The Internal Medicine Board Exam can be fairly difficult for first-time test takers. In 2021, the First-Time Taker Pass Rate for the ABIM Internal Medicine Certification Exam was 88%. Here are a few tips and tricks that to aid your Internal Medicine board review to improve your chance of passing:
- Understand the Distribution of the Exam – Before you start studying, take a look at the Internal Medicine blueprint for the most up-to-date content specifications. The ABIM apparently sticks closely to this category breakout. ‘The majority of questions are based on patient presentations. There are, in fact, a FEW fact recall type questions, but they’re definitely in the minority. Make sure that your study practice is not memorization, but taking more of the application or prioritization type.
- Pay Attention to the Alternate Type Questions – Most students only practice with traditional multiple choice questions. There are several questions that require listening to and interpreting sounds. Specifically, make sure to know your normal and abnormal heart sounds.
- Pay attention to the Cardiovascular Diseases – Cardiovascular disease is 14% of the exam and this section can really, really make or break you. Advice from @srrezaie: ‘Know the Physical Exam Findings for Cardiovascular Diseases!’
- Take a Practice Exam – – There is no better way to prepare for the Internal Medicine boards than to take the Internal Medicine boards. Instead of letting your first experience with the boards be on test day, taking a practice exam ahead of time will give you an idea of what to expect during the real exam. BoardVitals offers a full-length Internal Medicine practice exam with the purchase of a question bank.
- Know Some of the ‘Gems’ that Come Up Repeatedly – Zoonoses, Lupus, Celiac Sprue, and Thyroid Disease. Systolic murmurs and ECG centered questions tend to be very common on the exam as well. One user mentioned that a joint complaint question stumped them as well.
Looking for more practice? Sign up for a free trial of the BoardVitals Internal Medicine Question Bank. The question bank contains more than 1,450 Internal Medicine board review questions, with full explanations for correct and incorrect answers.