The examination in Clinical Chemistry tests the candidate’s Recall and Applied skills and is comprised of two parts: A) Calculations & Problem Solving, and B) Analytical & Clinical Issues.
The examination tests mastery and knowledge of 1) clinical chemistry interpretation and problem solving, 2) clinical case approach, 3) analytical, instrumentation, methodology, 4) statistical analysis, mathematics, 5) toxicology, 6) regulatory/management, QA, and 7) molecular/genetics (not applicable to part A).
All questions are in multiple-choice format with one correct answer of options A-E. The clinical chemistry part A examination has an average cumulative 5-year pass rate of 53%, the part B examination has an average cumulative pass rate of 55%.
Part A (3 hours)
For Part A, the examinee is expected to perform calculations and problem solving related to:
- General biochemistry, such as enzyme kinetics, solution preparations, electrophoresis.
- Case based approach to problem solving in clinical chemistry related to disease processes.
- Statistics and quality control/assurance related to disease, testing, and the clinical lab.
- Regulatory and management calculations related to clinical lab operations.
Part B (3.5 hours)
For Part B, the examinee is expected to answer questions related to:
- Principles, characteristics and limitations of instrumentation and technologies used in a clinical chemistry laboratory, such as spectrophotometry and chromatography
- Interpretation of clinical findings and laboratory data, including basic TDM and toxicology
- Basic pathophysiology related to clinical chemistry analytes and corresponding disease processes.
- Quality control, quality assurance, principles of lab statistics, and process evaluations
- Sample handling, preparation, interferences, and pre-analytical variation
- Guidelines and regulations in clinical lab management.
Suggested Study Resources
Past examinees have identified the following activities as beneficial for preparing for this examination. These activities are NOT meant to be comprehensive guides but rather are presented to illustrate the broad nature of clinical chemistry. They are not endorsed by the American Board of Clinical Chemistry.
- Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, 4th Edition by
- Clinical Chemistry: Theory, Analysis, Correlation, 4th Edition by
- Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods, 20th Edition by
- Self-Assesment in Clinical Laboratory Science, 3rd Edition (out of print) by
- Contemporary Practice in Clinical Chemistry, AACC 2006 by
- Clinical Laboratory Management (out of print) by
- Clinical Chemistry Journal
The ABCC/ComACC Core Competencies
The American Board of Clinical Chemistry (ABCC), in cooperation with the Commission on Accreditation for Clinical Chemistry (ComACC), has created a list of Core Competencies for the General Clinical Chemistry Examination. This comprehensive document is intended to help candidates prepare for the ABCC Clinical Chemistry Board examination.
The list of core competencies was created by a Task Force comprised of members of the ABCC board, ComACC Commissioners, and ComACC program directors. Previously published curriculum guidelines were reviewed and served as a foundation for this new document. AACC Education Core Committee and the ComACC Commissioners also provided feedback considered in the final document.
The Core Competencies for the General Clinical Chemistry Examination will be reviewed and revised every 5 years as a joint effort between ComACC & ABCC.
View the Core Competencies for the General Clinical Chemistry Examination