ABS In-Training Examination
- 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 a formative 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 online using each program's own computer facilities. The exam is given in one 5-hour block; examinees may return to past questions during the exam. See also 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. In addition, please see below for our policy regarding ABSITE irregularities. Accommodations for learning disabilities for in-training exams are at the discretion of the program and do not require ABS approval.
- As of 2014, the ABSITE is given as a single examination to all residents. The ABSITE consists of approximately 250 multiple-choice questions; examinees will have 5 hours to take the exam.
- The content of the ABSITE is aligned with the SCORE Curriculum Outline for General Surgery; the topic areas in the ABSITE content outline refer to those categories in the SCORE outline. The SCORE Curriculum Outline is a list of patient care and medical knowledge topics to be covered in a five-year general surgery residency. It is updated annually and is available as a PDF or Excel spreadsheet.
- 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.
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.
- The ABSITE is a formative exam, meant to assist program directors in gauging residents' progress. Discretion should be used in the interpretation and use of its scores. The ABS considers it as one factor of many that should be considered when assessing a resident's performance.
- Upon receiving the score report, residents with questions should contact their program director, who 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.
Exam Irregularities Policy
- The ABS clarified in October 2014, and further updated in August 2015, how irregularities in the ABSITE administration will be handled. The following will apply when the ABS, at its sole discretion, identifies exam irregularities or other security violations:
- The ABS will notify the program director of the individuals involved and request that he or she investigate the circumstances.
- The ABS will also notify the department chair and designated institutional official (DIO).
- Exam scores will be considered invalid for all individuals involved in the irregularities and will not be reported to the program.
- While the disciplinary consequences of the irregularities will be at the program director's discretion, the ABS will require program directors to provide a written report explaining their findings with regard to the irregularities and their decisions regarding the individuals concerned.
- The program will be required to administer the ABSITE to all of their residents on the first day of the exam window for the next three years.
- Following a subsequent offense, the ABS reserves the right to require, at the program's expense, that all residents in the program take future exams at a Pearson VUE testing center or similar facility.
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 closethis 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 profilethis 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).
For specific inquiries, please send an email to the exam coordinator.