Beginning in 2016, the only pathway to board certification through the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) is the computer-administered Psychiatry Certification examination. The ABPN examination is on the difficult side, with a 2016 pass rate dipping as low as 79%.
Below are 6 sample psychiatry board exam questions that will provide you a proper gauge as to how well you’re prepared. Good luck!
How’d you do? As you might have guessed you can never be too prepared. We suggest using question banks to reinforce concepts and engage with simulated test conditions, specifically our Psychiatry Board Review Question Bank, which is tailored to the ABPN Psychiatry exam content outline.
The Psychiatry Certification Examination is comprised of 425 questions — it’s a hefty exam that should not be underestimated and is definitely worth investing in the best study tools available. The exam conforms to a two dimensional content specification as follows:
Dimension 1: Psychiatric Disorders and Topics
- Developmental processes and development through the life cycle 2-4%
- Disorders usually first diagnosed in infancy, childhood, or adolescence (Neurodevelopmental disorders) 3-5%
- Substance-related and addictive disorders 7-11%
- Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders 8-12%
- Depressive disorders 8-12%
- Bipolar and related disorders 4-6%
- Anxiety disorders 7-9%
- Obsessive-compulsive and related disorders 2-4%
- Trauma- and stressor-related disorders 4-6%
- Dissociative disorders 1-2%
- Somatic symptom and related disorders 2-4%
- Eating disorders 2-4%
- Elimination disorders 1-2%
- Sleep-wake disorders 3-5%
- Sexual dysfunctions 1-3%
- Gender dysphoria 1-2%
- Disruptive, impulse-control, and conduct disorders 1-3%
- Personality disorders 5-7%
- Paraphilic disorders 1-2%
- Other conditions that may be a focus of clinical attention 1-3%
- Neurocognitive disorders 6-8%
- Neurologic disorders 4-6%
- Dimension 2 topics without a corresponding Dimension 1 topic 4-6%
Dimension 2: Physician Competencies and Mechanisms
- Neuroscience and mechanisms of disease 17-23%
- Behavioral and social sciences 4-6%
- Clinical aspects of psychiatric and neuropsychiatric disorders 17-23%
- Diagnostic procedures 8-12%
- Treatment 25-35%
- Interpersonal and communication skills 2-4%
- Professionalism, ethics, and the law 3-5%
- Practice-based learning and improvement 3-5%
- Systems-based practice 3-5%
Please refer to the ABPN Certification Examination in Psychiatry Content Blueprint for a more detailed breakdown.
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