Preparation for Examinations


The purpose of the Written Examination is to test a candidate's cognitive knowledge. Review the Examination Blueprint against the Content Outline to understand where to focus your studies.  


Exam Preparation:

  • The ABPS Written Examination and the ASPS In-Service Examination (ISE) are two different examinations and do not share any question items or question writers. Both examinations have new content developed every year. 

    The ABPS Written Examination and ISE share a similar content outline of topics that will likely appear on both examinations. If used as preparatory material, the ISE can identify topics that might be on both examinations and identify an individual’s knowledge gaps. However, the ISE should not be used to determine possible answers to specific topics as the focus of the items are often different.
  • Be advised that candidates have reported that they did not find commercial review courses helpful in preparation for the Written Examination.
  • Be advised that other test takers may type loudly at the test center. Sound-reducing headphones are supplied by the test center staff.
  • Candidates are welcome to bring their own ear plugs.


Request for Special Accommodations

Requests for Testing Accommodations MUST be submitted during the Application process (in the fall of senior year) and approved by the Board.  Candidates who require additional break time, for example, a nursing mother, should email the request to no later than February 1st of the year registering for the exam. The Board and Prometric, Inc. cannot guarantee accommodations for the examination if a request is received after this date.


Pledge of Ethical Behavior:

  • It is of great importance for the Board to ensure the confidentiality of all examination content and to promote a culture of ethical behavior by its candidates and diplomates.
  • The Pledge of Ethical Behavior is signed by all candidates on the Application for Examination.
  • Candidates agree not to divulge any questions or examination content of any ABPS examination to any individual or entity.
  • A violation of this pledge can result in the Board seeking the recovery of costs and civil damages in a court of law, which could be substantial, as well as other actions by the Board.
  • Forensic Analysis - The Board will perform forensic evaluation of the Written Examination data. Detailed analysis of examination participation and performance data allows for the identification of patterns suggestive of unethical practices. If identified, the Board will forward the information to the Credentials and Requirements Committee for review. Confirmation of unethical behavior may lead to deferment or barring from future exams.


The purpose of the Oral Examination is to test a candidate's reasoning, judgment, and problem solving skills. It provides insight into actual clinical performance.  


Exam Preparation:

  • Responses should reflect your approach to the problem presented, not what you think examiners would do
  • Answer questions thoughtfully, demonstrating safety
  • Prepare to defend your position and choice of procedure
  • Prepare to treat complications and present “back-ups” and “lifeboat” procedures
  • Demonstrate your mastery of problems
  • Demonstrate your competence, safety and ethics 



60 Category I CME Credits

Diplomates who successfully complete the Oral Examination may apply to the American Medical Association (AMA) for CME credit.

Membership with the AMA is not required to earn the CME credits. There is a fee charged by the AMA.

  • Visit AMA:
  • Click the link to Direct credit application
  • Create an Account
  • Provide a copy of your Result Letter found on the Oral Exam tab of the Board's website