Common questions about the CE

FAQs - General Surgery Certifying Exam

Once QE results are posted on the ABS website, candidates who passed the QE should select via the website a CE date/site as soon as possible. They will then be tentatively assigned to that site and subsequently sent instructions on how to register for that CE.
Yes. A full and unrestricted license is not required for either QE or CE registration. However, a full and unrestricted state medical license will be required before a candidate will be considered certified by the ABS. Candidates must provide proof of medical license before they will be issued their certificate, and will be listed in the ABS verification system as "in the examination process" until proof is submitted. Temporary, limited, educational or institutional licenses will not be accepted, even if you are currently in a fellowship.
Candidates can check their CE assignment status at any time on their Exam Records page under My Records. Please allow a few days after submitting the registration items for your status to be updated. Once you are registered, your final assignment with a specific exam date and time will be posted. Admission materials with further details regarding the exam will be mailed to you four to six weeks prior to the exam date.
Tentative assignments are not guaranteed in any way. The registration form and exam fee should be submitted to the ABS as soon as you are able to commit to taking that CE. CEs are slightly overbooked, so you may lose your spot if you wait until the last minute or after the deadline to register. Once the deadline is reached, any unconfirmed spots are opened up to those on the waiting list. You will now have to select another exam site to take the CE.
No. Because of the scheduling system that we employ to match candidates with examiners and perform the necessary conflict checks, unfortunately we cannot accommodate requests for specific dates or times.
You will need to be present for only one of the three days of the exam (Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday) and for only the morning or afternoon session (approximately 1/2 day). If you are assigned to a morning exam, you will have a candidate briefing at 7 a.m. and your exam will be held from either 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. or 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. If you have an afternoon exam, your briefing will be at 12 p.m. and your exam will be held from either 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. or 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. You are free to leave after your third exam session.
ABS data shows that there is no systematic, significant relationship between the CE fail rate and factors such as exam location, time of year, or the day and time of the examination.
CE results will be posted on the ABS website within 10 business days after the final day of the exam. You will be sent an email when results are posted.
Approximately six months. If you need proof of certification and/or your certificate number, you may print a verification of certification letter using Check a Certification on the ABS website. You may also submit a request in writing for a hardcopy letter by email, fax or mail.
Residents' performance on ABS examinations is one factor evaluated by the ACGME when reviewing a residency program's accreditation. Your program thus needs to continuously monitor the examination performance of its residents.