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In-Training Examinations

The ABSITE, VSITE, and PSITE are offered annually to general surgery, vascular surgery, and pediatric surgery training programs.

Intro

In-Training Examinations for general surgery, vascular surgery, and pediatric surgery

The ABS In-Training Examination (ABSITE), Vascular Surgery In-Training Examination (VSITE), and Pediatric Surgery In-Training Examination (PSITE) are offered annually to related ACGME- and RCPSC-accredited surgical training programs. They are multiple-choice exams designed to measure the progress attained by surgical trainees in their knowledge of applied science and management of clinical problems related to their surgical specialty area.

The exams are furnished to program directors as a formative evaluation instrument to assess trainees’ progress. The results are released only to program directors and should not be shared outside of the department’s GME division. Scores may be shared with the individual trainee.

The exams are not available to individuals and are not required as part of the board certification process. 

In-Training Exams are open to:

  • Trainees in a clinical position
  • Trainees currently in research/lab year(s)
  • Trainees hosted from another ACGME-accredited program
  • Former preliminary residents who left a general surgery residency program no more than 24 months ago and who are seeking to obtain a preliminary or categorical position in another general surgery program (ABSITE only)

In-Training Exams are NOT open to:

  • Faculty

The ABSITE, VSITE, and PSITE are protected by federal copyright and their contents may not be reproduced or disclosed in any manner, as outlined in the ABS Ethics and Professionalism Policy. Accommodations for learning disabilities for In-Training Exams are at the discretion of the program and do not require ABS approval.

2/23 - 2/24
2024
In-Training Examination (VSITE)
Location: Proctored at program
Fee: $220 per exam
Registration Deadline: 1/5/2024

Any order changes submitted after the 1/5/24 deadline will incur a $300 fee per change.

1/24 - 1/28
2025
ABS In-Training Examination (ABSITE®)
Location: Proctored at program
Fee: $90 per exam

Any order changes submitted after the deadline (TBD) will incur a $300 fee per change.

International programs: Dates to be determined. These programs should contact ABS for pricing.

ABSITE

About the ABS In-Training Examination

The ABSITE consists of approximately 250 multiple-choice questions and is administered in two 2.5-hour blocks. It is given as a single examination to all residents and is administered online using each program’s own computer facilities.

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.

If a program wishes to make changes to their ABSITE order following order submission, they must do so in accordance with the Change to ABSITE Order Policy.

Change to ABSITE Order Policy

VSITE

About the Vascular Surgery In-Training Examination

The VSITE consists of approximately 200 multiple-choice questions and includes content on both core surgery and vascular surgery. The exam is administered in two 2.5-hour blocks, online, using each program’s own computer facilities.

All VSITE examinees are required to take all content. This includes individuals who previously passed the General Surgery Qualifying Exam.

Examinees should review the exam’s content outline when preparing for the VSITE.

PSITE

About the Pediatric Surgery In-Training Examination

The PSITE is a five-hour web-based exam consisting of approximately 200 multiple-choice questions. It is administered in two 2.5-hour blocks, online, using each program’s own computer facilities.

Examinees should review the exam’s content outline when preparing for the PSITE.

Examination Format and Related Requirements

The In-Training Examinations are in-person exams with specific technical requirements

Exam Format

Live, proctored exams

  • All In-Training Exams must be delivered by programs onsite as in-person, proctored exams.
  • In-Training Exams are NOT permitted to be administered in an unproctored and/or in a remote/virtual format.
  • In-Training Exams cannot be taken at a Pearson VUE testing center.

Two 2.5-hour sessions

  • Questions in both sessions will be randomized.
  • Upon completion of the first session, examinees will be restricted from reviewing or changing answers.

One break between the two sessions

  • All examinees, including lactating mothers or those with other medical conditions, are eligible for a break.
  • Examinees are not required to take a break.
  • Examinees decide the length of their breaks but cannot exceed 45 minutes.
Technical Requirements

Internet Testing Systems (ITS), the company that hosts all ABS In-Training Exams, has announced the following update to the minimum systems requirements effective with the 2024 In-Training Exams:

  • Windows: New minimum is Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge.
  • Mac: New minimum is Mac OS Sierra 10.13 and Safari 12.
  • iPad: New minimum is iOS 14.

Examination Availability, Ordering, and Results

All In-Training Exams are offered annually to all related accredited surgical training programs

The ABS offers the relevant In-Training Examinations to all ACGME- and RCPSC-accredited surgical training programs in general surgery, vascular surgery, and pediatric surgery. Each program in each specialty is responsible for ordering the exam materials for its residents. The exams are also made available to osteopathic and international programs upon request. The exams may not be ordered/purchased by individuals and, as of 2023, program faculty are not permitted to take the exams.

If a trainee is no longer affiliated with a residency program and wishes to take an In-Training Exam, the individual must find a program whose director is willing to allow them to take the exam along with the residents of that program. This program will be responsible for payment to the ABS for that individual’s participation; the ABS does not accept payment from individuals. The individual’s results will be included in the program’s results and will be released only to that program’s director.

Clinical Levels and Accommodations

When administering an In-Training Exam to trainees, programs must:

  • Provide the correct clinical level at which the exam will be scored.
  • Note testing accommodations (ADA) on the order for that examinee.
  • Note the name of the ACGME-accredited program hosting any residents.

No percentile report can be provided by the ABS when the trainee clinical level field is left blank or is entered incorrectly on the exam order. In those cases, programs are provided with a table that can be used to derive percentiles.

Payment Information and Order Changes

Acceptable forms of payment:

  1. Check, limit one per program, payable to the American Board of Surgery
    • Checks must be accompanied by the invoice available in your ABS Program portal. Each program must pay with their own separate check. Please do not submit checks covering payment for multiple programs. Failure to follow these instructions may cause a delay with processing payments.
    • All must be remitted to the following address below:
      The American Board of Surgery / In-Training Exam
      PO Box 70184
      Philadelphia, PA 19176-0184
  2. Credit card

Additional details:

  • Payment is submitted through a program’s ABS portal.
  • Multiple credit card transactions are allowed but require ABS assistance.
  • We cannot accept single-use credit cards, ACH, or wire transfers.
  • A program’s order must be paid in full and the seating chart received before we can release its results.
  • No same-day changes will be accepted.
  • No changes may be requested once the examination window opens
  • No changes will be made following the close of the examination window.
  • Please allow a minimum of three (3) business days to process any requested change.
  • Refunds cannot be issued for decreases in orders within one (1) week of the exam.
  • Refunds cannot be issued for unused examinations.

If you have any questions about the In-Training Exam ordering process, please contact the exam coordinator.

Reporting of Results

In-Training Exam results are made available to program directors within eight weeks following the exam. 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.

All In-Training Exams are formative exams, meant to assist program directors in gauging trainees’ 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 trainee’s performance. Exam scores are provided to the program director only and should not be shared outside of the department GME division. Scores may be shared with the individual trainee.

The ABS will discontinue the reporting of percentiles in January 2025, but will continue to report both percent-correct scores and standard scores. More details are available here

Upon receiving the score report, trainees 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 to the ABS regarding an In-Training Exam must come directly from the program.

The cost for the In-Training Exam varies per specialty. Please visit our Dates and Fees page for specific cost information.

Policies

Policies related to ABS In-Training Examinations

Programs are expected to be aware of all policies related to the In-Training Exams, including the ABSITE Irregularities Policy and the Changes to ABSITE Order Policy.

Sample In-Training Examinations

An interactive sample test and printed guide are available for programs or trainees who wish to familiarize themselves with the computer screens they will see during the In-Training Exams and the steps necessary to respond to questions and review answers. The sample tests must be accessed using either Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, 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 provided on either the sample test or survey.

While the sample test includes questions that focus only on general surgery, all In-Training Exams use the same format and functionality.

Note: On the day of the exam, examinees will access their In-Training Exam 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.

Contact

Our exam managers are here to help.

Most questions can be answered with the information available on our website. For specific inquiries, please contact our In-Training Exam managers.

Contact a Coordinator

Please use the form below to contact the appropriate exam coordinator. They will respond as soon as possible.