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The QE is the first of two exams required for board certification in general surgery. It is designed to evaluate a surgeon's knowledge of general surgical principles and applied science.
According to the General Surgery: Content Outline For the Qualifying Examination, the following topics are covered:
The QE is a one day exam that lasts approximately 8 hours. The exam is made up of 200 multiple choice questions (MCQ) administered in five 90-minute sessions.
The 2016 pass rate for the QE was 80%.
You are going to be tested on organ system-based categories and you will need to have an understanding of surgical principles. You will need to find textbooks whose styles you find easy to read. This increases the likelihood that you will not only read it once, but repetitively. When you complete a section of a book, think about what you just read, ask yourself practical questions and see if you know the answers.
Your exam will be comprised of single-best-answer multiple choice questions. Even if more than one answer is correct, you only want to choose the best choice, so carefully read each question and all of the response options before you select your answer. Try to answer questions without reading the responses as if it is a fill-in-the-blank format. If your answer is among the choices, you have probably read the question properly. If it is not present, reread the question and look for details you may have missed. If you are still not sure, eliminate the incorrect choices and increase your odds of guessing the correct answer.
If you are not sure of an answer to a particular question, mark it and review it after you have completed the remainder of the questions. Also, make sure you get plenty of rest before you take your exam so you may perform your best. Hopefully these tips help you toward your goal of becoming a certified surgeon.