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Common questions about computer exams

FAQs - Computer Examinations

Once you register for the exam and receive your exam admission authorization letter from the ABS, you should contact Pearson VUE directly, either through their website (www.pearsonvue.com/abs) or by calling them at 1-800-507-7744 Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time. Please note that we do not receive your scheduling information; any questions or changes regarding the exam time or location should be addressed to Pearson VUE.
Pearson VUE operates more than 250 professional testing centers across the United States and Canada, with one likely within 50 miles of your home. You can locate the testing centers nearest you by going to www.pearsonvue.com/abs and selecting "Find a Test Center." We encourage you to schedule your exam as soon as possible so you have the greatest choice of testing center options.
To cancel your scheduled exam, you must contact the ABS as soon as possible in writing (email is fine) and receive confirmation from the ABS of your cancellation. You should also contact Pearson VUE and cancel your exam with them.
Please arrive at the testing center at least 30 minutes prior to your exam to allow time for registration. Bring with you 2 forms of identification: One must have your name, photo and signature; the second ID must have at least a name and signature, or a name and photo. The name on the IDs must match the one on record with the ABS. You will be photographed and hand-scanned for identification purposes during registration and upon re-entry to the examination room.

You will be given a private locker in which to store your personal belongings, including your coat, wallet, watch, pager and keys, as you cannot bring these items into the exam room. We suggest wearing layers in case the room is too cold or hot. You will be able to practice at your computer before the exam begins.The exams are given in 90-minute sessions, with scheduled breaks in between. You may also want to bring snacks with you for the breaks in case there are no stores nearby.
Yes. ABS computer exams are administered in either three or four sessions. There are scheduled breaks between the sessions to allow examinees to use the restroom, etc. There will be a starting break bank of either 70 minutes or 20 minutes, depending on the exam, that you may or may not choose to you use at each scheduled break. A dialog box with your break balance will appear when your exam is placed in scheduled break mode. Note this time as you are responsible for managing your break bank. Pearson VUE will not monitor your break time. Once an exam session as concluded you may not revisit those questions.
80 minutes of total break time (70 minutes + 10 minutes of unused exam time from the first exam session) minus the 15-minute break taken after your first exam section equals 65 minutes of remaining break time.

The General Surgery Qualifying Examination (QE) and the Vascular Surgery Qualifying Examination (VSQE) will start with a bank of 70 minutes of break time. To express breast milk during the QE or the VSQE, lactating mothers will receive an additional 60 minutes of break time added to the break bank, for a total of 130 minutes of break time.

The Pediatric Surgery Qualifying Examination (PSQE), the Complex General Surgical Oncology Qualifying Examination (CGSO QE), and Surgical Critical Care Certifying Examination (SCC CE) will start with a bank of 20 minutes of break time. To express breast milk during the PSQE, the CGSO QE, or the SCC CE, lactating mothers will receive an additional 30 minutes of break time added to the break bank, for a total of 50 minutes of break time.

See Examination Accommodations for additional information.

Pearson VUE uses strict security measures to ensure the integrity of the examination process. Pearson VUE does not release any information about examinees to third parties.
Instantaneous results are not possible as we conduct extensive statistical analyses after the exam to determine appropriate scoring standards. We make every effort to process results quickly. Results are posted on the ABS website approximately four to eight weeks after the exam. You will be sent an email when results are posted.
Yes. Pearson VUE operates a small number of testing centers in international locations; see www.pearsonvue.com/abs for a testing center directory. For active duty military personnel stationed overseas, the ABS will make specific arrangements when possible on a case-by-case basis. Please call the ABS office at 215-568-4000 or send an email to the appropriate exam coordinator.

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