Results & Scoring

Notification of Examination Results

Results are mailed and 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, fax, 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 Medical Toxicology Cognitive Expertise Examination 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.

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 Medical Toxicology Cognitive Expertise 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.

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 Core Content of Medical Toxicology.

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 Core Content is revised). The process involves a representative panel of clinically active, Medical Toxicology-certified physicians who are trained in a process called “standard setting.” This process requires participating physicians to thoroughly understand the Core Content. The panelists then evaluate each exam question and assess how a candidate who meets the standard would perform. The panel then recommends a passing standard (score) to the Medical Toxicology Subboard. The Subboard weighs this recommendation and uses it to determine a final passing score.

The format of the MedTox Cognitive Expertise Exam will change in 2022 with the advent of the 2021 Core Content. Therefore, the passing score will be reevaluated in 2022. 

2020 Medical Toxicology Cognitive Expertise Examination Scoring FAQs


Physicians will receive the results of their Medical Toxicology Cognitive Expertise Examination from their primary board.