Primary Certification

Part II Examination 2021: Format, Application Announcements

Today, the ABPMR is announcing that the 2021 Part II Examination will be administered virtually. The application window will open in early January 2021, and the virtual oral examination is being planned to take place in late spring.

"As with so many aspects of our lives in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic significantly disrupted ABPMR examinations this year," says ABPMR Executive Director Carolyn Kinney, MD, "and of course, our in-person oral examination had to shift most significantly—first we postponed, then transitioned it to a virtual format."

Dr. Kinney cites continued uncertainty surrounding the pandemic as the major factor for the board's decision to continue with the virtual format for the 2021 exam.

"With cases still on the rise across the nation and uncertainties surrounding vaccine timing and availability, ABPMR staff nevertheless needs to get a plan in place for 2021," she says. "Candidates still want to get certified, and the ABPMR board of directors feels strongly about providing them a path forward."

2021 Part II Examination, Application Timing

For a variety of reasons, the virtual 2021 Part II Examination administrations will take place closer to the in-person exam timing: Dates are expected to be set around May or June of 2021.

Exact dates and number of administrations are still to be determined, but we anticipate having dates finalized by the time the Part II Examination application opens. Candidates will not be permitted to pre-select dates, nor will the ABPMR accommodate any blackout dates or any type of date preference requests.

Due to the delay of multiple examinations this year (including delays in exam results), the Part II Examination application will open in early January 2021, with the late deadline ending in mid-February.


We hope this information helps those candidates planning to take the Part II Examination in 2021 to prepare for the exam, and sets their minds at ease regarding travel and unnecessary exposure. If there are any questions or concerns, please contact us and we'd be happy to help.

Originally Published: November 02, 2020