Common questions on new assessment
We encourage diplomates to do their best on all assessment attempts. Correctly answering 80% of the questions is required to pass, with two chances to answer. A score of at least 40% must be achieved on the first attempt to qualify for a second attempt in the same testing administration, so frequently guessing the correct answer is not a recommended strategy. Those who do not answer a minimum of 16 questions (40%) correctly on their first attempt or 32 questions (80%) correctly by their second attempt will be granted a grace year and will be able to retake it the following year without loss of certification status. A $50 fee will be charged for taking the assessment in the grace year.
Diplomates who are enrolled in the Continuous Certification Program and are not up to date with all program requirements at the time assessment registration will be unable to take the assessment until those requirements have been fulfilled. Grace years are provided to diplomates who do not pass an assessment when it is due, whether they do not register for the assessment or they are unsuccessful in their assessment attempt.
If you do not pass the assessment in the grace year, you will lose your certification. Regaining certification after the grace year will then require successful completion of a secure exam.
Diplomates who are participating in the lapsed pathway do not receive any grace years during the five years in which they are completing the pathway requirements.
Grace years are available for everyone in good standing and participating in the Continuous Certification Program, whenever an assessment is normally due. Diplomates who are currently in a grace year and do not pass the assessment will not be issued another grace year at that time.
For example, if you fail the assessment in 2020 and pass during the grace year in 2021, your next regularly scheduled assessment will be due in 2022. If you fail the assessment in 2022, you will receive a grace year in 2023.
We felt it was important that lapsed diplomates have a special pathway that allows them to regain their certification within a short timeframe (year 1), but also ensures they are satisfactorily meeting the requirements of Continuous Certification. Once registration opens for the new assessment, lapsed diplomates will need to submit information regarding their professional standing and CME activities; this is an entirely online process that can be completed within a few days. Most recently lapsed diplomates or diplomates with other ABS certificates will already have many of the items submitted.
Lapsed diplomates must also take and pass two extra assessments during the initial five-year period of the pathway (in years 2 and 4); however, once the five-year period is completed, they will take the assessment on the standard schedule of every other year.