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IM-ITE FAQ

What is the IM-ITE®?

The ACP Internal Medicine In-Training Examination® is a web-based self-assessment exam for residents to assess their progress.

The IM-ITE® is developed by a committee of 11 expert physician-authors and is used by residents, program directors, and physicians alike. It is modeled after the American Board of Internal Medicine's certification exam. The exam is administered annually at each training site during a prescribed period.

The exam is designed to:

  • Give residents an opportunity for self-assessment
  • Give program directors the opportunity to evaluate their programs
  • Identify areas in which residents need extra assistance

Who should take the IM-ITE®?

The IM-ITE is designed for residents at the midpoint in their training, but residents at all postgraduate training years are encouraged to participate. In addition, faculty members, program directors, and other physicians and health care professionals with an interest in internal medicine may take the examination to test their medical knowledge against that of residents or to prepare for the maintenance of certification exam.

What is the topic breakdown for the IM-ITE®?

The IM-ITE consists of 300 questions, and is modeled after the blueprint for the American Board of Internal Medicine’s certification exam. Here is the breakdown of topics:

Content Area

Percentage of Multiple-Choice Questions

Cardiology

13.5%

Endocrinology

6.5%

Gastroenterology

9.5%

General Internal Medicine

15%

Geriatric Medicine

6%

Hematology/Oncology

11.5%

Infectious Diseases

9%

Nephrology

6%

Neurology

4%

Pulmonology/Critical Care Medicine

10%

Rheumatology

9%

Total

100%

What testing and proctoring options will I have for the 2021 IM-ITE®?

Progams will have the option for in-person testing or remote proctoring and testing or a combination of both, using third-party software (Zoom, MS Teams, or Webex). For those who took the 2020 IMITE, it will be similar to the 2020 examination.

What is the 2021 IM-ITE® registration fee?

Regular registration - May 19, 2021 through July 16, 2021: $130
Late registration - After July 17, 2021: additional $30 per registrant

How do programs pay for IM-ITE® registration?

After registering examinees, a Program Account Form is generated to be used to pay by check, credit card or pro-forma invoice. Also, 5-7 business days after submission of your roster, a formal emailed ACP invoice is automatically sent to the address entered in the Program Director email field in the MYNBME portal. Payment is due 14 business days after registering examinees.

Who do I contact if I have a question about payment for the IM-ITE®?

Please contact ACP Member and Product Support, Monday-Friday; 8am-5pm EST at 1-800-ACP-1915 (USA & Canada) or 1-215-351-2660 (outside of USA & Canada).

What happens if my program is in arrears for a prior year’s IM-ITE® registration fee?

Score reports will be withheld for the current year’s examination until the arrears are paid.

What are important dates for the 2021 IM-ITE®?

  • Registration: Registration will open May 19, 2021.
  • Test Administration Window: All programs are welcome to test one day or each day during the entire testing window, Thursday, August 19, 2021, to Wednesday, September 8, 2021, except Labor Day (Monday, September 6, 2021).
  • Score reports will be made available to programs roughly 5 weeks after the exam window closes. Score reports are not released directly to resident-examinees.

Why are programs asked for specific exam dates during IM-ITE® registration?

The selected dates help gauge the number of registrants on a specific date during the exam window in order to best provide support to programs and examinees.

Can the IM-ITE® be administered outside of the exam window?

No. It is a secure exam and technical support staff are only available during the exam window.

How does a program choose the date(s) for the IM-ITE® examination?

Programs select the day(s) that are convenient for all staff and examinees within the exam window. It is common for large programs to test on more than one day. Programs have the freedom to choose a new or different date for the exam – as long as it is within the exam window – without contacting the NBME or ACP. The goal is for a uniform and secure test administration environment.

What is the schedule of the IM-ITE® on test day?

The total test session time is 9 hours. There are 6 blocks consisting of 50 items each.  Examinees will have 70 minutes of testing time, respectively, for each block, and an optional 10-minute break after test sections 1, 2, 4, and 5, with an optional 60-minute lunch break at the end of test section 3. There is a 15-minute tutorial at the start of the exam, a 5-minute biographic information survey after the tutorial, and an untimed survey at the end of the examination.

Total Session Time

9 hours

Tutorial

15 minutes

Biographic Information Survey

5 minutes

Block 1 (50 items)

70 minutes

Break *

10 minutes

Block  2 (50 items)

70 minutes

Break *

10 minutes

Block  3 (50 items)

70 minutes

Break *

60 minutes

Block  4 (50 items)

70 minutes

Break *

10 minutes

Block  5 (50 items)

70 minutes

What is the difference between a Chief Proctor and an Assistant Proctor?

Each site must have one Chief Proctor and may have an unlimited number of additional proctors depending on the needs of the Chief Proctor. The Chief Proctor is responsible for performing any actions that affect ALL examinees, such as starting the exam session, ending the exam session, and submitting the Test Administration report via the Chief Proctor Resource Site. The Chief Proctor is also responsible for recruiting Assistant Proctors for the test session.

An Assistant Proctor who is assisting a Chief Proctor in the same testing room does not require a dedicated computer station; however an Assistant Proctor who is assigned to a separate testing room requires his or her own computer workstation to monitor the exam. Assistant Proctors may also relieve the Chief Proctors and other Assistant Proctors monitoring exam rooms to allow them to take breaks. Assistant Proctors who are being recruited to simply circulate and monitor examinee behavior do not need a separate login. Both Chief and Assistant Proctors should be identified during registration.

How should the Chief Proctor and Assistant Proctor(s) prepare for the IM-ITE® administration?

Programs Directors/Coordinators/Administrators should select Chief Proctors to monitor the exam and give them information on their general responsibilities, exam dates, and time commitment required, before registration opens in late May. Providing this information to Chief Proctors is important so that they are prepared to receive the Chief Proctor's login information and can schedule time to monitor the exam.

In early August, ACP will email Chief Proctors login information and a link to the Chief Proctor's Manual, which will contain instructions on how to perform the workstation certification process, examinee instruction sheets, and a link to the examinee practice exam. It is strongly suggested that the Chief Proctors read the manual thoroughly. Fourteen days before the exam administration, Chief Proctors will receive the ticket number and URL necessary for accessing the workstation certification utility. This utility will check workstations for compatibility with web-based testing and must be run on all institutional and student-owned laptops that will be used for the exam.

The Chief Proctor should schedule a meeting with all proctors prior to test day. The following items should be reviewed at the meeting:

  1. The examination time schedule and all administrative procedures
  2. The location of the test site and the time Assistant Proctors are to report to the test site
  3. The functionality of the computer testing system
  4. The tasks assigned to each Proctor or Assistant Proctor
  5. Procedures for identifying and admitting examinees into the examination
  6. Procedures for handling walk-ins (any examinee that was not pre-registered)
  7. Handling late arrivals
  8. Procedures for the distribution and collection of Examinee Instruction Sheets

What topics are covered in the IM-ITE® Chief Proctor’s Manual?

The Chief Proctor’s Manual is divided into four major sections: Prior to Test Day, On Test Day, Using the Proctoring Software, and Managing the Test Session. Each section includes a checklist that can be used as a quick guide to prepare and administer the exam. For example, the Chief Proctor can use the “On Test Day” and “Using the Proctoring Software” checklist along with the Troubleshooting tips and reference materials in the “Appendix” as a quick start guide on test day.

Section 1: Prior to Test Day covers important pre-administrative tasks such as Workstation Certification that must be performed prior to test day.

Section 2: On Test Day covers the tasks that must be performed on test day prior to the start of the exam.

Section 3: Using the Proctoring Software explains how to use the Chief Proctor Resource site to administer the exam.

Section 4: Managing the Test Session provides general information on monitoring examinees on test day.

Appendix: the appendix includes troubleshooting tips and other important supplementary information for administering the exam.

What should I do if I need technical assistance before or during IM-ITE® test day?

Contact NBME Test Administration Services as follows for questions concerning workstation certification, the proctoring software or the administration of the exam:

Prior to Test Day
215-243-3919
E-mail: nbmewebtest@nbme.org

On Test Day
215-243-3707

What should I do if I am missing a personalized IM-ITE® examinee instruction sheet?

Please use one of the blank forms provided along with the other forms. The sheets with registrants names are only provided as a courtesy to assist with monitoring attendees, but have no unique connection to the individual.

What is the Roster Verification Process?

After the exam administration, in late September, programs will have the opportunity to review and verify their registration roster. This is a very important opportunity for correction of any inaccuracies as the information provided on the verified roster is an exact representation of how it will appear on the score report. This information will also be used to compute examinee percentile ranks. Changes cannot be made after the roster verification deadline.

How should the IM-ITE® score reports be used?

The examination is neither a qualifying nor a certifying instrument. It should not be used for determining who should be promoted, who should be eligible to take the American Board of Internal Medicine certifying examination, or who may be qualified for post residency fellowship training. It is designed only as a self-assessment tool.

However, program directors are encouraged to include IM-ITE results in semiannual reviews of resident performance and reporting on attributes of the Medical Knowledge competency. As part of the Internal Medicine Milestone Project, this activity may contribute to a residency program’s participation in the Next Accreditation System (NAS) to determine the overall progress of residents. The release of any score, either at an individual or aggregate level, to any person or organization outside the residency program, is strictly prohibited.

Can I save IM-ITE® score reports for archival purposes for our program?

We strongly suggest saving the score reports in a secure, known, and assessable location for reference by current and future administrative staff.

How do I obtain prior IM-ITE® score reports?

Please contact Kim Kerns at 215-351-2568 (kkerns@acponline.org) or Chuck Graver at 215-351-2553 (cgraver@acponline.org).

Score reports that are beyond 2 prior test administrations are subject to a $25 administration fee.

Score reports are only provided to a program’s verified administrative staff. Under no circumstances are they provided to a current or prior examinee.

What should be communicated to residents prior to IM-ITE® test day?

  • Be sure to communicate the date(s) the examination will be administered.
  • Inform the examinees of the practice test. Forward them the URL as found in the Chief Proctor Manual.
  • Personal items will not be allowed at the computer workstation during the examination, including computer devices, backpacks, coats, calculators, and food. Scratch paper will be provided by the proctor prior to the examination and collected afterwards. For a full listing, please refer to the Chief Proctor Manual.
  • The score reports will be available to program directors by late October. Examinees should not contact the ACP or NBME directly to ask for their scores.

How do I request Special Accommodations for an IM-ITE® examinee(s)?

The Disability and Authorization Form will be available on the registration site with directions for its use, along with a list of permitted special arrangements. Be sure that all paperwork is submitted before the deadline listed on the form.

What should I do if a resident needs to take the IM-ITE® at a different location than his/her program?

Residents who will be on rotation, on vacation, or out of town on the scheduled examination day should be encouraged to return to their parent institution for the examination.  If this is not possible, the program director must take responsibility for making alternative arrangements at an alternative test site.

The program director of the parent institution should contact the program director of the alternative test site before the registration period closes and arrange for the resident to take the examination there.  Any resident testing at an alternate test site must be included on the Registration Roster of the parent institution with the appropriate alternate test site indicated. Please enter the correct residency program code number and program name in the Alternate Center column if an alternative test center is authorized. This will ensure that the Examinee Instruction Sheets for these residents are sent to the alternate testing location and the scores are reported to the parent institution.

The parent institution is responsible for payment for residents who take the examination at an alternative test site. If appropriate arrangements are not made before the deadline, the resident may not be able to take the examination.

Can a resident from another program take the IM-ITE® at our testing site?

Yes. Your test center would be considered an Alternate Center in the case of this examinee. The program director of the parent institution should contact your program before the registration period closes and arrange for the resident to take the examination there.  Any resident testing at an alternate test site must be included on the Registration Roster of the parent institution with the appropriate alternate test site indicated. Please enter the correct residency program code number and program name in the Alternate Center column if an alternative test center is authorized. This will ensure that the Examinee Instruction Sheets for these residents are sent to the alternate testing location and the scores are reported to the parent institution.

The parent institution is responsible for payment for residents who take the examination at an alternative test site. If appropriate arrangements are not made before the deadline, the resident may not be able to take the examination.

What happens if I need to register someone after the IM-ITE® registration window has closed?

Walk-in registration is discouraged.  However, if previously unregistered individuals request participation on the day of the examination and computer workstations are available, they may be permitted to take the examination. Note: Instructions for admitting Walk-In Registrants are included in the Chief Proctors Manual.  A unique ID Number will be assigned to each Walk-In Registrant on the day of the examination when the proctor enters the examinee’s information on the Chief Proctor Resource Site.  Be sure to include the email address for all faculty, practitioners, and other nonresidents who are Walk-In Registrants, and verify that the parent institution’s six-digit residency program code is correctThe parent institution is responsible for payment for residents who take the examination as Walk-Ins.  The parent institution’s program director will be billed for their Walk‑In examinees.  Fees paid during registration for pre-registrants who do not complete the examination are not refundable but can be applied to Walk-In examinees and examinees who are added after the registration deadline. An additional $30 will be charged for each applicant registered after the deadline, as well as for Walk‑In registrants.

As an examinee, what should I know about the IM-ITE®? 

Before the Exam

  • You are advised not to study for this exam.
  • Special accommodations for those who need them can be made ahead of time. Be sure to alert your program director of any special needs as soon as possible. There is a deadline for this process approximately one month before the exam window opens.
  • Nursing mothers: ask your program about the “Stop the clock” option.
  • If you require timed medication breaks:  ask your program about the “Stop the clock” option.
  • A few weeks prior to the testing window, you will be able to take the online practice exam to familiarize yourself with the online testing process.

Exam Day

  • The total testing time will be 9 hours.
  • There will be 7 hours devoted to the exam itself, plus several 10 minute breaks and a lunch hour.
  • The exam will consist of 300 questions, 260 of which are scored and 40 of which are unscored practice items.
  • There is no penalty for guessing an answer. Only questions answered correctly are counted toward your score.
  • The exam will cover a number of specialties as well as general internal medicine.

After the Exam

  • The score reports will be available to program directors by late October.
  • Programs will receive a report that shows the percent of questions correct for each examinee as well as each examinee's percentile rank.
  • Residents will also receive a report from their program listing the educational objectives of questions they answered incorrectly.
  • Examinees should not contact the ACP or NBME directly to ask for their scores.

Still Have Questions?

  • Send us an email at IM-ITE@acponline.org, or
  • For general information about the IM-ITE®, call 215-351-2553 or 215-351-2568 (Monday – Friday; 9am – 5pm ET.)