The pediatrics board exam is an essential component of your career in pediatrics, but, as with any standardized test, there’s more to the board exam than simply memorizing answers to thousands of questions. Successfully passing the exam comes from having a solid command of medical knowledge and test-taking strategies. This includes knowing what to expect on the day of the exam and doing everything possible to have a methodical approach to the big day.
So, here are some things that you can expect from Pediatrics Board Review (PBR) to help you prepare for your initial certification exam. For information on the ABP Maintenance of Certification (MOC) exam and MOCA-Peds, please visit our recertification page.
Risk Calculator Quiz
While the American Board of Pediatrics provides the ABP General Knowledge Self-Assessment, do not assume your results will act as a true indication of your ability to pass the initial certification exam. This assessment is more appropriate for the ABP Maintenance of Certification (MOC) exam, not the initial certification exam.
PBR’s free, online Risk Calculator Quiz will help you understand your risk profile of possibly failing the pediatric board exam and will place you as either low, moderate, or high risk.
Knowing your risk profile for the initial certification exam will give you a plan for how to move forward with your pediatrics exam. For example, pediatricians in the low-risk group will use the 300-hour study plan in the PBR Efficiency Blueprint, while those in the moderate-to-high risk groups will use the 500-hour study plan. Your plan will not only differ in how many hours you need to set aside for studying, but also how many times you'll review the material and whether improving your test-taking strategies should be a key point of focus.
For all of the risk categories, we have provided structure and guidance that will help you get to your goal of passing your pediatrics board exam. We help you with time management, community support, and we have a proven track record of success.
Did you know that PBR has helped pediatricians pass after as many as seven failed attempts? We even helped one pediatrician pass on his tenth attempt!
We can help you too.
What Should You Expect from the Pediatrics Board Exam?
If you've never taken the exam before, you can go through a short tutorial before the exam begins. PBR members are trained to go through the ABP tutorial BEFORE the exam day. Keep in mind that this tutorial is technically for the ABP MOC exam. Initial certification exam test-takers SHOULD go through it because it’s almost the exact same tutorial seen on their exam day. The slight difference will be around the number of blocks that the tutorial mentions for the exam (the initial certification exam has four blocks rather than the two mentioned in this tutorial). Going through this tutorial before your exam can remove one point of stress at the beginning of a very important day.
According to the American Board of Pediatrics, you must arrive for your pediatrics board exam at least 30 minutes before your scheduled test time. If you arrive late, the test proctor may actually bar you from entering to take the exam, meaning that you'll have to pay a rescheduling fee and take the exam the following year.
When you arrive at the testing center to take your pediatrics initial certification exam or maintenance of certification exam, you'll initially be scanned for prohibited electronic devices and will need to show a valid ID to be admitted into the testing center. You'll be given a secure storage locker to stow away your personal belongings and effects. You'll also have to turn your pockets inside out to ensure that you're not carrying prohibited items, and you’ll be asked to roll up your sleeves to show that you're not wearing a wristwatch. After that, you'll be given two laminated note boards and two markers. Immediately before you enter the exam room, you'll be asked to sign your name and document the time.
After you've signed in for the exam, someone will escort you to a workstation where the exam will take place. You will be allowed to take in your photo ID, your storage locker key, earplugs, the two laminated note boards, and two markers. If you would also like to take something else into the room, you can check the Prometric pre-approved items list.
You'll be monitored at all times while you're in the facility, and all testing sessions will have audio and video recorded. Testing advisors will also periodically walk through the exam room to monitor for any irregular behavior.
If you need any assistance, you can raise your hand for help. If you encounter a hardware or software problem while taking your exam, it's important to leave the message on your screen so that an exam official can determine the source of the error. You shouldn’t lose any testing time and your score shouldn't be affected because of any technical problems, but must communicate any such problems to a testing official as soon as possible.
If This Sounds Daunting, We Can Help!
So much of passing your boards comes down to not only your knowledge of medicine, but to your ability to take standardized tests under the very artificial environment mentioned above. This includes the development of your test-taking strategy, and it also includes understanding the many ways to optimize your test-week schedule, your test-day schedule, and yourself. PBR helps in all these areas with a team-based approach led by Dr. Ashish Goyal. Dr. Goyal is PBR’s author and he has coached members to success after as many as nine failed attempts.
Want to skyrocket your scores and get the greatest bang for your buck? We recommend:
PBR’s No Brainer Bundle
Increase your chances of board success to 95% with ALL of our pediatric knowledge base resources. You will get access to our hardcopy books, online editions of the books, audio course, video course, access to live ASK THE EXPERT webinars, a digital picture atlas, our Full Online Test-Taking Strategies Course, and even three 90-Day Personalized Study Schedules created just for you by Team PBR. The No Brainer is the BEST way to leverage your study time for maximum results.
Dr. Goyal will teach you how many questions are in each section and what kinds of questions to expect. He has also identified three major categories of questions that every ABP question will fall into, and he’s created algorithms to help you process each category of questions. He’s also discovered shortcuts to help get questions correct by identifying answer choices that are similar, opposite, contain “hard stop” words, contain “hedging” words, and those that are meant to leave you wondering why it feels like there are multiple correct answer choices.
You will learn all of this through PBR’s test-taking strategy courses. These courses have repeatedly been the key to success for professionals taking medical board exams, and they’ll help you too.
So, if you would like help preparing for your pediatrics board exam, look to the leader in this field here at Pediatrics Board Review (PBR). From helping you build your fund of knowledge the right way, to helping you with all the ins and outs of your exam day, we can help you pass your exam the very first time or your money back — guaranteed!
Getting to the pediatric boards is a major step in your career. Congratulations!
You’ve, no doubt, thought of exam preparation and winced. Think of it this way: the exam is the performance (or the game) and the exam prep is the rehearsal or scrimmage – authentic practice.
Pediatrics Board Review is here to make sure you are prepared and confident in your abilities to pass the boards.
The Three Pillars of Passing the Pediatric Boards
Passing the pediatric boards is hard. We know that. We’re not just an exam prep company. Pediatrics Board Review was created by a pediatrician who failed the pediatric boards and then did so well that the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) asked him to write questions for them. So, we know what it’s like to go through these exams. We have the knowledge base and continuing education to help you pass.
There are three pillars for passing the pediatric board exams. They are content, technique, and commitment. Strength in each of these three key areas is crucial for success.
Content is the fund of pediatric knowledge you develop as you prepare for the pediatric boards. You may think that this is a time when you need to gather all the resources, read countless books, and spend agonizing hours flipping from one cross-reference to another. But the truth is, when taking this exam, less is more. Turning to other textbooks, medical journals, and notes can be disastrous. What you need is a single source that is comprehensive, focused on board-relevant information, and allows for repetition in order to guarantee reinforcement of the concepts.
Using PBR's proven content will get you across the finish line. The reason is congruency. Our digital resources mirror our hardcopy resources precisely. Audio, video, online, and hardcopy resources in congruency allow for an easy preparation process as you weave in and out of different resources. This allows for greater repetition and greater repetition results in greater reinforcement. By using the tried and tested Pediatrics Board Review initial certification exam resources, you’re guaranteed a pass.
“Content is king.” Whether you are coming to PBR as a first-timer, or have failed previously, getting the right content in hand is the single most important aspect of passing.
Technique refers to how you process both individual board-style questions and how you approach the entire exam. Board-style questions are vastly different than living and breathing people. These questions are NOT miniature patients. The medical board exam is a standardized, artificial environment complete with its own set of rules and strategies to navigate.
The thing is, there are rules to the “board game.” Think of each question as a silent puzzle and there are strategic rules in place to help you solve it. This has to do with understanding the various styles of pediatric board exam questions, how to navigate those different styles of questions, and how to process the answer choices in a way that leaves only the answer that the question writers want. Once you are able to do this well, you can start to answer certain questions even without remembering all of the clinical medicine that you studied!
Also, PBR has noticed something significantly different with our members who are International Medical Graduates. Standardized tests, such as the board exam, are different from the board exams with oral and essay questions that they may have been used to in other countries.
A good example of this is the time expectation. 75 seconds is the recommended length of time per question. What do you do when the time remaining on a block of questions is only two or three minutes and you’re still not done? Do you continue to process the questions in order? If you cannot pace yourself at approximately 75 seconds per question, that could prevent you from completing your exam block. What if you knew the answers to those last five questions, but time ran out? So if you are an International Medical Graduate who has struggled with American standardized exams, know that you are not alone, and we can help.
Helping you understand how to decipher what the question writers are asking of you, how to systematically process answer choices and how to manage your time on the exam, are just a few of the many strategies we teach in PBR’s Test Taking Strategies and Coaching courses.
Commitment is a huge reason why pediatricians fail the board exams. It takes a lot of effort and time to prepare yourself for the test. We recommend that low-risk, first-time test takers should study a minimum of 300 hours. For moderate and high-risk test takers, that number increases to 500. Regardless of which study plan you will need to follow, the commitment needed to take on 300-500 hours of board preparation is an absolute must for success.
PBR takes a deep dive into what is required to develop the study habits that you’ll need to get to where you want to be. This is done in our Live Test-Taking Strategies & Deep Study Course. PBR’s lectures around the concept of “Deep Study” are so impactful in multiple areas of life that they are often described as life-changing. There is no easy path toward passing your pediatric boards. But we will help you achieve this career milestone. It may mean studying every day, sacrificing time with your family, less time at your job, and maybe even passing up short-term opportunities in pursuit of the long-term goal. If you set these expectations for yourself you’ll be ahead of the game.
You can do it. We can help you.
High Risk vs Low Risk for Failing Your Pediatric Boards
What is your risk level for failing the pediatric boards? It’s a worthwhile question, right? Even though everyone needs to study and get ready for the exams, a high-risk candidate will need to put in additional effort. We can help you get there, and we can even help you identify whether you’re high-risk or low-risk.
Who is High-Risk?
A high-risk physician or resident may include someone who:
Struggled to pass (or failed) ANY board exam
Self-identifies as having difficulty with standardized board exams
Is an International Medical Graduate
Was classified “at-risk” of failing the boards based on In-Training Exam scores
Are the Study Plans Different Based on Risk Level?
Yes. As we mentioned in the commitment pillar, a minimum of 300 hours is recommended for low-risk pediatricians and 500 hours of board preparation is recommended for moderate to high-risk pediatricians. Your risk profile should also help you select the right resources to maximize your chances of passing the pediatric boards.
For low-risk test-takers, the minimum set of resources we recommend would be included in the All Access Pass. This includes 100% of our Initial Certification exam educational resources. The All Access Pass primarily focuses on providing concise, board-relevant content presented to you through multiple modalities. This bundle gives you everything you need to take on the Content pillar we discussed above.
But, the most common bundle for test takers of the Initial Certification exam is the No Brainer Bundle. It includes resources to support all 3 of the key pillars needed to pass the pediatric boards. It includes PBR’s:
All Access Pass
Full Online Test-Taking Strategies Course
Three 90-Day Personalized Study Schedules created by Team PBR
PBR’s No Brainer bundle is the best pediatric study package on the market, and it costs less than the price of a traditional video board review course.
We’ve helped thousands of pediatricians get through the initial certification exam, including those who have failed many times before. PBR offers focused, easy-to-use resources that will get you across that finish line. In fact, we back it up with a Money-Back First-Time Pass Guarantee. And of the thousands who have utilized our resources, less than 0.5% of pediatricians have asked for their money back.
We’ve helped them, and we can help you.
Are you ready to take on the pediatric board exams?
As the pediatric board exam nears, I'm often asked the following questions:
Pediatric board exam time per question and pacing is something I struggle with. Can you help?
How many questions are on the pediatrics board exam?
What is the number of sections for the American Board of Pediatrics INITIAL board certification exam?
The information on the American Board of pediatrics website is a little confusing, so I've tried to clarify some things below. I try to address some of the more key information you will need on test day. In this article I'll talk specifically about the INITIAL pediatric board certification exam. You'll learn:
How many sections are administered for the initial certification exam
How many questions are on the peds exam
How many questions you can expect to see in each section
The 7 Reasons Why Traditional Pediatric Conferences Are Broken
AT HOME or ON-THE-GO, mobile-friendly, alternative board review solutions
WEBINAR-BASED question & answer sessions that allow you to learn from content experts instead of doing all of the homework on your own!
The SOLUTION is a BLEND of proven strategies that allow for:
LIVE learning through a series of online webinars
The ability to ask questions from content-experts!
A MULTI-MODAL approach to studying
So, I'd like to start by simply stating a fact.
Live pediatric board review conferences ARE BROKEN!
The traditional pediatric board review courses surely served their purpose in the past, but given how much technology we have at our disposal these days, they no longer make any sense.
Here's the kind of feedback I’ve heard from former Pediatrics Board Review members who went on to pass the pediatric boards after they had previously failed the pediatric boards while using other board review materials, including 3-6 day live conferences:
“I spent $2000 or more on the conference alone, plus airfare, hotel, and car rental. Not to mention the time off I had to take from work. That was one expensive headache!“
“Do I really need to know about the 5 subsets of eczema? The subspecialists talked about so much random stuff that it left me lost.”
“I was essentially being forced to consume eight hours of content per day for three days on their schedule, and in their environment.”
“The material was so broad that I had no idea how to summarize it into just what I had to know for the boards. And if I zoned out for a few minutes, I had no idea if I missed something crucial or not.“
The 7 Reasons Why Traditional Pediatric Conferences Are Broken
To summarize some of the above sentiments, and some of my own, I’ve put together this list of reasons why traditional board review conferences are so flawed.
Are you aware of the various American Board of Pediatrics accommodations that are available? These test accommodations are designed for pediatricians who have specific needs, and they can result in you getting twice the amount of time to take the test.
Do you have specific needs when it comes to taking tests? Do you suffer from a condition covered by the ADA or Americans with Disabilities Act and subsequent ADAAA guidelines? Perhaps a condition which is going to leave you struggling for time on the boards?
If so, you might qualify for some amazing special accommodations, such as:
Extra time to take your exam
A private testing room away from all other test-takers
Extended break times
This article will give you the steps you need to pursue to get the special accommodations. We’ll cover important details about why the ABP offers test accommodations, which accommodations are available to you, how to apply, and most importantly – when you must apply to receive test accommodations for your board exam.
Why Does the ABP Offer Test Accommodations?
Like many standardized board exams, the American Board of Pediatrics exam must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) for people who have documented disabilities or a need for test accommodations.
Many people suffer from some sort of medical or neuropsychological condition which creates a hindrance to test taking. Test accommodations are intended to give everyone an equal chance at passing the board exams.
In this article, I’ll share a general overview of the structure of the initial certification and recertification exams, and I’ll also share a ton of resources available to you within Click Here And Continue Reading...