, decided that it was not the right time to pull them away from patient care to help with question development. Any currently certified physician in these four specialties who had an assessment due in 2020, 2021 or 2022 can wait and enroll in the longitudinal assessment when it becomes available to them in 2023.

The LKA requires substantially more items compared to the traditional, 10-year MOC exam and won’t be available in certain specialties (Adult Congenital Heart Disease, Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology and Transplant Hepatology) because there are fewer physicians maintaining certification in these highly specialized areas. Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology will not be available at launch but will be revaluated for 2024.

In Cardiovascular Disease, Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology and Interventional Cardiology, the ACC Collaborative Maintenance Pathway will be available.

All diplomates will continue to have the traditional, 10-year MOC exam available.

Eligibility & Enrollment

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Am I eligible to take the LKA?

Once the LKA launches in your specialty, you will be eligible to start.

  • All board certified physicians, except those in a grace year, can start participating in the LKA in their assessment due year. Physicians will continue to be reported as “Certified” as long as they are meeting the Participation Requirement, and a decision on their performance is made in the 5th year. You won’t be able to start LKA before your assessment due year.
  • Physicians who earned their certificate prior to 1990 can use the LKA to help them meet their MOC Participation Requirement. No physician with a lifetime certification will ever lose certification due to not meeting an assessment requirement.
  • The LKA can be used to regain certification; however, please note that because a decision on performance is not made until the end of the 5th year of participation, a physician will be reported as “Not Certified” until that time. A physician whose certification has lapsed may use the traditional, 10-year MOC exam to restore certification more quickly.
  • Any physician in their grace year is ineligible for the LKA and must pass the traditional, 10-year MOC exam by the end of their grace year to continue to be reported as “Certified.”
  • Diplomates from co-sponsored ABMS Member Boards will be able to participate in the LKA if it is available in their specialty.

What if my assessment was due in 2020?

Due to the unprecedented demands of COVID-19, ABIM announced that physicians with an MOC requirement, including assessments, attestations or points due in 2020 or 2021, will have until 12/31/22 to complete them. NOTE: The 2-year Knowledge Check-In is no longer offered. Learn more about your assessment options

Knowledge Check-In (KCI)

If you passed the KCI in 2020, your next assessment is due in 2024, at which point you can start participating in the LKA (pending availability in your specialty).

Traditional, 10-year MOC exam

If you passed the traditional, 10-year MOC exam in 2020, your next assessment is due in 10 years, at which point you can choose between the LKA (if it’s available in your specialty) or continue to take the traditional, 10-year MOC exam.

Sign in to your personalized Physician Portal to view upcoming requirements and due dates.

What my assessment was due in 2021?

Due to the unprecedented demands of COVID-19, ABIM announced that physicians with an assessment, attestation or points due in 2020 or 2021 will have until 12/31/22 to complete them. 

Knowledge Check-In (KCI)

If you passed the KCI in 2021, your next assessment is due in 2025, at which point you can start participating in the LKA (pending availability in your specialty).

Traditional, 10-year MOC exam.

If you passed the traditional, 10-year MOC exam in 2021, your next assessment is due in 10 years, at which point you can choose between the LKA (if it’s available in your specialty) or continue to take the traditional, 10-year MOC exam.

What if I am a cardiologist in the ACC Collaborative Maintenance Pathway?

ACC Collaborative Maintenance Pathway will remain an option for those currently board certified in cardiovascular disease or a cardiology subspecialty to meet their assessment requirement.

In addition to the Collaborative Maintenance Pathway, general cardiologists and cardiology subspecialists will be able to take the traditional, 10-year MOC exam in Cardiovascular Disease, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Interventional Cardiology and Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology.

    Sign in to your personalized Physician Portal to view requirements, due dates and assessment options. Please note that ABIM is in the process of updating due dates in your portal to reflect the extension.

    Getting Ready for 2022

    • If you had an MOC requirement due in 2020 or 2021—including points, assessments or attestations—you have until 12/31/22 to complete these requirements in light of COVID-19. This means you can choose not to take an assessment in 2021 and participate in the LKA beginning in 2022, pending availability.
    • If you are currently ABIM Board Certified in Critical Care Medicine, Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine, Infectious Disease or Pulmonary Disease and you are due for an assessment in 2020, 2021 or 2022, you can wait and participate in the LKA when it launches in your specialty in 2023 if you’d like. You can also choose the traditional, 10-year MOC exam at that time.
    • The Knowledge Check-In is no longer offered, and the new LKA has taken its place as an alternative to the traditional, 10-year MOC exam, which will continue to be an assessment option.

    When can I enroll?

    Enrollment opens 12/1/21 for all 2022 ABIM assessments. The last day to enroll in the LKA for 2022 is 6/30/22. Please note that since questions are delivered on a quarterly basis, delaying enrollment may mean less time to answer questions, or that some questions expired at the end of the previous quarter. If you’re a diplomate from a co-sponsored board, please contact your certifying board to confirm if LKA will be offered as an assessment option.

    Can I switch to the traditional, 10-year MOC exam if the LKA isn’t working for me?

    Once you’re enrolled in the LKA, as long as you’re meeting the LKA Participation Requirement and any other MOC requirements, you’ll continue to be publicly reported as Certified for your entire 5-year cycle. But if you’re finding that LKA isn’t working for you and you’d prefer to take the traditional, 10-year MOC exam sooner, you can unenroll and register for an exam through your personalized ABIM Physician Portal.

    Can I enroll in the LKA while my MOC exam results are pending?

    No. You will not be able to enroll in the LKA while your exam results are pending. Once the exam results have been released, if you happen to be unsuccessful and wish to switch to the LKA, you can do so as long as it not beyond the June 30, 2022 LKA enrollment deadline. Exam results can take up to three months to be released. This means that the exam results could be pending beyond the aforementioned deadline, and you could not switch to the LKA. In this case, you would still have the opportunity to take the Traditional, 10-year MOC exam or Collaborative Maintenance Pathway (CMP).

    How the LKA works

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    What are the features of the LKA?

    Use the LKA to meet your MOC assessment requirement and earn MOC points.

    No appointment necessary!: Once enrolled, just sign in to your ABIM Physician Portal to access your LKA dashboard and answer questions.
    Physicians can start engaging at any time, up until and including assessment due year
    Four minutes per questions, answer any place or time with a pool of extra minutes if you need more time
    Access any resources used in practice (except another person)
    Provides immediate feedback, rationales, references
    Can be used for earning MOC points
    Participation Requirement: 120 questions offered per year can skip 100 questions over 5 years
    Performance Standard: Feedback relative to standard will be provided, and a final score calculated at conclusion of 5 year cycle

    * Participation Requirement includes built-in flexibility to allow for life’s circumstances, such as short-term medical issues, vacations, weddings, funerals, or other personal events.

    What is the LKA Participation Requirement?

    ABIM understands that “life happens,” sometimes unexpectedly. That's why the LKA Participation Requirement includes built-in flexibility to allow for life’s circumstances, such as short-term medical issues, vacations, weddings, funerals, or other personal events.

    Over the course of 5 years, you’ll be offered 600 questions and must open at least 500 to meet the LKA Participation Requirement.

    You’ll receive 30 questions at the start of each quarter, and can answer them any time before the end of that quarter. You’ll have four minutes per question, and can answer one at a time, in batches, or whatever works best for you.

    At the end of each quarter:

    • Questions you have opened will be scored.
    • Questions you have not opened will count toward the maximum of 100 total questions you don’t have to open over 5 years.

    Please note any unopened questions will not be scored and expire at the end of the quarter, meaning you can't come back to them later.

    If you need a break, simply don’t open the questions – up to 100 over your 5-year LKA cycle – because once you open a question, it will be scored even if you don't answer it. And don't worry, you'll get notifications about how many questions you’ve opened and how many are remaining in your 5-year LKA cycle to help you stay on track.

    If you don't meet the Participation Requirement ABIM will let you know, and you'll be able to take the traditional, 10-year MOC exam to stay certified.

    What is the LKA Performance Standard?

    The LKA performance standard indicates the score you must meet at the end of your 5-year cycle to maintain your certification. While you will receive formative feedback on how you are doing along the way, including how you are performing relative to the performance standard, a summative determination is made at the end of the 5th year.

    If your score meets or exceeds the performance standard, you can continue with the LKA. Failure to meet the performance standard does not result in loss of certification, however, you must pass the traditional, 10-year MOC exam the following year to remain certified.

    What happens at the end of my 5-year cycle?

    A summative, pass/fail decision is made at the end of your 5-year cycle.

    If you pass:

    • You can choose to continue the LKA, and would begin your next 5-year cycle the following year. You would continue to be reported as certified throughout that 5-year cycle as long as you are meeting any other MOC requirements.
    • Or, you could choose to take the traditional, 10-year MOC exam the following year instead. You will be reported as certified during that year, and if you pass, your next assessment will be due in 10 years.

    If you do not pass:

    • You will enter the grace period, meaning you will have one year to take and pass the traditional, 10-year MOC exam. You will continue to be reported as certified during the grace period as long as you are meeting all other MOC requirements.

    What if I am maintaining more than one certificate?

    We understand many physicians maintain certification in more than one discipline. At launch the number of questions offered through the LKA will be the same for all specialties. We are exploring models that may allow us to reduce the number of questions for disciplines that have overlapping content in the future.

    One benefit of using LKA for multiple certificates is that you’ll still receive 0.2 MOC points for every correct answer, giving you even more opportunities to earn points. Remember: you only need to earn a total of 100 MOC points over 5 years, no matter how many certificates you’re maintaining.

    ABIM will continue to offer you choice in which assessment option works best for you: the traditional 10-year MOC exam or, depending on discipline, the LKA. Cardiologists will also have the ABIM/ACC Collaborative Maintenance Pathway available.

    Whichever assessment option you choose, they all provide a way for you to know and demonstrate to your patients that you’re keeping your medical knowledge current.

    Will I get a new printed certificate if I participate in LKA?

    • If you earned your certificate prior to 1990 you will be issued a new printed certificate of appreciation after successfully completing your first year of LKA participation. As a reminder, if you were certified prior to 1990 your certificate is valid indefinitely.
    • If your certificate is not lapsed and has an expiration date on it, you will be issued a new printed certificate after successfully completing your first year of LKA participation so long as all other MOC requirements are up to date. Your new certificate will remain valid as long as you meet MOC requirements.
    • If you
      • earned your Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine certificate in 2010 or later;
      • earned your initial certification in any other discipline in 2013 or later; or,
      • completed MOC requirements (recertified) in 2014 or later;

      your certificate is valid as long as you meet MOC requirements, and you will not be issued a new printed certificate.

    How Questions Work

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    How many questions do I need to answer?

    You'll receive 30 questions at the start of each quarter, and can answer them any time before the end of that quarter. You'll have four minutes per question, and can answer one at a time, in batches, or whatever works best for you.

    At the end of each quarter:

    • Questions you have opened will be scored.
    • Questions you have not opened will count toward the maximum of 100 total questions you don’t have to open over 5 years.

    Please note any unopened questions will not be scored and expire at the end of the quarter, meaning you can't come back to them later.

    Over the course of 5 years, you'll be offered 600 questions and must open at least 500 to meet the LKA Participation Requirement.

    Questions are multiple choice, single best answer like those on the traditional, 10-year MOC exam. The number of questions is the same for all specialties.

    What is the 2022 question release schedule?

    Quarter Opens Closes
    1 1/4/22 3/31/22
    2 4/1/22 6/30/22
    3 7/1/22 9/30/22
    4 10/1/22 12/31/22

    Reminder: The last day to enroll in LKA in 2022 is 6/30/22. If you are planning to participate in the LKA, it is a good idea to start early so you don’t miss any questions. Questions expire at the end of each quarter and you can’t go back to answer them later. Any unopened questions will count against the 100 you can choose not to open over 5 years.

    Can I earn MOC points by answering questions?

    You'll receive 0.2 MOC points for every question you answer correctly. You’ll be offered 600 questions per 5-year assessment cycle, so over time you could potentially meet your MOC point requirement through LKA participation alone. Points you’ve earned will be awarded and added to your personalized ABIM Physician Portal quarterly.

    If you participate in the LKA for more than one of your certificates you’ll still receive 0.2 MOC points for every correct answer, giving you even more opportunities to earn points. Remember: you only need to earn a total of 100 MOC points over 5 years, no matter how many certificates you’re maintaining.

    Please note your 5-year assessment cycle and your 5-year points cycle may or may not align. You can still earn MOC points outside the LKA through thousands of activities eligible for both CME and MOC. Learn more at abim.org/points.

    How much time do I have per question?

    You'll have four minutes to answer a question and, each year, have access to a 30-minute time bank you can draw from if you need extra time on a particular question. This time allotment per question was derived by analyzing data from previous ABIM exams that allowed physicians to access an external resource. It also aligns with the construct of a longitudinal assessment in that it measures what physicians should know to provide high-quality patient care and emulates the finite time they have to look up information in practice.

    What happens if I run out of time answering a question?

    If the question time expires before an answer is selected, the question will be marked incorrect and you will be directed to the post-question survey and immediate feedback. If you select an answer but question time expires before you are able to click submit, the selected response will be recorded.

    What is the content of the LKA?

    The LKA will use the existing MOC exam blueprints to inform its content. In other words, the major medical content categories in any given specialty will be the same for all MOC assessments.

    Why can't I share assessment questions with my colleagues or take a screen grab?

    ABIM assessments are confidential, in addition to being protected by federal copyright and trade secret laws. Candidates and diplomates who undertake assessments agree that they will not copy, reproduce, adapt, disclose or transmit assessments, in whole or in part, before or after taking an assessment, by any means now known or hereafter invented. They further agree that they will not reconstruct assessment content from memory, by dictation, or by any other means or otherwise discuss assessment content with others.

    Performance Feedback

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    When will I get feedback on each question?

    For the majority of questions, you will receive feedback immediately after responding to each question. For a small portion of pre-test questions, immediate feedback is not provided.

    When will my question history be available in my Review Tab and how long will it be there?

    You will have access to your question history, which lists your questions with answers, rationales and references, about six months after you start the assessment and then quarterly thereafter. All live questions will show up in your question history about three months after the quarter closes, and will be available for one year.

    Why am I asked to complete a post-question survey?

    We ask you about frequency/importance/confidence so you can later filter your item history and pinpoint areas to focus your review. In addition, we use these data to better understand how pertinent each question is to your practice. Please note, your feedback will never be used toward your score and will remain anonymous.

    Why are there pre-test questions and why do I not get feedback for some of them?

    Offering pretest questions is the best practice in assessment development and allows testing of new questions without risk to the candidate. These pretest questions are not counted in your score. Each pretest question is assessed according to statistical performance criteria. If these questions have acceptable statistics, they can be used in the future as live, scoreable questions.

    Immediate feedback (answer, rationale and references) is currently provided for some pretest questions, and not for a small number of others, so that ABIM can evaluate the best way to administer new questions in the future.

    Accommodations

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    Can I request an accommodation for the LKA?

    Yes. ABIM will offer LKA accommodations in compliance with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for individuals with documented disabilities who demonstrate a need for accommodation. Given the format of the LKA, some common testing accommodations may not be available.

    Physicians requesting special testing accommodations under the ADA should submit a completed request by the deadline. All required documentation to be approved for the assessment must be received by deadline in order for staff to review and set the appropriate accommodations.

    All physicians should review the Disability Accommodations Request policy in its entirety to ensure that they understand their rights and obligations when requesting a testing accommodation.

    Learn more about ABIM’s evaluation of accommodations requests.

    What is the deadline for LKA accommodation requests?

    To request a testing accommodation for the LKA, the request forms and supporting documentation must be submitted to accommodations@abim.org in writing one month prior to the enrollment deadline for the upcoming quarter.

    Quarter LKA Enrollment Deadline Accommodations Request Deadline
    1 3/31/22 2/28/22
    2 6/30/22 5/31/22

    How can I request an accommodation?

    Physicians requesting special testing accommodations under the ADA should indicate as such through the examination application and submit a complete request by the published deadline. All required documentation to be approved for the assessment must be received by the enrollment deadline in order for staff to review and set the appropriate accommodations.

    Note: Accommodation requests will only be considered with appropriate documentation. After the deadline, requests with insufficient information, or that are incomplete for any reason, will not be processed and the physician may begin the LKA under normal conditions or withdraw their request.

    What types of accommodations are being offered?

    Please note, due to its format, certain accommodations may not be available for the LKA. ABIM will ensure that physicians with a disability have access to auxiliary aids and services in accordance with Title III, but devices and services of a personal nature must be provided by the physician. For example, the availability of a computer with broadband access is necessary for the LKA, but these would be considered personal devices or services that the physician is responsible for arranging.

    If approved for additional testing time, the time will be added to the standard four minutes that physicians have to answer each question as well as the 30-minute time bank physicians may access each year, if more time is needed on a particular question.

    Do I need to request accommodations if I was previously approved for the traditional, 10-year MOC exam?

    Accommodations previously approved by ABIM may not automatically apply to the LKA due to the format. Upon enrollment in the LKA, ABIM’s accommodations team will review the approval history and provide a new determination for this assessment only.

    Am I able to start the assessment over if I apply for accommodations after completing a quarter of questions?

    If you are approved for accommodations after completing questions prior to your request, you may not begin the assessment from the start. The accommodation approval covers all remaining unanswered questions during your complete 5-year cycle.

    Is my accessibility software compatible with the assessment?

    The LKA is designed to work with most text-to-speech and screen magnification programs. You may also adjust the font size with your keyboard:

    Operating System Zoom In Zoom Out
    Windows Ctrl+ Ctl-
    MAC Command+ Command-

    For additional information, please contact accommodations@abim.org and our accommodations team will provide any assistance.

    Technical

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    What kind of device can I use?

    While you can access the LKA on your internet-connected smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer, the best experience at launch will be on a laptop or desktop computer. Some testers reported occasional issues with the mobile experience that are actively being addressed.

    Also, some questions may contain multimedia that are better experienced on a device with a larger screen. If a question will contain multimedia, you’ll see an alert prompt before opening it that will advise you to use a laptop or desktop computer. 

    Physician beta testers shared...

    “The platform is really great…physicians should be advised to do the questions like a real examon a computer, with time blocked off, email and other distractions shut off. It’s not something to multitask.”

    “I recommend getting a feel for it on a computer before using a mobile device. Once I understood the flow of answering questions and what is on the dashboard, it was much easier to use my phone.”

    What software do I need to take the LKA?

    • Windows: You need Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 11.0 or higher, Edge, Chrome, or Firefox. The latest version of Internet Explorer for Windows can be downloaded from Microsoft Downloads.

    • Mac: You need Mac OS X 10.11 or higher with Safari 10.1 or higher, Chrome, or Firefox. The latest version of Safari for Mac OS X can be downloaded from Apple Downloads.

    • Android: You need Android version 9.0 or higher.

    • iOS: You need iOS version 10.11 or higher.

    What type of Internet connection should I have?

    The LKA requires a broadband connection. Both wired and wireless (802.11g and 802.11n) networks are supported.