A Few Last Minute Test-Taking Tips for Your ABEM ConCert Exam

by Adam Rosh, MD

Quote- There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. Yet that will be the beginning. - Louis L'Amour

The hardest part of this exam is being able to answer the questions based on the “standard” rather than what you do in “your shop”.  Don’t overthink.

Remember, there are no tricks. The woman who steps off a plane from China with unilateral leg swelling, a cough, and syncope…has a PE, not influenza or some other zebra.

Go with your instincts on questions you are unsure of. Don’t talk yourself out of the answer your gut wants you to choose.

Pack the night before. Make sure you have your ID (e.g. driver’s license). Lay out comfortable clothes. Bring something warm (e.g. light sweatshirt) in case the room gets cold.

Double check your exam location and time. Plug it in to a map service such as Google Maps. Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled exam time.

Familiarize yourself with the testing interface. This is the demo test provided by Pearson.

Pack a lunch and eat it during your break. Keep it “lean”, you’ll have time to eat more after the exam. Stick with fats and proteins (e.g. hard boiled eggs). And water.

Go to bed early (read some fiction to keep your mind off the exam).

Wake up early (to avoid rushing) and drink a large glass (20+ oz) of water with a squeeze of lemon.

Get your heart rate up for 30 seconds (20 push ups/burpees, brisk walk around the block, stretching/yoga).

Eat a breakfast composed of fats and proteins (e.g. eggs, bacon, avocado). Avoid carbohydrates and sugars, if possible.

Use the bathroom before you start the exam.

Once the exam starts, you are on the clock. So, before you click start, take a deep breath (or a few), and bring yourself into focus.

Answer every question, don’t leave any questions blank.


Leave a comment