New Psychiatry Vignette Board Review Format in 2014

Psychiatry Vignette format

For those of you gearing up to take the Psychiatry boards, the new format is challenging. The style of the exam is a case introduction, video, and then multiple choice or multiple select options. You can find sample questions directly from the ABPN: and

You can register here to sign up for the Psychiatry Vignettes.

Details on the Exam

Psychiatry Part C (Clinical Psychiatry) and the Psychiatry Video Vignette Section make up half of the exam. The actual questions will sometimes designate how many options to select, such as ‘choose two of the following’

It’s important to note that in both our questions, and the ABPN samples, videos can apply to more than one question. The real exam does NOT have playback or rewind options. Paying careful attention the first time around will be an effective strategy for this particular part of the exam.

Noted Issues with the Vignette Exam Format

This style has introduced several issues that we’ve heard:

  • The video is pretty low resolution and it makes it hard to see patient’s features. Expect to squint a little bit.
  • Time is really crucial. Test takers are really feeling crunched for time, especially towards the end of the exams.
  • The Vignettes are in an older interview format, so expect something that looks like it’s from the eighties.
  • Expect technical issues during the testing experience – we’ve heard this a lot. Stay focused and don’t let it get the best of you.

Study for the Vignettes with BoardVitals

We suggest using the BoardVitals Psychiatry Vignette Questions. The bank offers 250 Vignette questions… it’s a great exercise to try to try to go through them quickly to simulate test conditions, and then take another pass a little slower to make sure that the concepts are re-enforced. The question bank offers high quality and video and playback, but does enforce that questions have to be taken in sequence. Note that this is different than the exam, but we’ve found that it’s much more effective for learning.

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