Preparing for the Family Medicine Board Exam

Review Strategies for Residents

Creating a Personalized Board Review Study Plan

How to create your study plan for the ABFM Board exam

The In-Training Exam (ITE) administered each year during residency is a great place to begin to identify your knowlege gaps before you take your Board exam. The outline of ITE correlates to the ABFM Board exam, and so your ITE score can be a good indication of how you may perform when it is time to take your Boards.

The ITE allows for comparison of your progress relative to other residents, but what's more important in terms of predicting success on the Board exam is how well you score compared to the threshold. Each year that you take the ITE, you'll discover what you know well and which topics you need to continue to study.

Topics covered by the ITE include (but are not limited to):

  • Cardiovascular
  • Endocrine
  • Female reproductive
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Hematologic/immune
  • Integumenary
  • Male reproductive
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Nephrologic
  • Neurologic
  • Non-specific
  • Patient-based systems
  • Population-based care
  • Psychogenic
  • Respiratory
  • Special sensory

Using the ITE to Build Your Board Review Strategy

Leverage your ITE experiences to identify your review needs before the ABFM Board exam.


Set the baseline of your overall knowledge. Use this information to prepare for the ITE in PGY2.


Focus on improving your score. Begin reviewing topics where your scores reflect a need.


Fine-tune your score and identify remaining knowledge gaps before your Board exam.

Board Review Study Tools from the AAFP

The AAFP provides many useful study tools in a variety of formats. Choose the learning method that you prefer.