THE AMERICAN BOARD OF PATHOLOGY

A Member Board of the American Board of Medical Specialties

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The CC examination is mandatory for all participants in CC. It is given twice each year in Spring (March) and Fall (August) sessions and may be taken as soon as the 8th year of the CC 10-year cycle. An assessment covering a certification must be passed no later than the tenth year from the date of issuance. Please view the CC Examination Registration Dates & Fees section below for exam session dates). Satisfactory completion of the examination will meet the assessment requirement for any certifications the exam covered. Passed exams do not change any program deadlines or certification expiration dates.

The CC exam registration form automatically populates on the CC Program page during open registration for each session if the diplomate is eligible. A diplomate is eligible to register for CC examinations beginning in the 8th year of each 10-year cycle if their first three (3) CC reporting forms have been submitted and approved and he/she is currently meeting all CC requirements.

The CC examination is based on the same proven psychometric principles used in the primary certification examinations. The examinations will be criterion referenced. Aggregate results of the CC examinations in each primary and subspecialty area are published annually in ABPath's newsletter.

General CC Examination Information

The examination is a proctored assessment based on practical, need-to-know, day-to-day skills and knowledge that a competent practitioner would be expected to possess. Each CC examination is composed of either 150 or 200 multiple choice questions depending on if an exam covers one or two certificates.  Multiple choice questions are in the single best answer format. A diplomate may complete more than one exam in an examination session.

If a diplomate fails their examination they may register again in a future exam session. Diplomates may take the CC Examination in as many exam sessions as they are eligible to receive a passing score. Results are posted to the Board Correspondence page in PATHway approximately 4 to 6 weeks after the final exam is given.

Reference Material

Any physical reference material such (books, notes, etc.) present at the start of the exam may be referenced during the exam. Digital reference material of any kind is not allowed.

Exam Customization

ABPath recognizes the breadth and variation of pathology practice, therefore:

  • The primary CC examinations (AP/CP, AP only, and CP only) are modular and diplomates must select their modules when submitting the exam registration form that are as relevant as possible to their individual scope of practice.
  • The subspecialty CC examinations in Hematopathology, Molecular Genetic Pathology, Neuropathology, and Pediatric Pathology are modular. Diplomates must select their modules when submitting the exam registration form.  All other subspecialty exams are a single 150-question exam.

Exam Covering Both Primary and Subspecialty Certifications

Diplomates who hold both a primary and a subspecialty certification may opt to sit for a combined examination that includes a 50-question primary certification module and the 150-question subspecialty examination, which may be modular (see previous two points). Combined exams are graded together as a single 200-question exam for purposes of pass/fail.  A passing score will fulfill the Assessment requirement for both certifications for that CC 10-year cycle.

Time Limit During Exams

CC exams consist of one or more modules based on available customization. Individual question modules are not timed but exam sections (Instructions, Exam, Exit Survey) are. A 150-question exam allows three and half hours to answer questions with one ten-minute break built into the exam. A 200-question combined exam allows four and half hours to answer questions with two ten-minute breaks built into the exam.

Exam Locations

Diplomates may choose to take their CC exams at the ABPath Examination Center in Tampa, Florida or via secure, remote computer access from their home or office. Please see the CC Examination Locations section for specific information.

Registration Fee

The registration fee for the CC Part III Examination is $700. The $700 fee covers all exams taken during the same exam session (Spring or Fall) regardless of the number of exams taken (primary and subspecialty). The registration fee is the same for remote access and Tampa Examination Center administration options. Online payment must be completed before the registration form can be submitted.

It is possible to cancel a CC Examination Registration. Refunds will be issued based on when the cancel request was received and how far the examination session has proceeded. Please see the CC Examination Cancellation Policy section below for complete details.

CC Assessment Registration and Examination Dates

2018 FALL SESSION

Registration Opens

Registration Final Filing Date

Tampa Time Assignments/Remote Practice Codes Posted

Remote Access Exams

Tampa Examination Center Exams

Result Letters & Feedback Reports posted to PATHway

April 1st

May 31st, 11:59 pm EST

during June

August 20th - September 3rd

August 20th

October

2019 SPRING SESSION

Registration Opens November 1st
Registration Closes December 31st
Remote Practice Exam Opens During January
Remote Access Exams March 4th - March 18th
Tampa Exams March 4th
Results & Feedback Reports posted to PATHway May

2019 FALL SESSION

Registration Opens April 1st
Registration Closes May 31st
Remote Practice Exam Opens During June
Remote Access Exams August 12th - August 26th
Tampa Exams August 19th
Results & Feedback Reports posted to PATHway October

CC Examination Locations

Diplomates may choose to take their CC exams at the ABPath Examination Center in Tampa, Florida or via secure, remote computer access from their home or office. Each examination session (Spring and Fall) will have a predetermined time period for both Tampa and Remote Access exams. Please see the CC Assessment Registration and Examination Dates section for more information.

CC Remote Access Exams

Remote CC exams can be taken on any day (7 days a week) and at any time (24 hours) that you choose during the assigned 2-week period. Remote exam registrants are responsible for ensuring that system requirements, webcam, and microphone are installed on their computers prior to the start of the examination session.

Remote examinees will be required to perform a practice exam on the computer that will be used to take the exam prior to the actual examination to ensure acceptable functions are in place for exam access. Spring CC Remote Access practice tests will be available by the beginning of February. Fall CC Remote Access practice tests will be available by July.  An email will be sent to all diplomates registered for a remote examination session when access is available. You must successfully complete the CC practice exam to receive access to your actual CC examination.

CC Exams at ABPath Examination Center

Diplomates may choose to take their CC exam at ABPath's Examination Center in Tampa, Florida. Each examination session will have a predetermined date assigned. Please see the CC Assessment Registration and Examination Dates section for complete details.

THIS SCHEDULE IS TENTATIVE AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.  HOWEVER, ANY CHANGES WILL BE ANNOUNCED.

CC Examination Module Blueprints

Exam Module Blueprints

The blueprints provided here by the Board represent the number of written versus practical or practical with image questions for each CC exam module. Actual module content may vary slightly from the blueprints. Select a link below to view that CC exam blueprint.

CC Examination Module Illustrations

Exam Module Illustrations

The illustrations provided here by the Board list all available elective modules for each CC exam and demonstrate the modular format of each CC exam.  Select a link below to view that CC exam illustration.

CC Examination Study Guides

The study guides provided here by the Board reflect most of the content of the exam modules but may not exactly reflect all of the content in the modules.  These study guides list topics, key concepts, and diagnosis categories associated with questions in each CC exam module. Some of the listed topics, key concepts, and diagnosis categories may be associated with more than one question in a particular module. Select a link below to view specific CC module study guide(s).

2018 Study Guides:

Each exam module contains questions related to:

  • Fundamental practical knowledge.
  • Current and clinically valid practice-related knowledge. Questions will include information new to the field since the diplomate’s last certification or CC examination that relates to the diplomate’s Lifelong Learning and Self­-Assessment experience.
  • Practice environment including such areas relevant to the module, such as:
    • federal regulations relevant to anatomic and/or clinical pathology
    • CLIA regulations
    • AABB standards for transfusion medicine
    • principles of laboratory management
    • coding and billing
    • quality assurance
    • laboratory accreditation
    • patient safety
    • professionalism and ethics

CC Examination Cancellation Policy

CANCELLATION POLICY FOR CONTINUING CERTIFICATION (CC) EXAMINATIONS ONLY

Tampa Location

  • If a cancel request is received by ABPath via email, before the date assignment is posted to the Diplomate’s Board Correspondence in Pathway, a full refund of the fee will be given.
  • If a cancel request is received after the date assignment is posted to the Diplomate’s Board Correspondence in Pathway, but before the examination is administered, the examination fee will be refunded minus a $100 processing fee.
  • If the Diplomate does not appear for the examination the entire examination fee will be forfeited with the following exception:
    • Personal illness at the time of the examination, validated by the diplomate’s personal physician. Documentation must be submitted and received by ABPath within 60 days of the date of the examination. The examination fee will be refunded minus a $100 processing fee.

Remote Access

  • If a cancel request is received by ABPath via email, before the practice test is opened, a full refund of the fee will be given.
  • If a cancel request is received after the practice test is opened, but before the examination is administered, the examination fee will be refunded minus a $100 processing fee.
  • If the Diplomate does not appear for the examination the entire examination fee will be forfeited with the following exception:
    • Personal illness at the time of the examination, validated by the diplomate’s personal physician. Documentation must be submitted and received by ABPath within 60 days of the date of the examination. The examination fee will be refunded minus a $100 processing fee.

ABMS Core Competencies:  Patient Care and Medical Knowledge

© 2015 The American Board of Pathology. All rights reserved.