The APCCMPD In-Service Examinations

Update on 2020 APCCMPD In-Service Exams Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
March 30, 2020

The APCCMPD recognizes the critical role members and their fellows are playing in COVID-19 Pandemic. Together with the APCCMPD Board of Directors and the In-service Exam Writing Committee, we are looking for effective ways to support our members and fellows ability to take the In-service exam this year.  

Extended Testing Windows
We realize that programs are at different stages addressing the pandemic and have different remote work requirements. As such, the APCCMPD has broadened the testing window to allow programs to take the exam in two testing windows (below).

Testing Window 1: April 1 - May 22, 2020

  • This will allow programs who are not yet facing a COVID-19 surge to take the exam starting Wednesday, April 1, 2020. You may administer the exam in several small groups through May 22, 2020.
  • National Summary graphs will be provided at the end of May which will include data from all fellows who took the exam in this first window. This is important for programs who use these graphs to prepare their curriculums for the next academic year. 

Testing Window 2: May 23 - August 14, 2020

  • This will allow programs who are unable to administer the exam in the April/May testing window to administer the exam in the summer. 
  • Incoming Fellows will take the exam in this testing window (note registration for the incoming fellow exam opens on June 1-August 7, 2020.
  • National Summary graphs will be provided at the end of August, which will include data from all fellows who took the exam in the first and second testing windows. 

Proctoring the Exam
Please note: the In-service exam will still need to be proctored. We do recommend that you proctor the exam in several small groups rather than one or two large groups and abide by any local requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We realize that in-person proctoring may be a barrier for some programs. Unfortunately, our testing vendor is unable to accommodate our request for broad remote proctoring at this time. As such, APCCMPD staff can work together with individual programs to help facilitate your program to virtually proctor its In-service exams. In this instance, you will work with APCCMPD staff to select a time when someone from your program can virtually proctor a group of your fellows to take the exam. APCCMPD staff will be present during the virtual proctoring session and will provide the platform to proctor. This option will be available for both testing windows. 

Given the resources required for APCCMPD staff to facilitate virtually proctoring exams, this option should be used only in instances such as:

  • Programs absolutely cannot provide in-person proctoring in either of the two testing windows.
  • For programs whose 3rd-year fellows cannot take the exam prior to May 22 in an in-person proctoring environment. 

For more information on facilitated virtual proctoring please email Joyce Reitzner ([email protected]).

Questions and Unique Situations
In the end, we realize that everyone's circumstance is unique and it is difficult for us to find a solution that will fit everyone's needs. We are happy to work with you to help your program administer the exams. Please email us with questions so that we can help accommodate your individual program's needs. 

We look forward to hearing from you and thank you for all you are doing to address the COVID-19 Pandemic.


The APCCMPD Pulmonary and Critical Care In-service Exam and APCCMPD Critical Care In-service Exam are the only nationally standardized, psychometrically-validated tests that evaluate a clinicians' knowledge of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.

Each exam is a 150-question, computer-based exam. Content is based on the respective ABIM Pulmonary and Critical Care Board Exam Blue Print and ABIM Critical Care Board Exam Blue Print

Every year exam items are developed by the In-Service Exam Writing Committee, a group of physician content experts who create these items to reflect the knowledge and skills identified as necessary for competent trainee progression through Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Combined Subspecialty Training. Once assembled, the test then undergoes a holistic review by a psychometrician and the In-Service Exam Writing Committee who examine the test for accuracy, significance, fairness, and conformity to test specifications. Exam items are then placed through a rigorous item-analysis adhering to psychometric industry standards to detect any questionable item performance. The results are reviewed so that item ambiguities are detected and the necessary adjustments made before administration and scoring.

The In-service Exam Writing Committee goes to great lengths to ensure that the exams are an accurate reflection of the most current evidence and practice in pulmonary and critical care medicine, and that it is administered in a way to protect the integrity of the resulting scores. This requires vigilance in both exam analysis and proctoring efforts. The APCCMPD In-Service exams are annually reviewed and updated, including regular item-analysis to determine that all items are performing as originally intended. The extensive psychometric process is necessary not only to verify each item as reliable and an appropriate representation of pulmonary and critical care medicine, but also to determine that all questions are written in an accurate and fair manner. 

Available Exams

  • Pulmonary and Critical Care In-Service Exam
  • Critical Care In-Service Exam

Value to Program Directors

Each exam has been developed as a “low stakes” examination and not to be used for promotion.

  • Provide educational counseling
  • Evaluate knowledge uptake of the course of fellowship
  • Develop curricula and validate planned curricular changes
  • Compare Fellows’ performance nationally
  • Serve as a tool for the Program Requirement V.A.2.b).(1).(b) Medical Knowledge
  • The program must use an objective formative assessment method. The same formative method must be administered at least twice during the program. 

Value to Fellows

  • Identify areas of deficiency that require further learning
  • Compare performance to peers nationally
  • May help make career choices

2020 Dates

February 24 - August 7, 2020

Registration for 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-year Fellows

April 1 - May 22, 2020 and
May 23 - August 14, 2020

Testing window for 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-year Fellows

June 1 - August 7, 2020

Registration for Incoming Fellows

July 1 - August 14, 2020

Testing window for Incoming Fellows

September 14 - October 12, 2020

Registration for exam Retesting* (to register please email
[email protected])

October 5 - 16, 2020

Retesting window for All Years

*To be eligible to retake the In-service Exam the Fellow must have taken the initial exam in either April/May or July of 2020.


Exam Rates

Fellowship Year Member Fee Per Fellow Non-member Fee Per Fellow
1st-Year Fellow $250  $500 
2nd-Year Fellow $250  $500 
3rd-Year Fellow $250  $500 
Incoming Fellow $100 $200
Retest Fee $100 $200 

Program Directors who register their Fellows will also be able to register to take the complimentary examination. 

Eligibility to Take the Exam

Examinees must be one of the following, and must be registered by their program:

  • Incoming Fellow
  • 1st-Year Fellow
  • 2nd-Year Fellow
  • 3rd-Year Fellow
  • Program Directors may take a complimentary exam when registering at least one Fellow

For more information contact: [email protected]

Why should I assign a Primary Contact?

Questions? [email protected]