FMCLA: Understanding the New ABFM Exam Pilot

Information and strategies for success taking the
Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment (FMCLA)

FMCLA: Understanding the New ABFM Exam Pilot

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(, and check your eligibility for the pilot(   

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.


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!

One-Day Certification Examination

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.

Taking the One-Day exam? Our board review products and courses can help you prepare. Learn more.

How Can I Prepare for the FMCLA?

The key to the Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment (FMCLA) is engaging in a continuous learning cycle that will prepare you for the quarterly questions.

  1. Assess Your Knowledge
    Review your performance on previous quarters' FMCLA exam. If you don't have that information, look at your performance data from CKSA and other tools.
  2. Complete Study Sessions
    Invest time to improve your knowledge in the areas of greatest weakness. The goal isn't to study everything, but to wisely invest your time where you need it.
  3. Further Reading
    Given the complexity and time constraints of FMCLA questions, we recommend refreshing your knowledge in the basics (outlined above) and then reading AFP articles or using other clinical sources to deeper your understanding.
  4. Complete Quarterly FMCLA Exam Questions
  5. Repeat Cycle
    Success comes from repetition. Evaluate each quarter's results and develop a plan to address knowledge gaps.

Simplify Your FMCLA Exam Prep

The new Longitudinal Assessment Self-Study Package combines the learning power of the Board Review Self-Study Package, FP Comprehensive™, and an online community to enhance your studying for the Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment (FMCLA).