Taking the Pediatrics Board Exam – Initial Certification

The General Pediatrics Certifying Examination comprises approximately 200 multiple-choice questions that assess knowledge of pediatric medicine and problem-solving ability. The secure exam is administered at Prometric computer testing centers in two timed sections of two hours each.

The initial pediatrics board certification exam is offered over a specific three-day period; candidates can choose which day to take the exam within that period. For 2017 exam dates, see Pediatrics Board Exam Dates or visit the ABP website.

Pediatrics Maintenance of Certification Exam

For maintenance of certification, pediatrics board exams are required every 10 years. (Note: In 2017, ABP launched the MOCA-Peds, or Maintenance of Certification Assessment for Pediatrics, pilot program with shorter, more frequent assessment of pediatric knowledge and a unique learning component, but registration for this pilot has closed.) These secure exams may be scheduled at a Prometric testing center according to the candidate’s convenience, with registration opening on January 1 each year. Candidates also have the option to test early, but this would set your next recertification exam to 10 years after the date you actually take the exam, effectively shortening your exam cycle. For more information on MOC requirements, please see ABP Certification Maintenance Requirements.

What to Expect on the Day of the Exam

The General Pediatrics Certifying Examination is a one-day exam, offered in computer format only at Prometric testing centers around the country. Here’s what you can expect when you take the ABP exam:

  1. Plan to arrive 30 minutes early for registration and ID verification. If you are late, the testing center may deny access.
  2. You cannot bring personal items (e.g., mobile phones, pagers, watches, purses, bags, books, etc.) into the exam room. If you cannot leave such items at home or in your car, you can store them in secure lockers at the exam location.
  3. Each workstation is equipped with a small whiteboard and marker for notes and prep work as you take the exam.
  4. Workstations are monitored at all times through video and audio recording and periodic checks by test center administrators.
  5. You will have 15 minutes to review the introduction and tutorial before your examination begins. The time you use to review the tutorial will not be counted against your examination time.
  6. There will be other people using the testing center at the same time — many of them taking other types of examinations. Earplugs or headphones are provided on request.
  7. Breaks are scheduled between examination sections only. You can only take a scheduled break after a section of the examination is complete. Unscheduled breaks are permitted, but the time will be counted against your examination time.
  8. At the end of the exam, you will be asked to complete a survey. Once you have completed the survey, you will be directed to exit the testing room and receive a receipt for your exam.

Enhancing Your Board Exam Review

The best way to prepare for the pediatrics board exam is to assess your competence while refreshing and enhancing your knowledge. For comprehensive guidance on exam preparation, check out our How We Help section. You can find study tips and best learning practices, determine your study style, and review our Ten Board Review Study Tips.

Approach the exam with confidence by using NEJM Knowledge+ Pediatrics Board Review. Our unique learning solution features innovative technology that provides a personalized series of questions based on a recognition of your individual strengths and weaknesses — all optimized for efficient, effective board review. It also includes two timed practice exams to prepare you for exam day.

Additionally, NEJM Knowledge+ offers many articles and resources to aid you in preparing for your exam. We encourage you to view our resources page and the Learning+ blog.