THE AMERICAN BOARD OF PATHOLOGY

A Member Board of the American Board of Medical Specialties

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The Continuing Certification Continuing Certification (CC) Examination is given twice each year in Spring (March) and Fall (August) sessions and may be taken as soon as the 8th year of a 10-year CC Cycle. An assessment covering a certification must be passed no later than the tenth year from the date of issuance. Please view the CC Examination Registration Dates & Fees section below for exam session dates). Satisfactory completion of the examination will meet the assessment requirement for any certifications the exam covered. Passed exams do not change any program deadlines or certification expiration dates.

The CC exam registration form automatically populates on the CC Program page during open registration for each session if the diplomate is eligible. A diplomate is eligible to register for CC examinations beginning in the 8th year of a 10-year cycle.

General CC Examination Information

The examination is a proctored assessment based on practical, need-to-know, day-to-day skills and knowledge that a competent practitioner would be expected to possess. Each CC examination is composed of either 150 or 200 multiple choice questions depending on if an exam covers one or two certificates.  Multiple choice questions are in the single best answer format. A diplomate may complete more than one exam (not multiple attempts of the same exam) in an examination session.

If a diplomate fails their examination they may register again in a future exam session. Diplomates may take the CC Examination in as many exam sessions as they are eligible to receive a passing score. Results are posted to the Board Correspondence page in PATHway approximately 4 to 6 weeks after the final exam is given.

Reference Material

Any physical reference material (books, notes, etc.) present at the start of the exam may be referenced during the exam. Notes may be handwritten or printed out. Digital reference material of any kind is not allowed.

Exam Customization

ABPath recognizes the breadth and variation of pathology practice, therefore:

  • The primary CC examinations (AP/CP, AP only, and CP only) are modular and diplomates must select their modules when submitting the exam registration form that are as relevant as possible to their individual scope of practice.
  • The subspecialty CC examinations in Hematopathology, Molecular Genetic Pathology, Neuropathology, and Pediatric Pathology are modular. Diplomates must select their modules when submitting the exam registration form.  All other subspecialty exams are a single 150-question exam.

An Exam Covering Both Primary and Subspecialty Certifications (Combined Exam)

Diplomates who hold both a primary and a subspecialty certification may opt to sit for a combined examination that includes a 50-question primary certification module and the 150-question subspecialty examination, which may be modular (see previous section). Combined exams are graded together as a single 200-question exam for purposes of pass/fail. A passing score will fulfill the Assessment requirement for both certifications for that CC 10-year cycle. Passing a combined exam does not combine the certifications.

Time Limit During Exams

CC exams consist of one or more modules based on available customization. Individual question modules are not timed but exam sections (Instructions, Exam, Exit Survey) are. A 150-question exam allows three and half hours to answer questions with one ten-minute break built into the exam. A 200-question combined exam allows four and half hours to answer questions with two ten-minute breaks built into the exam.

Exam Locations

Diplomates may choose to take their CC exams at the ABPath Examination Center in Tampa, Florida or via secure, remote computer access from their home or office. Please see the CC Examination Locations section for specific information.

Registration Fee

The registration fee for the CC Examination is $700. The $700 fee covers all exams taken during the same exam session (Spring or Fall) regardless of the number of exams taken (primary and subspecialty). The registration fee is the same for remote access and Tampa Examination Center administration options.

It is possible to cancel a CC Examination Registration. Refunds will be issued based on when the cancel request was received and how far the examination session has proceeded. Please see the CC Examination Cancellation Policy section below for complete details.

Exam Results

The CC examination is based on the same proven psychometric principles used in the primary certification examinations. The examinations are criterion referenced. Results are posted to the Board Correspondence page in PATHway when available after the close of an exam session. Aggregate results of the CC examinations in each primary and subspecialty area are published annually in ABPath's newsletter.

CC Assessment Registration and Examination Dates

2019 SPRING SESSION

Registration Opens November 1st
Registration Closes December 31st
Remote Tutorial Exam Opens During February
Remote Access Exams March 4th - March 18th
Tampa Exams March 4th
Results & Feedback Reports posted to PATHway May

2019 Fall Session

Registration Opens April 1st
Registration Closes May 31st
Remote Tutorial Exam Opens During July
Remote Access Exams August 12th - August 26th
Tampa Exams August 19th
Results & Feedback Reports posted to PATHway October

 

2020 SPRING SESSION

Registration Opens November 1st
Registration Closes December 31st
Remote Tutorial Exam Opens During February
Remote Access Exams March 16th - March 30th
Tampa Exams March 16th
Results & Feedback Reports posted to PATHway May

2020 FALL SESSION

Registration Opens April 1st
Registration Closes May 31st
Remote Tutorial Exam Opens During July
Remote Access Exams August 17th - August 31st
Tampa Exams August 17th
Results & Feedback Reports posted to PATHway October

CC Examination Instructions

Diplomates may choose to take their CC exams at the ABPath Examination Center in Tampa, Florida or via secure, remote computer access from their home. Each examination session (Spring and Fall) will have a predetermined time period for both Tampa and Remote Access exams. Please see the CC Assessment Registration and Examination Dates section for more information.

CC Remote Access Exams

Remote CC exams can be taken 24/7 during the assigned 2-week period. Remote exam registrants are responsible for ensuring that system requirements, webcam, and microphone are installed on their computers prior to the start of the examination session.

Remote examinees will be required to perform a tutorial exam on the computer that will be used to take the exam prior to the actual examination to ensure acceptable functions are in place for exam access. An email will be sent to all diplomates registered for a remote examination session when access is available. You must successfully complete the CC tutorial exam to receive access to your actual CC examination.

CC Exams at ABPath Examination Center

Diplomates may choose to take their CC exam at ABPath's Examination Center in Tampa, Florida. Each examination session will have one predetermined date assigned.

THIS SCHEDULE IS TENTATIVE AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.  HOWEVER, ANY CHANGES WILL BE ANNOUNCED.

CC Examination Module Illustrations

Exam Module Illustrations

The illustrations provided here by the Board list all available elective modules for each CC exam and demonstrate the modular format of each CC exam.  Select a link below to view that CC exam illustration.

CC Examination Study Guides

The study guides provided here by the Board reflect most of the content of the exam modules but may not exactly reflect all of the content in the modules.  These study guides list topics, key concepts, and diagnosis categories associated with questions in each CC exam module. Some of the listed topics, key concepts, and diagnosis categories may be associated with more than one question in a particular module. Select a link below to view specific CC module study guide(s).

2019 Study Guides:

Each exam module contains questions related to:

  • Fundamental practical knowledge.
  • Current and clinically valid practice-related knowledge. Questions will include information new to the field since the diplomate’s last certification or CC examination that relates to the diplomate’s Lifelong Learning and Self¬-Assessment experience.
  • Practice environment including such areas relevant to the module, such as:
    • federal regulations relevant to anatomic and/or clinical pathology
    • CLIA regulations
    • AABB standards for transfusion medicine
    • principles of laboratory management
    • coding and billing
    • quality assurance
    • laboratory accreditation
    • patient safety
    • professionalism and ethics

CC Examination Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Policy for Continuing Certification Examination

Tampa Location

  • If a cancel request is received by ABPath via email, before the date assignment is posted to the Diplomate’s Board Correspondence in Pathway, a full refund of the fee will be given.
  • If a cancel request is received after the date assignment is posted to the Diplomate’s Board Correspondence in Pathway, but before the examination is administered, the examination fee will be refunded minus a $100 administrative fee.
  • If the examinee does not appear for the examination the entire examination fee will be forfeited with the following exception:
    • Personal illness at the time of the examination, validated by the diplomate’s personal physician. Documentation must be submitted and received by ABPath within 60 days of the date of the examination. The examination fee will be refunded minus a $100 processing fee.

Remote Access

  • If a cancel request is received by ABPath via email, before the tutorial exam window opens, a full refund of the fee will be given.
  • If a cancel request is received after the tutorial exam window opens, but before the tutorial exam window closes, the examination fee will be refunded minus a $100 administrative fee. Diplomates who do not complete their tutorial exam within the allotted time may have their registration canceled and a $600 refund issued automatically.
  • If a cancel request is received after the tutorial exam window closes the entire examination fee will be forfeited with the following exception:
    • Personal illness at the time of the examination, validated by the diplomate’s personal physician. Documentation must be submitted and received by ABPath within 60 days of the date of the examination. The examination fee will be refunded minus a $100 processing fee.

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