FMCLA: Understanding the New ABFM Exam Alternative

News and information about the Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment (FMCLA)

FMCLA: Understanding the New ABFM Exam Alternative

What is the FMCLA Pilot?

The Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment (FMCLA) pilot is an exam alternative for ABFM diplomates. Pilot participants will answer up to 25 questions online quarterly in lieu of the one-day exam. You may answer questions at anytime and may use clinical references during the assessment. To satisfy your exam requirements, you will need to answer 300 questions over a four-year period and achieve a passing score.

Review full details from the ABFM.(www.theabfm.org)   

Who is eligible for the FMCLA pilot? Diplomates eligible for the exam must meet both criteria: they are current with all certification requirements, and they are due to take their ten-year exam in 2019.
Who isn't eligible for the FMCLA Pilot? Residents must sit for the one-day exam to become ABFM certified. Family physicians who are not current with certification requiremenst and/or did not pass their most recent exam. Diplomates who are scheduled to take the exam in any year other than 2019.

Self-Check: Which exam should I take?

Here is a brief assessment to help identify the best path to certification for you.

ABFM FMCLA Pilot

FMCLA pilot

Does this list describe you?
If so, the pilot may be a good option.

  • I would perform better on a series of shorter exams.
  • I want immediate feedback on my answers and to learn from item critiques and references.
  • I want to compare my performance with other physicians’ results.
  • I feel comfortable with technology and online testing—an early adopter!
  • I face challenges leaving work/family for test taking.

ABFM Certification Exam

ABFM exam

Does this list describe you?
If so, you may want to elect for the one-day exam.

  • I would perform better on a one-day exam.
  • I want to complete certification testing in one day.
  • I prefer a structured test-taking environment.
  • I would face challenges incorporating quarterly tests into my lifestyle.
  • I find it it easy to schedule time away from my practice.

Physicians may opt in to the ABFM Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment (FMCLA) pilot starting December 7, 2018. All applications must be completed by January 3, 2019, to avoid a late fee and have the maximum amount of time to answer first quarter questions. The last day to apply for the pilot is March 15, 2019. Check your eligibility.(www.theabfm.org)  

How can I prepare?

No matter which option you choose, the AAFP has an educational resource to help. 


Pilot Participants

We recommend a comprehensive family medicine review if you plan to take the ABFM Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment (FMCLA). All our courses offer materials that you can save and use as references later—perfect for exam prep.


ABFM Board Exam Participants

If you elect to take the one-day exam, we recommend a review course that will keep you up-to-date in family medicine and prepare you with specific techniques to succeed.