How To Study For The Anesthesia BASIC Exam
The ABA BASIC Exam is an essential step for anesthesiology residents. Administered by the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA), this exam focuses on the scientific basis of principles and concepts relevant to the practice of anesthesiology. In this blog post, we will give you a step-by-step guide on preparing for the ABA BASIC Exam so you have the tools and knowledge to excel.
1. Understand the exam content.
Before you can start studying, you need to get to know the ABA BASIC exam. It consists of 200 multiple-choice questions and, according to the ABA, you can expect questions in these four content areas: Basic Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Organ-Based Basic and Clinical Sciences, and Special Problems or Issues in Anesthesiology. Each content area is broken down even further and you can review the full blueprint of the exam on the ABA website.
2. Formulate a study schedule.
Putting together a well-thought-out and structured study schedule is vital to your success. Such high-stakes exams require a solid plan! Create a realistic plan that works with your already demanding schedule to avoid last-minute cramming. Remember that exam prep is a marathon, not a sprint. Consider your strengths and weaknesses when creating your schedule, devoting more time to subjects that you may struggle with.
3. Choose quality resources.
You’ll need resources tailored to the ABA exam like textbooks, review courses, and a quality question bank. These resources will provide a solid foundation for your studies.
4. Consider study groups.
Get together with your fellow residents to collaborate on exam prep. Engaging in discussions, explaining concepts to others, and sharing study strategies can deepen your understanding of complex topics. Collaborative learning also provides a supportive environment, helping you stay motivated throughout the preparation process.
5. Take practice exams.
Before beginning your official study journey, make some time to take practice tests. Use the test results as a guide to where you need to focus more of your time.
6. Simulate exam conditions.
Take mock exams throughout your studies. Doing so will not only help familiarize you with the exam format and timing constraints, but it will also help you identify areas of continued weakness. Use this information to adjust your study plan.
7. Manage exam-related stress.
At this point in your career, you know just how stressful exam preparation can be. Try to work some relaxation time into your schedule. During your exam prep, it’s easy to become all-consumed with studying but try to make time for getting outdoors, enjoying your hobbies, and spending time with your family and friends. Prioritizing your mental health is an important part of exam performance. Before your exam, make sure you take time to map out the testing center so you know where you are going in advance, which will help lessen your anxiety on exam day.
What Happens If You Fail the ABA BASIC Exam?
Failing the ABA BASIC Exam is undoubtedly disheartening, but it doesn’t mean the end of your journey. If you fail the exam, you are able to take it again at the next opportunity. A failure for the second time will result in an unsatisfactory designation for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) reporting period. After a third failed attempt, residents must complete six months of additional training before they are eligible to retake the exam. After a fourth failed attempt, residents must complete 12 months of additional training before they are eligible to retake the exam. An unsatisfactory designation will remain for each CCC reporting period until the exam is passed. Residents cannot graduate from their residency program without passing the ABA BASIC Exam. Consider seeking additional support, such as mentoring or tutoring, to strengthen your preparation for the retake. The specific policies regarding retaking the exam can be found in the ABA’s policy book.
How Long Is the ABA BASIC Exam?
The exam is given over four hours. Knowing this, make sure to prepare accordingly by taking lots of practice tests to increase your testing stamina.
How is the ABA BASIC Different from the ITE?
You’ve already taken the Anesthesia In-Training Exam (ITE), so how does it compare to the upcoming ABA BASIC Exam? Below we compare some stats for each of the exams.
|No cost to resident
|$875 ($1375 for late registrants)
|50-point scale with percentile rank
|Pass/Fail – no score given
|All anesthesia residents and interns
|Anesthesia residents with at least 18 months of training
Looking for an ABA BASIC question bank?
Our Anesthesia BASIC Exam SmartBank comes with over 1,000 practice questions and is mapped to the ABA content outline. Our platform tracks your progress over time so you have a clear understanding of where you should best focus your study efforts. Real-time benchmarking is available, which means you can clearly see where you stand in comparison to others in the nation. We also offer a first-time pass guarantee, meaning you can rest assured that TrueLearn’s got your back!