In-service Exam FAQs

General Information

Important dates

Available Exams

When is the exam administered?
Is there more than one exam?
Are the exams the same for all fellowship years?
How many questions are on each exam and are they computer-based?
What is the value of the exam to the Program Director and Faculty?
What value are the exams to the Fellows? 

Exam Administration Fees

How much does the exam cost?
Can the Program Director take the exam? 

Exam Development

How were the exams developed?

Exam Registration

How do I register my Fellows?
If my program is not ACGME-accredited, or my program is located outside of the United States, can I still register my Fellows?
Is my Username and Password the same to register Incoming Fellows in June?
Why should I assign a Primary Contact?
Can the Program Director serve as the Primary Contact?
How do I assign a Primary Contact?
What if my program did not assign a Primary Contact? 

Exam Administration

How is the exam administered?
Do we really need to proctor the exam? 

Exam Results

What type of feedback will my Fellows and my Program receive?
Has the exam been validated with pass rates for the ABIM Board Licensure exams?

2023 Important Dates

Monday:
Friday:
February 27, 2023
April 28, 2023

Registration for 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-Year Fellows
Monday:
Friday:
April 24, 2023
May 12, 2023

Testing Window for 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-Year Fellows
Thursday:
Friday:
June 1, 2023
July 7, 2023
 
Registration for Incoming Fellows
Wednesday:
Friday:
July 5, 2023
July 21, 2023
 
Testing Window for Incoming Fellows
Monday:
Friday:
September 25, 2023
October 27, 2023
 
Registration for In-service Exam Retakes
Monday:
Friday:
October 23, 2023
November 3, 2023
 
Testing Window for In-service Exam Retakes

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When is the exam administered?

1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-Year Fellow exams: administered the last week of April and first week of May of each year.
Incoming Fellow exams: administered in July, extending for two weeks.
Retake exams: administered in October, extending for two weeks.

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Is there more than one exam?

The APCCMPD develops and administers two exams:

  • Pulmonary/Critical Care In-service Exam
  • Critical Care In-service Exam 
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Are the exams the same for all fellowship years?

Yes, the Incoming, 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-Year Fellows all take the same Critical Care or Pulmonary/Critical Care In-service Exam. Every year exam questions are reviewed. Exam questions are added and retired based on review of scores.
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How many questions are on each exam and are they computer-based?

Both the Critical Care and Pulmonary/Critical Care Exam are computer-based and contain 150 questions.
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What is the value of the exam to the Program Director and Faculty?

Each exam has been developed as a “low stakes” examination and not to be used for promotion. The exams:

  • Provide educational counseling
  • Evaluate knowledge uptake of the course of fellowship
  • Develop curricula and validate planned curricular changes
  • Compare fellows performance nationally
  • Serve as a tool for the Program Requirement V.A.2.b).(1).(b) Medical Knowledge
  • The program must use an objective formative assessment method. The same formative method must be administered at least twice during the program.

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What value are the exams to the Fellows?

  • Identify areas of deficiency that require further learning
  • Compare performance to peers nationally
  • May help make career choices

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How much does the exam cost?

Pulmonary/Critical Care In-Service Exam


FELLOWSHIP YEAR
MEMBER FEE
PER FELLOW
NON-MEMBER FEE
PER FELLOW
1st-Year Fellow $275 $550
2nd-Year Fellow $275 $550
3rd-Year Fellow $275 $550
Incoming Fellow $100 $200
Retake Exam $100 $200

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Critical Care In-Service Exam


FELLOWSHIP YEAR
MEMBER FEE
PER FELLOW
NON-MEMBER FEE
PER FELLOW
1st-Year Fellow $275 $550
2nd-Year Fellow $275 $550
3rd-Year Fellow $275 $550
Incoming Fellow $100 $200
Retake Exam $100 $200

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Can the Program Director take the exam?

Program Directors who register their fellows will be able to register to take the complimentary examination. 
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How was the examination developed?

  • The examination is developed and maintained by the In-service Exam Writing Committee, comprised of 13 physician experts and 2 psychometricians.
  • Each exam is modeled on the ABIM blueprint for Pulmonary/Critical Care and Critical Care, respectively, as well as established program curriculum for pulmonary and critical care medicine.
  • Every year exam questions are reviewed. Exam questions are added and retired based on review of scores.
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How do I register my Fellows? 

In January of each year all APCCMPD members and ACGME-accredited Pulmonary, Critical Care, and combined Program Directors are sent a link requesting them to identify a Primary Contact.

Once the registration period opens Program Coordinators (or Program Directors, if a Program Coordinator is not specified) will be e-mailed a link allowing them to register their fellows on the APCCMPD.org.

Each Primary Contact will be provided with a unique Username and Password to access the registration portal.
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If my program is not ACGME-accredited, or my program is located outside of the United States, can I still register my Fellows? 

Yes, non-ACGME-accredited programs and international programs can register to take the exam. Please contact [email protected] to register. 
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Is my Username and Password the same to register Incoming Fellows in June?

In June, registration will open on APCCMPD.org where your APCCMPD.org log-in credentials will be used to log-in and register.
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Why should I assign a Primary Contact?

The Program Coordinator (or Program Director if a Program Coordinator is not specified) will receive all correspondence on the exam. This includes:

  • Notices to register the Fellows and Incoming Fellows
  • Access to the Inservice Exam Portal
  • Fellows' scores

Your Program Coordinator is also responsible for ensuring the exam is proctored in your local university testing center or other secured environment.

The Program Coordinator must be authorized by the Program Director, since exam scores will be shared with the Primary Contact.
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Can the Program Director serve as the serve as the point of contact for the Inservice Exam?

Yes, Program Directors can serve as the point of contact for the Inservice Exam and register fellow for the exam, ensure the exam is proctor, correspond testing credentials to the fellows and access score reports.  The Program Directors may also assign another individual. Many Program Directors assign the Program Coordinator to this role. 
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How do I assign a Primary Contact?

By default, the Program Coordinator is Primary Contact until a different individual is authorized. In January of each year all APCCMPD members and ACGME-accredited Pulmonary, Critical Care, and combined Program Directors are sent a link requesting them to identify a Primary Contact.

If you are did not receive the link, are non-ACGME accredited program, or an international program please contact [email protected] to identify your Primary Contact.
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What if I did not assign a Primary Contact?

By default, the Program Director is Primary Contact until a different individual is authorized. 
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How is the exam administered?

The exam is administered as a 4-hour, computer-based examination via the Internet.

This is a proctored exam. Therefore, programs should arrange a location where all exam takers can take the exam together (or in groups) under the supervision of a proctor. Information on how to administer the exam will be provided to programs that register.

Every effort should be made to:

  • Ensure test takers do not bring testing aides with them, including textbooks, pocket manuals, notes, mobile phones, pagers, and equipment that will capture digital images.
  • Ensure test takers do not communicate with one another during the administration.

For more information, please contact [email protected] for a copy of the APCCMPD Exam Administration Procedure Manual. 
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Do we really need to proctor the exam?

Yes, this is a proctored exam. Therefore, programs should arrange a location where all exam takers can take the exam together (or in groups) under the supervision of a proctor. For more information, please review the APCCMPD Exam Administration Procedure Manual.

Every effort should be made to:

  • Ensure test takers do not bring testing aides with them, including textbooks, pocket guides, notes, mobile phones, pagers, and/or equipment that will capture digital images.
  • Ensure test takers do not communicate with one another during the administration.

If the APCCMPD discovers that a program did not proctor the exam the program could be prohibited from administering the exam in the future. 
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What type of feedback will my Fellows and my program receive?

Approximately two weeks after the administration window, Primary Contacts will receive each Fellow’s exam results, broken down by content areas. The Program Directors will also have access to separate group summary reports that will provide a comparison of each fellow’s results to national averages by year, as well as a comparison of all Fellows from that program to national averages. It is the Program Director's responsibility to share individual results with their Fellows. 
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Has the exam been validated with pass rates for the ABIM Board Licensure exams?

There is also a research protocol that has been IRB approved, which will include comparing the examination to Fellow board scores and a program’s curriculum content. More information will be provided, as the data is available. 
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