“Board Vitals (BV) was essential for my board preparation. I am not a great test taker, and in order for me to have passed my AP/CP boards, I needed to do a LOT of questions, which is hard to come by (especially for CP). Not only was there a plethora of questions, they were all generally well-written and in the style of the actual boards. The material covered in BV was broad yet helpful in how I should focus my studies. Furthermore, the questions were confidence-boosting in that I actually knew more than what I thought; it was nice to know that I was comparable to my peers—and you will likely feel the same way. Lastly, I got quick and thorough feedback regarding any questions or issues I had about any questions I came across. In summary, BV is a gem that I am thankful for discovering. ”Aaron D. Shmookler
In the case of the Pathology Boards specifically, passing is determined by meeting a threshold score. This is different from many of the other boards which target a percentage pass rate each year (and thereby creating a different scale each year). This standard is applied to both AP and CP. Pathology is historically a difficult exam, with a lower average pass rate than most specialties. Please note that additional information about the initial certification exam may be found on the ABPath website.
The question format is fairly straightforward and does not include questions with ‘which of the following except’ or ‘select all that apply’ type formats. The questions are single best answer choice only. The written portion includes 125 questions over a period of 2 hours. The practical section includes 120 image-based questions over a 2 hour period. The third portion is combination Microscopic (55 questions) and Virtual (25 questions) over a 3.75 hour period
The complete AP examination is fairly lengthy, taking nearly 8 hours. 94% of the total examination is devoted to questions about specific organ systems. 6% of the exam is dedicated to general pathology and lab management. See below for exam blueprints on AP:
The CP portion of the exam is half written and half “practical.” Naturally, the written portion of the Clinical Pathology exam is very image heavy. The practical portion of the exam includes graphs, charts, karyotypes, pedigrees, red cell panels, problem solving exercises, and calculations. All of these question types are covered in the Board Vitals’ question banks.
The written portion is 130 questions and is administered over a 2 hour period. The practical portion of the exam is 115 questions and is administered over a 3.25 hour period. The practical portion with images is 120 questions administered over a 2 hour period. The complete CP examination is 7.25 hours.
The following is an outline of the Clinical Pathology Exam Blueprint (which we used in generating our content coverage outline):
The University of Nebraska Medical Center, Center for Continuing Education is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
The University of Nebraska Medical Center, Center for Continuing Education designates this Internet Enduring Material for a maximum of 60 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Further Pathology CME info found here.