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What Can't I Bring?

To assure exam security, ABIM and Pearson VUE prohibit the following: All electronic devices, including cell phones, cameras, recording devices, PDAs, calculators, personal digital assistants, pagers, and beepers.

In addition, the following are not permitted:

  • Watches. The time of day will be displayed on a clock in the testing room, and the time remaining in the exam session will be displayed on your computer screen.
  • Calipers, nomograms or other interpretive aids.
  • Study materials, books, notes, scratch paper, etc.
  • Pens, pencils, highlighters and other writing instruments. The test administrator will provide noteboards that will be replaced as needed. Noteboards may not be removed from the testing room and must be turned in to the test administrator when you complete each exam session. In addition, you may type and save notes in the "Notes" section available for each exam question. Both the noteboards and the "Notes" section are provided for your convenience and are not considered in the evaluation of your exam.
  • Suitcases, briefcases, backpacks.
  • Wallets and purses.
  • Tobacco products.
  • Food amd drinks. You may bring lunch to the test center, but there is no access to refrigeration or lounge facilities. Water fountains are available at most test centers. You may also bring bottled water to store in your secure locker.
  • Certain medications may be brought to the test center with prior approval of ABIM. You can submit your request to ABIM by using the Contact Us feature.

Friends or relatives who accompany you to the test center will not be permitted to wait inside the test center and cannot contact you while you are taking the exam.

Note: Candidates who fail to adhere to these policies are subject to disciplinary action which could lead to dismissal from the exam, invalidation of the exam, disqualification from future exams, or other sanctions deemed appropriate by ABIM.


How Will the Exam Start?

At the start of the exam, you will see several screens reviewing instructions about taking the exam and about exam security. You will be asked to agree to a Pledge of Honesty affirming that you will follow ABIM and Pearson VUE rules.


What Do I Need to Know About Exam Sessions and Scheduled Breaks?

Exam structure: The exams are given in modular format with a maximum of 60 multiple-choice questions per exam session.

Exam time: You will have up to two hours to complete each session. The time remaining for each session will appear in the upper right-hand corner of the computer screen. The time of day will be displayed on a clock in the testing room.

Assistance during an exam session: You must remain in your seat during an exam session, unless authorized to leave by a test center administrator. Raise your hand to notify the administrator if you:

  • Have a problem with your computer
  • Need a clean noteboard
  • Need to leave the testing room for any reason
  • Have inadvertently brought any personal belongings into the testing room
  • Need earplugs or headphones if you are easily distracted by noise, including typing noise
  • Need assistance for any other reason

Leaving the testing room during an exam session: If you need to leave the testing room during the exam session, the clock will continue to count down the time remaining. The test administrator will set your computer to "Unscheduled Break" mode. The screen will display the session time with the clock counting down, and the display screen you are working on will be hidden. You should exit the testing room as quietly as possible. You may not leave the immediate vicinity of the testing room or restrooms while an exam session is in progress.

Returning to the testing room during an exam session: You must provide an electronic fingerprint each time you enter and exit the testing room. When you return to your workstation, the test administrator will reset your computer so that you may continue the exam.

Five-minute notification: A message box will appear on your computer screen as a reminder when five minutes remain in a session. If you are still working at the end of the two-hour session, the computer screen will turn gray, a message will state that your time has expired, and no further keyboard and mouse responses will be recorded.

Taking breaks: Scheduled breaks, including a 60-minute lunch break, occur at the completion of each session. Taking scheduled breaks is optional. You can decline a break and immediately begin the next two-hour exam session. You can choose to use some or all of your break time. If you finish your testing session early, you can combine your unused test time with the subsequent break. However, unused break time is not cumulative and cannot be accrued during the day or applied to testing time. If you do not use time available for a scheduled break, it is forfeited.

Returning from a scheduled break: You must provide an electronic fingerprint each time you enter and exit the testing room. Because you must be at your seat before the end of a scheduled break, allow sufficient time (as much as ten minutes) for checking back in. At the end of a scheduled break, the clock on the computer will automatically start the next exam session.

Technical or computer problems: In the event of a computer or other technical problem, the Pearson VUE system will ensure that no testing time is lost and all your answer choices are saved. Raise your hand to notify the proctor if there is a problem. The proctor will follow established procedures to resolve the problem.


What About Lodging and Travel?

You are responsible for making your own travel and hotel reservations. Recommendations for overnight accommodations are not available from ABIM or Pearson VUE.


What Should I Do If I See Cheating or Other Inappropriate Behavior?

ABIM considers the integrity of the exam process to be very important. If you see cheating or other inappropriate behavior, please contact us at 1-800-884-2246.


How Do I Contact ABIM With Questions Regarding Exam Day?

If you have any questions regarding exam day, call ABIM's Contact Center at 1-800-441-2246 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Or visit the Contact Us page at www.abim.org.


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