Resources for ABD Item Writers

We have redesigned our website to serve you better! You may log in with your existing ABD user name and password. Then, follow the prompts to update your password. We are here to help via phone (617) 910-6400 or e-mail (abderm@hfhs.org).

RESOURCES FOR ABD ITEM WRITERS

The American Board of Dermatology's five content development committees are responsible for devising questions for use on our four examinations. This page contains some helpful resources and information to guide our Item Writers through the process. 

QUESTION WRITING GUIDE
The ABD requests that all Item Writers read our Question Writing Guide prior to starting an item writing assignment. This guide is designed to help Item Writers prepare better questions. It incorporates both question theory and specific information on question writing. All ABD test committees use Type A questions in their current examinations. Therefore, the chapters on Planning Your Questions, Type A Questions and Technical Item Flaws contain essential information for all item writers.  

With our focus on the Exam of the Future, our committees are now developing new judgement-based items (Applied Knowledge Items). 

ITEM WRITING TUTORIAL
The National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) has prepared a very helpful computer-based tutorial on writing multiple choice test questions. This interactive exercise covers some basic terminology, demonstrates the concept of testwiseness, provides tips for detecting and preventing common item flaws, discusses item formats and presents strategies for writing questions that assess clinical reasoning as opposed to recall of facts. This tutorial is an essential tool for new and experienced item writers. 

ABD ITEM WRITER PORTAL
All questions submitted to the ABD must be entered via the online Item Writer portal. Items submitted on Word documents or PowerPoint slides will not be accepted. All official members of an ABD content development committee will be given access to the Item Writer portal. These credentials will be sent to all Item Writers via e-mail at the start of the item writing season. To help Item Writers navigate the portal, the ABD provides a detailed Step-by-Step Tutorial for the Item Writer Portal

GUIDELINES FOR SUBMITTING DIGITAL IMAGES
Please follow these guidelines for submitting images with items entered in the Item Writer Portal.

IMAGE COMPOSITION TIPS:

  • Select clear representation(s) of targeted disease.
  • Avoid physical findings that can be shared among several conditions.
  • Select high-quality images with adequate lighting and, most importantly, proper color balance.
  • Avoid distracting items in images, such as necklaces, bracelets, watches, etc.
  • Make sure the item of display is contrasted on an appropriate and non-interfering background (e.g., blue or black color). 
  • Avoid fair skin on white or patterned background.
  • Avoid flash effects that may obscure the lesion.

IMAGE SELECTION RULES:

  • Avoid using images that have been included in textbooks, websites, etc.
  • Obtain proper permission for using image.
  • Illustrative graphs or diagrams can be included, but avoid exact reproductions from specific studies.


IMAGE FORMAT REQUIREMENTS:

FILE FORMATS JPEG (*.JPG) "High" or "exellent" image quality compression only. Other file types are not accepted.
FILE SIZE 4 MB (max) The file size must not exceed 4 MB.
IMAGE DIMENSION SIZE Digital camera:
1500 x 1500 pixels (max)
Images taken with digital cameras must be at least 640 x 480 pixels, but the higher the resolution the better. However, 1500 x 1500 pixels is the maximum size allowed, to ensure proper display on the exams.

DO NOT SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING:

    • Powerpoint slides
    • Images embedded in Microsoft Word documents

ABD CODING GUIDES
The ABD uses a detailed item classification system, to assign diagnostic and/or task codes to every item. These codes are used when preparing exams, to ensure adequate and balanced representation of item content on our exams. Please refer to the ABD Coding Guide when preparing your items. 

 

 

 

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)
abderm@hfhs.org

Our Mission

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