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As you complete your CA-3 year—or if you've already graduated—you're no doubt setting your sights on the ADVANCED Exam. It's natural to be short on time and tired of studying right now, so embed your knowledge efficiently with these tested tips and resources.
About the ADVANCED Exam
As the second of your three staged exams, the ADVANCED Exam is similar to the BASIC
exam format. Once you pass, you'll be able to register for the APPLIED
exam, which is a combination of two Standardized Oral Examinations and a multi-station OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination).
Offered each July and January, this four-hour, pass-fail exam includes approximately 200 single-best-answer, multiple-choice questions covering the full depth and breadth of anesthesiology knowledge, including content that may have appeared on the BASIC examination. As soon as you pass, you'll be able to register for the APPLIED Exam.
For more about the exam, review these ABA resources:
• ADVANCED Exam blueprint
with a breakdown of topics covered and additional specifications.
• Account portal and pricing
, with downloadable sample questions, access to the portal account you created for the BASIC Exam, and current fees.
• Staged exam timeline
detailing where in-training and staged exams fall during and after your residency.
• Initial Certification in Anesthesiology
details the subject matter within the specialty of anesthesiology and provides the framework for the assessment of knowledge.
Five smart study tips
Keep these ideas in mind as you create your study plan.
1. Go back to the beginning.
Even though the ADVANCED Exam focuses on clinical practice and detailed subspecialty subject matter, some residents are surprised to find questions about fundamental concepts they haven't considered since CA-1. Take time to refresh your early learning.
2. Get started today.
An early start can alleviate some of the pressure in the weeks leading up to the test. Even more important, revisiting topics over time, with breaks in between, may aid your retention.
3. Round out your resources.
Use what has worked for you when you studied for ITEs and the BASIC Exam, but consider adding a new question bank, text, or multimedia source to broaden your perspective and avoid simply reskimming what you've read before.
4. Practice concentrating.
Four hours is a long time to keep your concentration up. Incorporate a few longer quizzes or mock exams into your program so you can train yourself to stay focused.
5. Take a deep breath.
The majority of participants pass the ADVANCED Exam. If you've done well on your ITEs and you take time to study, you should do fine.
Resources: Question banks and keywords
Study efficiently any time you have a free moment with online and text-based question banks and comprehensive keyword content.
—Sponsored by the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS), this free resource allows you to drill down into specific concepts by keyword. Respected content often draws directly from core texts.
—Through active recall, alignment with the exam format, and allowing study virtually anywhere, question banks have proven their worth. There are several options available, but this collaboration between IARS and ASA includes highly recommended material from ACE as well as Summaries of Emerging Evidence (SEE).
• Anesthesia: A Comprehensive Review (aka The Hall Question Book or Hall's)
—The Hall's question bank includes 1,000 questions in textbook or eReader form, making it perennially popular with residents.
• Anesthesia Review: 1000 Questions and Answers to Blast the BASICS and Ace the ADVANCED
—Designed to mirror the exam format, this recent addition reaches across the full anesthesiology curriculum.
Resources: Online Extras
Incorporate alternate learning modes to help embed ideas. Try these free collections to deepen your knowledge.
• Anesthesia and Critical Care Reviews and Commentary (ACCRAC) podcasts
—Johns Hopkins residency program director Jed Wolpaw, MD, MEd, created this podcast to help trainees prepare for ABA exams. Review keywords or listen in to the topics that interest you.
• University of Kentucky Department of Anesthesiology videos
—These detailed keyword review videos may help you retain information by delivering ideas visually and verbally.
By now, you've most likely found the text that works best for you. However, a new title may help you fill in gaps or present information in a way that drives greater understanding.
• Miller's Basics of Anesthesia (aka Baby Miller)
—User friendly and easy to follow, this is often considered the leading text in basic science as well as clinical topics.
• Morgan and Mikhail's Clinical Anesthesiology (aka M&M)
—High on many residents' preferred resources, this perennially relevant text is available as an eText and paperback, or via Access Anesthesiology.
• Faust's Anesthesiology Review
—Access comprehensive anesthesiology knowledge in an easy-to-use format. The most recent editions include a readily searchable, enhanced eBook.
• Clinical Anesthesia Fundamentals (aka Baby Barash)
—Clear, simple explanations of anesthesiology concepts, plus interactive video lectures and tutorials to help convey essential principles.
• Anesthesiology Core Review, Part Two: ADVANCED Exam
—Tailored to align closely with the ABA exam blueprint, this text ranks high for concise text and clear graphics.