What is the ABIM?
As a prerequisite for privileges at most hospitals as well as credentialing by many insurers, the importance of successfully passing the ABIM can not be understated. While the ABIM is a pass fail exam, it resembles closely other standardized medical exams such as the USMLE in terms of depth of knowledge required. According to the ABIM website, the ABIM assesses, “The ability to make appropriate diagnostic and management decisions that have important consequences for patients will be assessed.” In addition, “The exam may require recognition of common as well as rare clinical problems for which patients may consult a certified internist.”
What content does the ABIM cover?
Questions on the ABIM are drawn from a number of medical content categories including: allergy and immunology, cardiovascular disease, dermatology, endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism, gastroenterology, geriatric syndromes, hematology, infectious diseases, nephrology and urology, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, medical oncology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology and dental medicine, psychiatry, pulmonary disease, and rheumatology and orthopedics.There are also other important areas that are addressed in conjunction with this medical content called, “cross content categories.” These categories include: critical care medicine, geriatric medicine, prevention, women’s health, clinical epidemiology, ethics, nutrition, palliative and end-of-life care, adolescent medicine, occupational medicine, patient safety, and substance abuse.”
How is the ABIM scored?
The ABIM is composed of multiple-choice questions with a single best answer and is administered as pass/fail. Overall exam performance is reported on a standardized score scale with a range of 200 to 800. The minimum passing score reflects an absolute standard that is independent of the performance of any group of candidates and is presently set at 366. The mean standardized score for first-time takers on the base test form of is 500 with a standard deviation of 100.
How is the ABIM administered?
The ABIM is a single day exam lasting approximately 10 hours. The exam is divided into four sessions, each lasting up to two hours and containing a maximum of 60 case-based, multiple-choice questions. Multiple editions, or “forms,” of the exam ABIM are used, and slightly differ in question order and content.
Receiving 1-on-1 help from an expert is always helpful. However, for some students, getting personalized help studying for the ABIM is necessary in order to achieve their goals. We strongly encourage students who fit into one or more of the following categories to contact us and speak with our learning advisor to determine if tutoring is your best option for success.
At Risk Students
- If you historically have high test anxiety and/or are a poor standardized test taker, a couple tutoring sessions focused on strategy and wellness can be very beneficial to your success. In addition, if preparing for other high stakes medical exams was a traumatic experience for you, a tutor can help your ABIM prep go smoother.
- Physicians who have been out of training for several years or who are currently training in a sub-specialty area that doesn’t require the daily practice of some areas of internal medicine should consider an ABIM tutor.
- Residents who struggled on the American College of Physicians Internal Medicine-In Training Examination should strongly consider ABIM tutoring.
- Physicians who have struggled on or failed previous standardized medical exams, such as the USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, or USMLE Step 3 should strongly consider an ABIM tutor.
International Medical Students
- If you have previously failed the ABIM a tutor can work with you to come up with an action plan for passing and achieving a good score. We strongly urge you to contact us if you previously failed and have 8 or fewer weeks left before your next attempt.
- If you have previously failed other standardized medical exams such as USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, or USMLE Step 3, you are at risk for also failing the ABIM. Performance on past exams are a strong indicator of what performance on the ABIM will be. A tutor can help you effectively prepare in order to be successful on the ABIM, and correct any poor or problematic study habits.
Despite the lower pass rate, achieving a high Step 1 score is considered to be more important for non-US medical students, as competitive residencies tend to favor US medical students based on data from the NRMP Matching tool.
In addition, enjoy our Unused Hour Guarantee! All unused 1-on-1 tutoring hours are fully refundable.
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