Exam Content

The 2021 Core Content of Medical Toxicology forms the basis of each Medical Toxicology examination. This criterion-referenced exam consists of 300 single-best-answer, multiple choice questions, with between 10-15 percent having a pictorial stimulus.

Sample Exam Questions

Content Specifications

The percentage distribution below describes the relative weight given to different content areas of the core content when constructing ABEM examinations.

  • 1.0 Principles of Toxicology: 14%
  • 2.0 Toxicants and Toxins: 38%
  • 3.0 Clinical Assessment: 11%
  • 4.0 Therapeutics: 11%
  • 5.0 Assessment and Population Health: 3%
  • 6.0 Analytical and Forensic Toxicology and Workplace Drug Testing: 5%
  • 7.0 Environmental Toxicology: 5%
  • 8.0 Addiction Toxicology and Substance Use: 8%
  • 9.0 Occupational Toxicology: 5%

Answering Exam Questions

Each exam question has only one correct answer and each question is worth one point. Only one answer can be selected for each question and you should try to answer as many questions as possible. Each question answered correctly is counted in the total correct score.

Unanswered questions are treated as incorrect. Incorrect answers do not count in the total correct score, nor is there a subtraction from the total correct score for incorrect answers.

Your best strategy for completing the exam is to first answer all questions with your initial best answer. You can use any reference you like, however two references are available within the examination: a list of common abbreviations used in the exam and a list of normal laboratory values. 

You may flag questions you would like to return to for later review. The computer system facilitates this test-taking strategy by requiring one initial pass through the examination before allowing you to select and go to a specific question in the examination, in any desired order. Once an initial pass-through is completed, you may review all of the questions in any order you choose before selecting the “End Review” button to finish the examination. Once you exit by clicking the “End Review” button, the examination is completed, and you may not re-enter.

Some questions are not scored and are used only to assure future question quality. These field test questions will not be apparent to the candidate. Including them on the exam allows ABEM to conduct research to determine if the questions are appropriate for scoring future examinations