2020 Cert Exam FAQs

Why can't the ABD offer the exam through Prometric in July, when the exam was originally planned?
Preparing to launch an exam with a new vendor requires substantial lead time. Capacity constraints at test centers and for online proctoring further limited our options. 

How will the ABD accommodate candidates who are unable to take the 2020 Certification Exam between October 15-24 due to previously planned life events?
The ABD understands that changing the exam dates on relatively short notice could create scheduling hardships for some candidates. If a major life event precludes you from taking the exam on the revised dates in October, you may call the ABD office to discuss alternate options. Please be aware that we are not able to offer options to take the exam prior to October 15. 

Did the ABD consider the preferences of residents who responded to the inquiry sent on May 15, indicating they were willing to travel to Tampa in July?
Yes, the ABD considered the input of many stakeholders in making this decision, including the residents who responded to the ABD’s May 15 inquiry. In the end, the ABD’s decision was based solely on protecting the health and safety of test-takers, their families, and patients. To effectively prepare for the possibility of administering an exam in Tampa, the ABD needed to know how many candidates to expect at each testing event. Extensive planning by the ABD to administer the exam in Tampa continued until it was finally concluded that we simply could not safely administer the certifying exam in Tampa, and that a safer, timely alternative was now possible with Prometric. 

Will candidates need to pay an additional fee to Prometric to take the ABD Certification Exam in October?
No. There will not be additional charges passed on to the residents to take the exam at a Prometric test center or via online proctoring in October.  

I booked a hotel reservation at the WestShore Grand in Tampa for my stay during the exam. Do I need to contact the hotel to cancel?
No. The ABD contacted the hotel on June 5 and requested cancellation of all rooms associated with the ABD room block. If you did not book your room under the ABD room block, you should call the hotel directly to cancel your room. 

The ABD previously said an exam administered via online proctoring did not meet security standards. What has changed?
Although online proctoring is not currently regarded as providing as high a level of exam security as a test center, the ongoing threat posed by COVID-19 necessitates this minor modification of examination standards. We are satisfied that the advanced security measures offered by Prometric’s ProProctor™ online proctoring system will ensure the validity of our test takers and preserve the integrity of our exam content. 

The ABD previously said glass slide items would be converted to virtual dermpath for an exam in Tampa. Will virtual dermpath items be included on the exam administered via Prometric?
At this time, the ABD plans to include virtual dermpath items on the exam. The technology will be tested and validated extensively with Prometric prior to the exam. Should we decide to replace the virtual dermpath scans with still images, we will inform candidates in advance of the exam. 

What are the technical requirements for taking an exam via online proctoring?
To take the exam via Prometric’s ProProctor™ candidates need a fast and reliable internet connection (0.5 mbps or greater connection speed). Using a hardwired connection is strongly recommended instead of a wireless connection, to avoid connectivity interruptions during the exam. A webcam-equipped desktop or laptop computer is also required. Tablets and mobile devices are not permitted. The computer must not be connected to a docking station or use multiple monitors. Additional information about the online proctoring process is available in the Prometric ProProctor™ user guide

For an exam administered in October, when will I receive results?
The ABD will release results from the 2020 Certification Exam before the end of the year. 

Does ABD still intend to offer this exam in Tampa in December 2020 and March 2021 as previously mentioned, or are the October dates through Prometric the only dates for ABD certification this year?
No. The 2020 Certification exam will be exclusively administered via Prometric between October 15-24. The previously mentioned alternate administrations in Tampa, FL (December 2020 and March 2021) are cancelled. 

Will the ABD administer the Certification Exam in Tampa in 2021? 
The plans for the ABD’s 2021 Certification Exam have not yet been finalized.

Contact Us

American Board of Dermatology
2 Wells Avenue
Newton, Massachusetts 02459
Office Hours: Mon-Fri,
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. ET
(617) 910-6400 (Phone/Fax)

Our Mission

To serve the public and profession by setting high standards for dermatologists to earn and maintain Board certification.