The in-training exam gives you an assessment of your progress in acquiring medical knowledge during your residency. The results will tell you which topics you know well, and which ones to focus on studying more before your certification exam. Your ITE results also help your Program Director understand where the entire program is at, where you’re at, and what topics to reinforce.
For the IM-ITE, your score is based on the number of answers you get correct—but, unlike the ABIM Certification Exam, the score for the ITE is reported as the number of questions answered correctly with no penalty for guessing. So, you should answer every question! They do not report scores as pass/fail.
What's reported to your program?
About 4-6 weeks after the exam window, your program will receive a report showing the percent of questions you (and every other examinee) answered correctly, as well as each examinee’s percentile rank. The report will also have a list of educational objectives for the questions answered incorrectly.
What you’ll see on your ITE report
About 4-6 weeks after the exam window, you’ll also get a report for your individual performance on the ITE. You can use this to make any necessary changes to your study program as you prepare for the Certification Exam.
You’ll see your overall percent correct score and percentile rank, as well as a breakdown of each of the 11 major content areas. You’ll also receive a list of educational objectives for the questions you didn’t answer correctly, along with a listing of the educational objective for every test question. Don’t worry about trying to compare yourself with your other residents (and revealing your score!)—the ABIM includes a norm table and guidelines for interpreting the data, so you can compare your score with the scores of different resident groups.
What to do with your ITE results
When deciding on a study strategy based on your results, it’s important to remember that the outline of your ITE (should) follow the structure of the board exam you’re taking, whether it’s the ABIM exam blueprint or the ABP content outline. Your ITE score is a good indicator of how well you’d do on the certification exam if you took it today. The ITE target is the expected knowledge of a PGY3, so don’t get down on yourself about your score—use it as a motivation tool to help you effectively prepare for boards.
What to do with ITE results as a PGY1
As a PGY1, use your ITE results to set a baseline of your overall knowledge. And start prepping for next year’s ITE. Focus on short, frequent study sessions that use science-based learning hacks to help you learn and remember more.
What to do with ITE results as a PGY2
As a PGY2, your focus should be on improving on your score from last year’s ITE. Start studying early, and review your knowledge gaps in topics you didn’t score well on. Explore the study tools that fit your style best: do you want a package of bestsellers to study across formats or a Video Board Review that lets you review on your own time? Or do you want to come to (or live stream) a live Review Course so that you can soak up knowledge with peers and get the video footage once the course is over? Start looking into (and budgeting for!) the study tools you need.
What to do with ITE results as a PGY3
Your focus should be to identify any remaining knowledge gaps before you take your certification exam. We’d recommend an internal medicine or pediatrics live review course to nail down any topics you didn’t score well on—we always give you all the lecture footage for 12 months after the course ends so you can continue reviewing right up until exam day.
How to ace your next ITE
Remember that the ITE is a tool you can utilize to understand which topics to focus your studies—and don’t let it stress you out. If you need help creating a study process that works, we’re here for you. We’ve developed a 3-step study method that will help you study more effectively than ever before.