FAQs about taking the Psychiatry MOC Exam

Here are some common questions that we are asked regarding the ABPN Approved Psychiatry Board MOC Exam (also known as the Psychiatry Re-certification Exam):

How much does it cost? It is $700 for the application fee and $700 for the exam fee

How long is the exam? It is 5 hours long.

How many questions are there? There are 220 multiple-choice questions.

What is the subject breakdown?

Dimension 1: Psychiatric Disorders and Topics

  • 01. Developmental processes and development through the life cycle: 1-3%
  • 02. Disorders usually first diagnosed in infancy, childhood, or adolescence (Neurodevelopmental disorders): 1-3%
  • 03. Substance-related and addictive disorders: 8-12%
  • 04. Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders: 8-12%
  • 05. Depressive disorders: 8-12%
  • 06. Bipolar and related disorders: 6-8%
  • 07. Anxiety disorders: 7-9%
  • 08. Obsessive-compulsive and related disorders: 2-4%
  • 09. Trauma- and stressor-related disorders: 5-7%
  • 10. Dissociative disorders: 1-2%
  • 11. Somatic symptom and related disorders: 4-6%
  • 12. Eating disorders: 2-4%
  • 13. Sleep-wake disorders: 2-4%
  • 14. Sexual dysfunctions: 1-3%
  • 15. Gender dysphoria: 1-3%
  • 16. Disruptive, impulse-control, and conduct disorders: 1-2%
  • 17. Personality disorders: 6-8%
  • 18. Paraphilic disorders: 1-2%
  • 19. Other conditions that may be a focus of clinical attention: 1-2%
  • 20. Neurocognitive disorders: 7-9%
  • 21. Neurologic disorders: 4-6%
  • 22. Dimension 2 topics without a corresponding Dimension 1 topic: 2-4%

Dimension 2 Physician Competencies and Mechanisms

  • A. Neuroscience and mechanisms of disease: 4-6%
  • B. Behavioral and social sciences: 4-6%
  • C. Clinical aspects of psychiatric and neuropsychiatric disorders: 17-23%
  • D. Diagnostic procedures: 17-23%
  • E. Treatment: 25-35%
  • F. Interpersonal and communication skills: 4-6%
  • G. Professionalism, ethics, and the law: 4-6%
  • H. Practice-based learning and improvement: 4-6%
  • I. Systems-based practice: 4-6%

Are there neurology questions on the psychiatry board MOC exams? Some neurology subjects ARE present on the MOC exam, these include the cognitive and dementing disorders which actually make up a significant portion of the exam. Otherwise, there are no pure neurology questions on the exam (meaning nothing that is not found in the DSMIV).

How should I prepare for the MOC exam? There are many options out there including textbooks, in-person psychiatry board review courses, and online MOC psychiatry question banks and related activities. In general, we believe that you shouldn’t have to spend thousands of dollars on your preparation. Use free online resources and books if you have them through your library or professional organization. Do as many practice questions as you can, and make sure you read the explanations carefully. Mark the questions/topics that you got incorrectly and read on those subjects more thoroughly. Also, see our general psychiatry board review tips here.

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