• ConCert Examination Description and Content Specifications

    ConCertTM Examination Description

    The Continuous Certification (ConCertTM) examination is similar to the former recertification examination.  There are, however, two important differences.

    • It is administered at over 200 Pearson VUE professional computer-based testing centers. 
    • It is a shorter examination of approximately 205 multiple-choice questions.

    The ConCertTM examination is a comprehensive examination that covers the breadth of Emergency Medicine.  Each examination appointment is approximately five and one-quarter hours in length, with four and one-quarter hours devoted to actual testing time. Between 10% and 15% of the questions will have a pictorial stimulus.  The style of the test questions is identical to that of the recertification examination test questions, i.e., single-best-answer, positively-worded, multiple-choice questions focused on what the practicing emergency physician needs to know when treating patients. 

    The ConCertTM examination is a criterion-referenced examination.  All candidates achieving a final score of 75 or greater will pass the examination. 

    LLSA Content on the ConCertTM Examination

    The link between previous LLSA readings and the ConCertTM examination no longer exists.  ConCertTM examinations are focused on assessing knowledge needed for clinical practice.  Although LLSA questions will no longer appear on the ConCertTM examination, similar concepts may still be represented as they become the standards for practice in EM.  The questions of detailed information found on the LLSA tests, however, will not be found on the ConCertTM examinations. 

    Content Specifications

    The Model of the Clinical Practice of Emergency Medicine (EM Model) forms the basis of each of ABEM’s MCQ examinations. The lists below describe the relative weight given to different elements of the EM Model in constructing ABEM’s MCQ examinations. The complete EM Model was published in Academic Emergency Medicine [Acad Emerg Med. 2012; doi: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2012.01385.x [Epub ahead of print]]. It is also on ABEM’s website.

     Medical Knowledge, Patient Care, and Procedural Skills
     1.0   Signs, Symptoms and Presentations   9%
     2.0  Abdominal & Gastrointestinal Disorders  9%
     3.0  Cardiovascular Disorders  10%
     4.0  Cutaneous Disorders  2%
     5.0  Endocrine, Metabolic & Nutritional Disorders  3%
     6.0  Environmental Disorders  3%
     7.0  Head, Ear, Eye, Nose & Throat Disorders  5%
     8.0  Hematologic Disorders  2%
     9.0  Immune System Disorders  2%
     10.0  Systemic Infectious Disorders  5%
     11.0  Musculoskeletal Disorders (Non-traumatic)  3%
     12.0  Nervous System Disorders  5%
     13.0  Obstetrics and Gynecology  4%
     14.0  Psychobehavioral Disorders  3%
     15.0  Renal and Urogenital Disorders  3%
     16.0  Thoracic-Respiratory Disorders  8%
     17.0  Toxicologic Disorders  4%
     18.0  Traumatic Disorders  11%
     Appendix I: Procedures & Skills  6%
     Appendix II: Other Components  3%
       Total  100%

    Acuity Frames   Target
     (± 5%)
     Critical  27%
     Emergent  37%
     Lower Acuity  27%
     None  9%


    Physician Tasks

    For this dimension, the Board has assigned the following specific percentage weights to the Modifying Factor of age:

    • Pediatrics:  8% minimum
    • Geriatrics:  4% minimum