CAP Wrap Up

May 14, 2019

Our first CAP assessment, Systemic Health, expired on May 1st with 938 Diplomates completing the assessment and 167 Diplomates failing to complete the assessment on time. The preliminary pass rate was 73%, although a final psychometric analysis is still pending and may alter the pass rate. While we would like to see the pass rate at a higher percentage, this first assessment has proven to be a learning experience for both ABO and our Diplomates.

Based on survey responses and feedback received from Diplomates, there are two main takeaways from this first assessment.

  1. It is imperative that Diplomates read the references prior to taking the assessment. The majority of those who failed the assessment did not thoroughly review the resources provided.
  2. The overwhelming majority of Diplomates felt that the assessment references were relevant and beneficial to their practice.

In particular, over 800 Diplomates who completed the exam found that the references included either a significant amount of new information or some new information. Only 5 Diplomates indicated that the references contained no new information for them.

Six hundred Diplomates felt that most of the references were relevant and would improve the quality of patient care they provide. Another 294 Diplomates indicated that some of the references were relevant to improving their patient care.

We are excited about this feedback and will continue to work toward our goal of providing a valuable learning experience with each CAP assessment offered. The next assessment, Anterior Segment 1, will become available on May 15th and will expire on September 1st.

When preparing for the next CAP assessment, please keep in mind these important tips for success provided by ABO as well as your fellow Diplomates.

  • If you haven’t done so already, start with the Practice Assessment to become familiar with the structure and functionality of the assessments. If you have already taken the Practice Assessment but would like to do so again, simply click on the gear icon next to the assessment and choose “Restart Practice Assessment.”
  • Read the instructions at the beginning of the assessment. This is where you will find the link to the list of references (you may download this list or view it through the ABO website), and you’ll be told which questions are based on the references and which are fundamental knowledge questions.  You’ll also be told how many questions must be answered correctly to pass.
  • READ THE REFERENCES! These references convey new information, so if you attempt to answer the questions without reading the references, it’s likely that you will answer incorrectly. Based on the Systemic Health assessment, the great majority of Diplomates who passed the assessment spent between 1 and 3 hours reviewing the references.
  • You have 5 minutes to answer each question, which allows time to look up information but isn’t enough time to do extensive research. Become familiar enough with the reference articles so you can quickly locate the pertinent sections, and make sure the references are readily accessible before starting the quiz (either print a hard copy or have the references open on a separate digital device).
  • If your practice is specialized or you aren’t well versed in the assessment’s topical area (e.g. the topic is Systemic Health and you have a pediatric practice), you may want to review some basic concepts before attempting the fundamental knowledge questions. Identify resources (textbooks or websites) where you can quickly access accurate information and make sure these resources are readily available.
  • Keep in mind how many questions you need to answer correctly to pass. If you answer several questions incorrectly, you may want to take a break and do some additional preparation or studying before continuing with the quiz.  You may pause or stop in between questions and return to the quiz at a later time.


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