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ABIM is actively monitoring news around COVID-19 and will post regular updates about any changes to scheduled assessments or other impacts to MOC related activities.
Scheduled for an assessment this year? ABIM is working with Pearson VUE to ensure your safety throughout your exam day. Learn more about what to expect at test centers.
Please follow the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the most up-to-date information on the virus.

Breadcrumb trail:

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.

ABIM’s Longitudinal Knowledge Assessment (LKA™) for Maintenance of Certification (MOC), slated to launch in many specialties in 2022, is a 5-year cycle in which physicians answer questions on an ongoing basis and receive feedback on how they’re performing along the way. The LKA was designed with physicians’ personal and professional needs in mind: greater flexibility, more convenience, increased relevancy and faster feedback. We are continuing to utilize feedback from the community to develop this new option and encourage you to share your thoughts. 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.”

What if my assessment was due in 2020?

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. Please note the availability of the Knowledge Check-In varies by specialty.

Take a Knowledge Check-In (if available)...

  • If you passed in 2020, your next assessment is due in 2024, at which point you can start participating in the LKA (pending availability in your specialty).
OR... Take the traditional, 10-year MOC exam.

  • If you passed 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 if I’m due for an assessment 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. Please note the availability of the Knowledge Check-In varies by specialty.

You can still take a Knowledge Check-In in 2021 if you’d like and if available...

  • If you pass, your next assessment is due in 2025, at which point you can start participating in the LKA (pending availability in your specialty).
OR... Take the traditional, 10-year MOC exam.
  • If you pass, 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 have two other assessment options to choose from:

  1. The traditional, 10-year MOC exam in Cardiovascular Disease, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Interventional Cardiology and Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology.
  2. The Knowledge Check-In, available in 2021 in several cardiology subspecialties: Advanced Heart Failure & Transplant CardiologyClinical Cardiac Electrophysiology and Interventional Cardiology. Physicians are encouraged to sign in to their Physician Portal to confirm individual requirements and due dates.

While you are welcome to continue participating in the Collaborative Maintenance Pathway in 2021, please know you are not required to do so. Please see an important update about MOC requirement deadline extensions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.
  • We realize every physician’s situation is different, so we will continue to offer all ABIM exams as scheduled in 2021 if you would like to take one.
  • The Knowledge Check-In will no longer be offered after 2021, and the new LKA will take 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. Diplomates from co-sponsored ABMS Member Boards will be able to participate in the LKA if it is available in their specialty.

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.

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.

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
Physicians can start engaging at any time, up until and including assessment due year
Provide a re-entry pathway for Physicians with lapsed certifications

* 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 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.

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.

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.

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.

Technical

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What kind of device can I use?

You can access the LKA on your internet-connected smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. 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. 

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.