ABS In-Training Examination (ABSITE)

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About the Exam
  • The ABS offers annually to general surgery residency programs the In-Training Examination (ABSITE®), a multiple-choice exam designed to measure the progress attained by residents in their knowledge of applied science and management of clinical problems related to surgery. The ABSITE is furnished to program directors as an evaluation instrument to assess residents' progress. The results are released only to program directors. It is not available to individuals and is not required as part of the board certification process.
  • The ABSITE is administered solely online using each program's own computer facilities. The exam is presented in one five-hour block; examinees may return to past questions during the exam. See also the sample test below.
  • The ABSITE is protected by federal copyright and its contents may not be reproduced or disclosed in any manner, as described in the ABS Ethics and Professionalism Policy.
  • Next Exam: Jan.30 - Feb. 3, 2015

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Examination Content
  • Starting in 2014, the ABSITE will be given as a single examination to all residents. The ABSITE consists of approximately 250 multiple-choice questions; examinees will have five hours to take the exam. The online exam process remains the same.
  • The content of the ABSITE is aligned with the SCORE Curriculum Outline for General Surgery Residency. This means topic areas in the exam's content outline refer to those categories in the SCORE outline.
  • For further details, see the ABSITE Content Outline (pdf).

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Examination Availability
  • The ABS provides the ABSITE to all ACGME-accredited general surgery residency programs, which are responsible for ordering the exam materials for their residents. It is also made available to osteopathic and international programs upon request. The exam may not be purchased individually.
  • If you are no longer affiliated with a residency program and wish to take the ABSITE, you must find a program whose director is willing to allow you to take the exam along with the residents of that program. This program will be responsible for payment to the ABS for your participation; the ABS does not accept payment from individuals. Your results will be included in the program's results and will be released only to the program director.

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Reporting of Results
  • ABSITE results are made available to program directors in early March. The ABS provides program directors with various reports, including an individual score report for each examinee. Examinees are strongly encouraged to keep copies of their score report for their records, as the ABS does not retain this information. The ABS will not provide examinees with a score report or "transcript." Individuals who request this information will be directed to contact the residency program.
  • If you have questions once you have received your individual score report, your program director can help with the interpretation of the results. The ABS will not discuss exam results with examinees. The ABS also will not regenerate any report as a result of miscoding of information, such as PGY level, program, etc. Any inquiries regarding the ABSITE must come directly from the program.

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Online ABSITE - Sample Test
  • To familiarize yourself with the computer screens you will see during the ABSITE and the steps necessary to respond to questions and review your answers, an interactive sample test and printed guide are provided below. To access the sample test, you must use either Internet Explorer or Apple Safari. Do not use Firefox.
  • The sample test has ten questions and a sample survey. The number of questions remaining will be indicated on the screen. Once the sample test and survey are completed the window will automatically close—this will also occur at the conclusion of the actual examination. The ABS will not review, score or use any information you provide on either the sample test or survey.
  • Note: On the day of the exam, examinees will access the ABSITE by launching the secure browser previously downloaded onto the testing computers. At that time examinees will be asked to complete a new examinee profile—this feature is not available with the sample test.
  • Option I - Interactive Sample Test
    This interactive online tutorial gives examinees the opportunity to learn how to navigate through the testing format. To access the sample test, go to http://absdemo.startpractice.com.
  • Option II - Printed Guide
    If you prefer, you can learn about what to expect when taking the exam by reviewing this printed guide (pdf).


See also:

For specific inquiries, please send an e-mail to the examination coordinator.

Updated: February 2014

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