How to Study for the CREOG Exam
The CREOG (Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology) exam is a yearly in-training exam (ITE) for Ob/Gyn residents. A 2016 study conducted by Lingenfelter et. al revealed that “a CREOG ITE score of at least 200 twice, or as a PGY-4, offers assurance of successful performance on the ABOG examination.” Residents should be striving for a score of 200 or above on this exam, and this how-to study guide has been constructed to help you succeed.
1. Start studying EARLIER and study SMARTER, not harder.
The exam is taken in mid-late January, which gives new residents ~6 months to start studying. I highly recommend investing in a CREOG question bank from the start of residency to familiarize yourself with how ITE questions are written and what material is important to learn. The TrueLearn CREOG SmartBank set me up for success from year one. As an intern I often felt overwhelmed when I sat down to study and struggled figuring out which topic to start with; however, this comprehensive Q bank made it easier to filter by topics appropriate for my year of training. By studying one topic per week I felt like I could narrow my focus and truly master the material before moving on. As you progress through residency continue to add new topics as you rotate through the various subspecialities.
2. Make short-term study goals and long-term study goals.
Short-term study goals literally mean from day-to-day. This can be 15 minutes to sit down distraction-free and do a few practice questions OR 15 minutes to go for a walk and listen to a podcast on a relevant topic. Long-term study goals mean from rotation-to-rotation. If you are getting ready to start 6 weeks of Urogynecology pick 6 broad topics (e.g. pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, etc.) and study one each week. Introduce subspecialty-specific Q bank questions each week to solidify the information. Keep the questions you’ve already done in your rotation for review.
3. Review your test results!
After your CREOG score report is released, you will also get a “Summary of Incorrect Items.” Use this list to guide your studying for the next year.
Also – review the wrong answers to the Q bank question stems! Get as much as you can out of each review question.
Example CREOG Study Schedule
This takes a bit of planning and dedication – staying organized is key!
Make your study schedule based on your rotation schedule. This will keep you focused on the material at hand!
- E.g. Obstetrics (L&D): mastery of 1 basic obstetrics topic each week (ACOG Practice Bulletin or Committee Opinion, reference a textbook for specifics or more information on something that does not make sense, filter Q Bank to only see obstetrics-based questions
- 15-30 min/day
- Review, review, review – on the job training and quizzing helps, too – try to apply what you’ve learned at work!
- Applicable on off-service rotations, e.g. (SICU -> Critical Care Obstetrics, ED – Acute issues in OB and Gynecology)
Go-to Study Resources
- Good, old fashion textbooks: Williams Obstetrics, Gabbe’s Obstetrics, Williams Gynecology, and Te Linde’s Operative Gynecology
- Practice Bulletins and Committee Opinions
- Question Bank, e.g. TrueLearn CREOG SmartBank
- CREOGS Over Coffee (Website / Podcast)
CREOG Test-taking Tips and Tricks
- Read the last sentence of the question stem first, then read all the answer choices.
- Try to make a preliminary guess at the correct answer.
- Go back and read question stem taking care not to focus on extraneous information.
- If you do not know the answer within 30 seconds of reading the stem/answer choices pick one and move on – come back if you have time.
Lingenfelter BM, Jiang X, Schnatz PF, O’Sullivan DM, Minassian SS, Forstein DA. CREOG In-Training Examination Results: Contemporary Use to Predict ABOG Written Examination Outcomes. J Grad Med Educ. 2016;8(3):353-357. doi:10.4300/JGME-D-15-00408.1