Click the frequently asked questions below to expose their answer.

How is the ACC-ITE developed?
How is the ACC-ITE developed?
The ACC-ITE is written by a committee of 12 expert physician-authors, most of whom are training program directors and Fellows of the ACC. The committee creates the content blueprint for the exam and writes multiple choice questions according to well-established principles of examination construction. The 150 questions are subjected to several rigorous rounds of review and revision.
What is the blueprint for the ACC-ITE?
What is the blueprint for the ACC-ITE?
The blueprint for the ACC-ITE is modeled after the blueprint for the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) certification examination in cardiovascular medicine, and the topics covered are shown in Table 1, below.
Table 1: ACC-ITE Blueprint
Medical Content Category Relative % of Exam
Arrhythmias 15%
Coronary artery disease 23%
Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathy 17%
Valvular Disease 15%
Pericardial Disease 4%
Congenital Heart Disease 5%
Vascular Diseases 6%
Systemic Hypertension and Hypotension 7%
Pulmonary Circulation Disorders 5%
Systemic Disorders Affecting the Circulatory System 3%
What is the purpose of the ACC-ITE?
What is the purpose of the ACC-ITE?
FITs may use the results of the exam to identify areas of deficiency that require further learning and to compare their performance with that of their peers in training programs throughout the country. Program directors may use the results to provide educational counseling, develop curricula and validate the need for planned curricular changes.
Can the ACC-ITE be used for advancement?
Can the ACC-ITE be used for advancement?
The ACC-ITE is neither a qualifying nor a certifying instrument. It should not be used for determining who should be promoted or who should be eligible to take the ABIM certification examination in cardiovascular disease. It is designed only as an assessment tool.
Who should take the ACC-ITE?
Who should take the ACC-ITE?
The examination is designed for first-, second- and third-year cardiology fellows in a training program. All FITs are encouraged to participate. Each training program director decides who will take the examination at his/her facility. The ACC imposes no requirements, and the test is open to all training programs.
Should FITs study for the ACC-ITE?
Should FITs study for the ACC-ITE?
The goal of the ACC-ITE is to gauge progress in training, not to achieve a certain level of performance. Examinees, therefore, are advised not to study for the examination. Studying may result in an inaccurate self-assessment of the training experiences and an inability to plan appropriately for correcting deficiencies. For those about to take the ABIM certification exam, the ACC offers a variety of self-assessment products and programs to assist you in improving on those areas where you had deficiencies. Browse the Education and Meetings pages on ACC.org to learn more about our Certified Education products and programs.
When will the ACC-ITE be administered?
When will the ACC-ITE be administered?
The ACC-ITE will be administered on two different days in the month of October. Each training program should select the day(s) within this period that would be most convenient for them.
How much does the exam cost?
How much does the exam cost?
The cost per examinee is $325.00. An invoice for the total number of examinees, per institution, will be e-mailed to the program coordinator within two weeks of registering online.
Is there a make-up date?
Is there a make-up date?
The chief proctor must contact ACC to discuss the possibility of providing a make-up date.
Are refunds administered?
Are refunds administered?
If the ACC is informed prior to the exam date that an examinee cannot take the exam, then the institution will be reimbursed $250.00, minus a $75.00 administrative fee.
Where will the ACC-ITE be administered?
Where will the ACC-ITE be administered?
The ACC-ITE will be offered across the country at institutions that register their training program as a testing center for their FITs. The exam will be online and take approximately six hours and 15 minutes to complete under proctored conditions. Instructions for exam participants to access an exam tutorial and practice test will be provided in advance of the test date, in order to view the test delivery screens and practice answering test questions.
What is the role of the chief proctor?
What is the role of the chief proctor?
The chief proctor is essentially responsible for ensuring that all needs for providing the exam at their institution are met, including but not limited to registering all examinees, securing computer lab/testing room for exam administration, certifying computer work stations, administering the exam that day. In most institutions, the role of chief proctor is fulfilled by the program coordinator. This person will receive a manual to help them plan for the exam. The chief proctor’s manual includes a checklist that can be used as a guide to prepare and administer the exam.

For more information on the chief proctor’s role, watch a video tutorial.
How do I get a copy of the chief proctor manual?
How do I get a copy of the chief proctor manual?
A manual will be e-mailed to the chief proctor shortly after registration closes.
Are chief proctors required to have a computer in the test room?
Are chief proctors required to have a computer in the test room?
Proctors will require a workstation in the test room to start the exam session, monitor the progress of the exam, end the testing session and submit a test administration report. Please note that if you have more than 25 FITs taking the exam on either day, you will need to identify a second proctor.
Will I have technical help to set-up the computers for test day?
Will I have technical help to set-up the computers for test day?
Chief proctors will receive information on how to prepare and test computer workstations for the exam and though the process is easy, it may require assistance from your technical staff.
Will technical assistance be available to me on test day?
Will technical assistance be available to me on test day?
Yes, Both ACC and NBME staff will be available to help on test day with technical difficulties, although it is helpful to have technical assistance from your institution available on exam date to assist with internal technical issues.
What do I need to know before I register my FITs?
What do I need to know before I register my FITs?
Please have the following information at hand before registering:

  • Your program’s ACGME number
  • Names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers for your program’s training director, program coordinator/administrator, and proctor. (Please fill in all fields even if the role of the training director and/or chief proctor and/or administrator is the same person.)
  • The name of each FIT who will be taking the In-Training Exam, including his/her ACC ID number, date of birth, and any ADA accommodations s/he requires.
  • A breakdown of which fellows will take the exam on the first day and which will take it on the second day. If you have more than 25 FITs taking the exam on either day, you will need to identify a second proctor.
Is there a practice exam available prior to the test date?
Is there a practice exam available prior to the test date?
A practice exam was created for both the examinees to practice interacting with the exam, as well as for the chief proctors to practice monitoring an exam, prior to test day. Click here to access the practice exam.
What are the system requirements to administer the exam?
What are the system requirements to administer the exam?
The system requirements are outlined below. To assure that computers are configured appropriately for the exam, training programs will be required to complete an exam compatibility check prior to the test date on each fixed workstation or institutional laptop. Examinees using their personal laptops will also be required to complete this check prior to test day.
ACC Technical Specification
ACC Technical Specification
The requirements detailed in Table 2, below, are necessary to administer an NBME web-based examination.
Table 2: Standard NBME Web-Based Testing Requirements
The standard NBME web-based testing requirements outlined below apply to exams delivered over both wired and wireless networks. Examinees may take a web-based exam on either Macs or PCs. Any combination of fixed desktops, institutional laptops, or examinee personal laptops may be used for exam delivery.
Dedicated technical support staff with “Admin” privileges is required prior to and on the test days.
Hardware
  • Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10
  • Mac OS X version 10.8, v10.9, v10.10, v10.11
  • 1 GHz processor or higher
  • 17” or larger color monitor recommended (Desktops)
  • 13” or larger color monitor recommended (Laptops)
  • A minimum screen resolution of 1024 x 768
  • 32-bit color setting enabled
  • Turn off Windows updates or virus scanner updates to avoid interruptions during the exam.
  • Virtual machines and applications are not allowed.
  • iPads/tablets are not allowed.
Browser
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10, 11
  • Safari 5.1.9 or higher
  • Google Chrome 34.0.1847 or higher
  • Mozilla Firefox 29 or higher
Browser Settings
  • JavaScript, CSS, and Cookies all enabled
  • Disable pop-up blockers
  • If possible, disable toolbars, and Adware/Spyware programs to prevent slowness.
Internet/Network Bandwidth
  • Broadband (DSL, Cable or T1)
  • 256Kbps or higher per workstation
Network Security Some level of encryption must be in place for wireless networks while the exam is in progress. SSL can be supplemented with another security protocol, such as but not limited to WEP, WPA or WPA2.
Secure Browser A Secure Browser is required to administer an NBME web-based exam; this application “locks down” the computer and prevents examinees from accessing other software applications during the exam. The Secure Browser will also detect any programs running on the examinee’s computer that could compromise exam content. The Secure Browser application does not require configuration or administrator rights to install and is downloaded on test day when the examinee URL is provided by the Chief Proctor.
Workstation Certification for School-owned Workstations* The NBME provides a utility that checks the computer for web-based testing compatibility and launches a sample test. This utility must be run on each computer in the March 2016 testing room prior to test day. Fourteen days prior to the test date, you will receive an email with a URL, a unique ticket number and instructions to run the Workstation Certification utility. Do not forward this email to examinees – it is for institutional use only.
Workstation Certification for Examinee-owned Laptops Examinees with personal laptops are required to run a separate Workstation Certification check. Prior to test day, forward the URL and Workstation Certification instructions from the ‘Prior to Test Day’ section of the Chief Proctor's Manual to examinees. Do not send examinees the unique ticket number used for the institutional version of the utility.

Examinees with personal laptops should also be advised to arrive early to re-run Workstation Certification to detect any problems with the local firewall.
Additional Workstations Extra workstations/laptops should be available to replace computers that may malfunction during the test session. These spares should be enabled for wired and wireless LAN use.

* Please review the Chief Proctor Instructions for additional details regarding Workstation Certification.
When are the results of the ACC-ITE made available?
When are the results of the ACC-ITE made available?
A score report is made available about six to eight weeks after the examination. The program director receives the score feedback and then distributes the score reports to the examinees. The ACC considers the results to be confidential and does not release them to any agency, organization or person other than the program director.

Each examinee receives feedback that shows:
  • The individual’s total scaled score, percent score and percentile rank for each of the major content areas tested.
  • A separate report that lists the educational objective associated with each of the questions that the examinee responded to incorrectly.
  • A norm table and guidelines for interpreting the data for use in comparing his or her score with the scores of different fellowship year groups.
The program director receives:
  • A score report and report that lists the educational objective associated with questions missed for each FIT.
  • An overall program performance report.
  • Mean percent correct scores and percentile ranks for each of the major content areas tested, grouped by fellowship year for all programs.
  • The norm table with guidelines for interpreting the data.

Return to the ACC-ITE landing page >>>

Go to the Cardiology Training and Workforce Committee landing page >>>