ABFAS provides answers to many frequently asked questions from residents and residency program directors. Have a question that is not listed here? Email us at email@example.com
How do residents schedule their ABFAS In-training Exams?
Program directors use the Podiatry Residency Resource (PRR) to order ITEs for their residents (all PGYs). After ordering is complete, residents must complete their PRR profile and log into their ABFAS profile to schedule their exam with Pearson VUE. Residents will not be able to schedule their ITE exams until their program director submitted the ITE order and the resident has completed their PRR profile
For more information on this process, please see our How to Schedule web page.
What does it cost residents to take ABFAS In-training Exams?
Residency programs pay for their residents to take the ABFAS In-training Exams. There is no cost to the resident.
What is a board qualification fee?
Effective September 2020, residents who pass any component of their final year In-training Exam (ITE) will be able to use their passed exam for ABFAS board qualification purposes. There is a $300 board qualification fee for each exam that they use.
You can read more about the Board Qualification fee here.
Where are the exam testing sites?
ABFAS contracts with Pearson VUE to administer examinations. Pearson VUE offers testing sites nationwide, as well as internationally. Testing sites are only used for Didactic and CBPS exams.
Case Review does not have an on-site attendance requirement.
What are the testing sites like?
All Pearson VUE test centers, regardless of type, are designed to provide a consistent, standardized testing experience in a quiet, distraction-free environment.
How do I reschedule an exam?
ABFAS allows rescheduling examinations, but rescheduling is subject to availability of examination seats at Pearson VUE Professional Centers. Typically, examination seats fill quickly, and rescheduling becomes difficult about 30 days before examination day. You can reschedule examinations within the examination window any time up to 24 hours before examination day. The process to reschedule is the same as scheduling. Sign in to the ABFAS website, and click on the blue “Schedule/View Examination with Pearson VUE” button to begin the process. There is no fee to reschedule.For additional scheduling instructions, click here.
How do I cancel an exam?
To cancel an exam, you must submit your request to cancel in writing by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are some important pointers for CBPS?
The CBPS Exam Preparation webpage has a list of resources to help you prepare, including a CBPS practice exam and explanatory videos on how to best approach and navigate the exam.
Just as in the CBPS examination, the practice exam limits candidates to 15 minutes per case, during which candidates should do a thorough physical examination and include the medical management of the patient.
How do I prepare for an examination?
Review textbooks and recent journals. Additionally, consider taking our Didactic practice test, and CBPS practice test, which will give you a sense of the type of questions that appear on the examinations. For more information, see the ABFAS Board Qualification Document and ABFAS Board Certification Document, which describe the areas tested on the examination(s). Diplomates can read more about the LEAD Continuous Certification program on the LEAD webpage.
You can find review courses online; however, ABFAS does not endorse or recommend any course.
What is computer-adaptive testing?
A computer-adaptive test is a computer-based examination that automatically tailors to the ability level of the individual examinee. As you answer each question, the computer assesses the response and selects the next question based on whether your previous answer was correct or incorrect.
If I purposely miss answers, will my exam be easier?
Answering questions incorrectly will result in an easier examination. However, since the Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT) examinations are graded on difficulty rather than percentage of correct answers, purposely answering questions incorrectly will result in a lower score. To increase your chances of passing the examination, you must answer every question to the best of your ability.
How can residents best prepare for the ABFAS exams?
ABFAS provides resources for all exams, including study guides, video tutorials, and practice exams. All ITE and Part I exam preparation materials can be found on ABFAS.org under “Didactic Exam Preparation” and “CBPS Exam Preparation.” And, it is important to remember that ABFAS does not endorse any exam prep courses.
General Exam Questions
When can I expect my exam results?
Results are posted online to your personal profile 6–8 weeks after the end of the exam period (e.g., if the exam period is January 10–15, ABFAS will notify you of your results 6–8 weeks after January 15). ABFAS will notify candidates via email when results have been posted.
What is Computer-based Patient Simulation (CBPS) testing?
The purpose of the CBPS format is to evaluate candidates’ clinical reasoning skills, a type of testing called performance-based testing. The CBPS examines content knowledge and candidates’ ability to solve problems and make clinically relevant decisions. During the CBPS, candidates collect and analyze patient information and apply what they have learned, thus demonstrating their abilities to examine a patient (physical examination) and formulate a treatment plan.
Candidates complete the CBPS by considering the relevant aspects of case management (patient history, physical examination, imaging, laboratory tests, diagnostic procedures, diagnosis, and treatment, and, in some cases, follow-up diagnoses and treatments). While collecting patient information, candidates must balance thoroughness with efficiency as well as quality versus quantity. Because the CBPS is a timed examination, candidates need to pace themselves and not take too much time on any one point or decision.
Field testing has demonstrated that users who have practiced the CBPS have ample time to complete each case. While collecting information regarding the simulated case, candidates should remember that relevance is paramount to successful resolution of a clinical problem. For example, if candidates are hesitant about whether a procedure is warranted, they should base their decisions on clinical indications. CBPS scoring is based on the relevance of the processes or actions performed.
If I fail the ABFAS examination, do I get reported to an agency?
No. ABFAS considers the status of an individual's participation in and the stage of completion of all Certification components, including an individual's certification status and certification history, to be public information. ABFAS reserves the right to publish and share public information in any and all public forums determined by ABFAS to be reasonable, including the posting of public information on the ABFAS website, sharing the public information with medical licensure boards, managed care organizations, third party payers, or others. While ABFAS generally regards all other information about individuals as private and confidential, there are times that ABFAS must release certain information to fulfill its responsibilities as a medical specialty certification board.
ABFAS specifically regards the results of an individual's Qualification, Certification, or Recertification examination (score and whether the individual passed or failed) as private and confidential.
How much time do I have to complete the Part I process? How many times can I fail/re-take the Part I exams?
Depending upon when and what type of residency program you completed, there are time limits you should be aware of with respect to becoming board qualified and certified. See the ABFAS Board Qualification Document and the Qualification/Certification Chart by Residency Type.
If you pass one section of the Part I exams but fail another, you will receive credit for the section passed, but you will not receive board status. If you fail one section of the Part I exams, you may retake the failed section during the following six years or at the end of your eligibility window.
Can I wait 2 to 3 years before taking the Part I exams, or do I have to take them in the Spring of my final year of residency?
You may, but are not required, to take the Part I exams in the year you graduate from your residency program. In most cases, residents in their final year who graduate in June take the Spring exam (usually in March). But some do wait for the fall exam.
See the ABFAS Board Qualification Document for more information.
When can I take the Part I exams?
Candidates who have a residency completion year after 2020 are eligible to register for the Part I examinations (Part I Didactic and NEW CBPS) in the Spring of their final year, and if needed, the following Fall after residency completion. If unsuccessful, these candidates will only be able to retake the Part I examinations in the Fall of each year.
Candidates who have a residency completion year in 2020 or earlier may only register to take the Part I exams in the Spring of each year.
I have a disability and need special accommodations when taking my assessment(s). What do I need to do?
Please see the ADA Accommodations webpage.
What are the fees for the In-training Exams?
Residency programs pay the registration fees for each resident’s In-training Exams (ITEs).There are two tiers of pricing for ITE registration:
- PGY 1, 2 (and 3 in 4-year programs) ITEs: $240
- Final-year ITE: $300
Where do my exam fees go?
Exam fees support ABFAS administrative costs, including the meetings and work of the four committees that develop the exams. ABFAS currently has 16 different exams that cover In-training didactic and CBPS, Board Qualification didactic and CBPS, and Board Certification CBPS and Case Review.
Approximately 135 ABFAS Board Certified members volunteer more than two weeks of their time to meet and review exam performance, develop new items for future exams, and strategize new exam processes for the more than 5,000 individual exams administered each year. In addition, for Case Review, more than 115 ABFAS Board Certified members volunteer for three days (4–5, if you include travel time) to review more than 6,900 procedures submitted for those seeking Board Certification. During the time all of the committees meet, the volunteers are not seeing patients or performing surgery, which means that they are giving up not only their time but their income to make sure that ABFAS exams are the highest quality.
Are ABFAS fees used for lobbying?
No. We only apply fees to administrative/operational costs.
What types of foot and ankle surgeons does ABFAS certify?ABFAS has two types of candidates: Board Certified and Board Qualified. Each candidate type has further distinctions:Board Certified
Board Certified podiatric surgeons are Diplomates of ABFAS.Board Qualified
- Ambulatory: A podiatric surgeon who became certified by the American Board of Ambulatory Surgery before it joined with ABFAS
- Foot and Ankle Surgery: A podiatric surgeon who became ABFAS Board Certified before 1991
- Foot: A podiatric surgeon who has met ABFAS Part I and Part II Foot Surgery exam requirements, holds hospital privileges, and has an active license
- Reconstructive Rearfoot/Ankle (RRA): A podiatric surgeon who is ABFAS Board Certified in Foot Surgery, has met ABFAS Part I and Part II RRA Surgery exam requirements, holds hospital privileges, and has an active license
- Foot: A podiatric surgeon who has met ABFAS Part I Foot Surgery exam requirements, holds hospital privileges, and has an active license
- Reconstructive Rearfoot/Ankle (RRA): A podiatric surgeon who has met both ABFAS Part I Foot Surgery exam requirements and ABFAS Part I RRA Surgery exam requirements, holds hospital privileges, and has an active license
What is the certification process?You will need to pass the Part I Didactic Exam and the NEW CBPS Exam or the equivalent Final-year In-training Examinations (FY ITEs) to become ABFAS Board Qualified. If you meet an exam requirement by passing a final-year ITE, you will need to pay a board qualification fee. Please note: Board Qualification in Foot Surgery is a prerequisite for Board Qualification in RRA Surgery.After you become Board Qualified, you will have to pass Case Review to become Board Certified.
What is the difference between Board Qualified and Board Certified?
Board Qualified status indicates that a podiatric surgeon has passed the Part I examination(s), holds hospital privileges, and has an active license. Individuals who are Board Qualified are not members of ABFAS but are “in progress.”
Board Certified status indicates that the podiatric surgeon has passed the Part II examination(s), holds hospital privileges, and has an active license. Individuals with Board Certified status are members of ABFAS.
Do foot and ankle orthopedic surgeons take a board certification exam as well?
Yes. The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) offers voluntary board certification. ABOS candidates undertake a Part I written examination and a Part II oral examination.
How do I retrieve a lost password?
You can retrieve your username and/or password by clicking on the "Forgot username?" and "Forgot password?" links on the ABFAS login page and following the prompts. If you are unable to request a password online, call ABFAS at 415-553-7800.
What are the different ABFAS candidate status types?TYPE
STATUSActive: Engaged in the active practice of podiatry; has fulfilled all relevant exam requirements; maintains an active, unrestricted license; and holds current, active surgical privileges at a hospital or surgery center.Administrative: Engaged primarily in an administrative capacity directly related to the profession of podiatry.Expired: A Board Qualified or Board Certified podiatric surgeon whose status has expired.Extension: A Board Qualified podiatric surgeon who has received an extension for the time period they can be Board Qualified or a Diplomate who has been given additional time to complete LEAD program requirements.Inactive: Not engaged in the active practice of podiatry.Incomplete: A podiatric surgeon who has taken and passed the ABFAS Board Qualification examinations but has not submitted the necessary documentation to become fully Board Qualified. A podiatric surgeon has one year after passing the Board Qualification examinations to submit the required documentation. After one year, the podiatric surgeon is non-compliant with ABFAS Board Qualification policy.No Board Status: A podiatric surgeon who has graduated from, or is in their final year of, a CPME-approved residency program and who has not achieved ABFAS board status.Non-Compliant: A podiatric surgeon who has taken the necessary ABFAS Board Qualification examinations but did not submit all required documentation within one year of passing the Board Qualification examinations. A Board Certified podiatric surgeon holding foot and ankle certified status who is not compliant with LEAD program requirements.Surgically Inactive: Engaged in the active practice of podiatry but no longer has an active foot and ankle surgical practice; has fulfilled all relevant exam requirements; maintains an active, unrestricted license; and holds current, active privileges at a hospital or surgery center.Suspended: A Board Qualified or Board Certified podiatric surgeon whose Foot status has expired and who has met the requirements for RRA Board Qualification or Board Certification. The Foot status must be active in order for the RRA status to be active as well.Resigned: A podiatric surgeon who has voluntarily given up Board Certification.Retired: An ABFAS Diplomate who has retired from active practice.Revoked:
- Certified: Ambulatory, Foot and Ankle Surgery, Foot, Reconstructive Rearfoot/Ankle (RRA)
- Qualified: Foot, Reconstructive Rearfoot/Ankle (RRA)
Please contact our verifications department if you have additional questions regarding suspended or revoked status.NOTE: ABFAS does not have a board eligible status.
- Administrative: Unrelated to any professional review action (e.g., non-payment of annual fee or special assessment).
- Legal: Upon professional review related to any of the following possibilities: misrepresents certification status or provides false information to ABFAS, has cheated on any ABFAS exam, or violates the Code of Ethics of the APMA, conviction of either a felony related to the delivery of a healthcare item or service or any offense that causes their license revocation.