Toxicological Chemistry

The examination in Toxicological Chemistry tests the candidate’s Recall and Applied skills and is comprised of two parts: A) Calculations & Problem Solving, and B) Analytical, Toxicological and Therapeutic Drug Monitoring Issues.


The examination tests mastery and knowledge of 1) analytical techniques, 2) physiology, 3) pathophysiology, and 4) management.

All questions are in multiple-choice format with one correct answer of options A-E. The toxicological chemistry part A examination has an average cumulative 5-year pass rate of 72%, the part B examination has an average cumulative pass rate of 56%.

 Part A (3 hours)

For Part A, the examinee is expected to perform calculations and problem solving related to:

  • Analytical techniques, e.g. chromatography, immunoassays, and mass spectrometry.
  • Toxicology, e.g. drug identification and chain-of-custody.
  • Therapeutic drug monitoring, e.g. pharmacokinetics
  • Basic statistics as applied to toxicology

Part B (3 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 or forensic toxicology or therapeutic drug monitoring laboratory, e.g. spectrometry, immunoassays, chromatography.
  • Interpretation of clinical and forensic findings and laboratory data
  • Basic pathophysiology and forensic requirements

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 toxicological chemistry. They are not endorsed by the ABCC.


  • Principles of Forensic Toxicology
    By Barry Levine
  • The Clinical Toxicology Laboratory
    By L. M. Shaw and T. C. Kwong, eds.
  • The Laboratory and the Poisoned Patient
    By John Fenton
  • 500 Referenced Review Questions in Toxicology
    By Robert M. White, Sr.
  • Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, 6th Edition
    Rifai, N, Horvath, AR, Wittwer, CT, eds.
  • Clinical Chemistry: Theory, Analysis, Correlation, 5th Edition
    Kaplan LA, Pesce AJ, eds.
  • Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods, 20th Edition
    Henry JB, ed.
  • Clinical Chemistry Journal
  • Contemporary Practice in Clinical Chemistry, 3rd Edition
    Clarke W ed.
  • Medical Toxicology
    By Richard C. Dart
  • The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics
    By Alfred G. Gilman, Louis S. Goodman, Theodore W. Rall, Ferid Murad
  • Disposition of Toxic Drugs and Chemicals in Man
    By Randall C. Baselt


  • Journal of Analytical Toxicology
  • Therapeutic Drug Monitoring Journal