Results & Scoring

Notification of Examination Results

Results are posted online within 90 days of the last day of the examination administration. ABEM will send an email to candidates notifying them when scores are available. ABEM cannot release your scores over the phone or email. Maintaining up-to-date contact information through your ABEM Personal Page will ensure you receive the results as soon as possible. 

Passing Criterion and Scoring

The ConCert™ Exam is criterion referenced. A criterion-referenced exam uses a predetermined standard, against which all candidates are evaluated. All candidates meeting the standard will pass the exam. Quotas or required percentages of candidates passing are not used to determine the passing score.

With an extended testing window, multiple versions of the ConCert Examination are used for security purposes. Any given candidate is unlikely to receive the same version of the examination as another candidate. A statistical process called equating ensures that the standard remains the same for all candidates.

In addition to the field-testing process, each question receives a thorough review before it is used in scoring the examination. Questions that do not meet ABEM quality standards are not used in determining candidates’ final scores.

Your final score on the ConCert Exam will be determined by first adding together the number of scored questions you answered correctly. This number-correct score will be used to determine your final score, which will range from 0 to 100. The entire scoring process is fully and independently replicated. As such, ABEM does not provide a hand score or rescore service for a fee since, in the interests of fairness to all test takers, it has already been performed. 

Determining a Passing Score

Best practice in testing suggests that the passing score for an examination be substantially connected to the content and performance standards defined by the EM Model and KSAs.

In order to maintain this connection, the passing score is typically reviewed every five to seven years, or when the format or content of the exam changes significantly (such as when the EM Model or KSAs are revised). The process involves a representative panel of clinically active, ABEM-certified emergency physicians who are trained in a process called “standard setting.” This process requires the participating physicians to thoroughly understand ABEM’s EM Model and KSAs. The panelists then evaluate each test question or case and assess how a candidate who meets the ABEM standard would perform. The panel then recommends a passing standard (score) to the Board. The Board weighs this recommendation and uses it to determine a final passing score.

Understanding Standard Setting

Statement on Research

ABEM reserves the right to conduct and report research studies of its examinations and its examination data to benefit the specialty and for purposes of quality control and examination development. Individual candidate information will never be reported as part of the research. Your right to confidentiality will be strictly upheld.

ABEM also reserves the right to include, in any examination, certain questions or cases for the purposes of research and validation. These items will not be used in scoring for certification.

Policy on Scoring Candidate Examinations