In this post, we cover essential details regarding the General Surgery Qualifying and Certifying Exams to help you prepare your board exam timeline.
What is the General Surgery Qualifying Exam?
The General Surgery Qualifying Exam is the exam that physicians who complete their general surgery residency must take to become certified by The American Board of Surgery. There are actually two exams including in the qualifying exam: The Qualifying Examination (QE) and the Certifying Exam (CE).
When are the General Surgery Qualifying and Certifying Exams offered?
In order to be certified by The American Board of Surgery, you must take both the QE and CE exams within 7 years of your surgery residency ending. The QE is taken first and is offered in July. The CE is offered in October.
2021 General Surgery Board Exam Test Dates
|Test Date||Registration Requirements||Score Release|
|Qualifying Examination (QE)||July 15, 2021||
||Scores are posted about 4 weeks after exam date|
|Certifying Examination (CE)||October 11-16, 2021||
||Posted about 4 weeks after exam date|
What is on the General Surgery QE and CE?
The General Surgery QE consists of 300 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 8 hours to complete. The exam consists of questions reviewing general surgical principles and applied science content.
The exam is computer-based and there are 4 sections. In each section, you are given 115 minutes to complete the questions with breaks in between each section. You cannot go back to previous sections once that section has been completed. You can find a complete content outline on The American Board of Surgery’s website.
The CE is an oral exam and will be administered virtually in 2021. The exam consists of three 30-minute sessions that are delivered consecutively by two examiners. You can expect examiners to ask a broad range of questions that help them distinguish your ability to diagnose and determine therapy for common surgical problems. You can learn more about what this exam will be like by reviewing this “What to Expect” page on The American Board of Surgery’s website.
How are the General Surgery Qualifying and Certifying Exams scored?
The QE and CE are both pass or fail exams. The 2019 pass rate for the QE was 96% for examinees who were taking it for the first time. The overall 2019 pass rate for the QE was 92%. The 2019 pass rate for the CE was 85% for those students who were taking it the first time and only 78% overall.
The General Surgery Qualifying Exam and Certifying Exam are extremely important to your career as a surgeon. Med School Tutors understands the importance of these exams and can provide the best tutors who have excelled on these exams to help you prepare and feel more confident. Sign up for a free consult to learn more.