American Board of Pathology Certification Exams

The mission of the American Board of Pathology (ABPath), as a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties, is to serve the public and advance the profession of pathology by setting certification standards and promoting lifelong competency of pathologists.

The following ABPath certification exams have been developed by ABPath and will be administered through Pearson VUE Professional Test Centers.

  • Anatomic Pathology (AP) Examination
  • Clinical Pathology (CP) Examination
  • Subspecialty Examinations
    • Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine
    • Chemical Pathology
    • Cytopathology
    • Dermatopathology
    • Forensic Pathology
    • Hematopathology
    • Medical Microbiology
    • Molecular Genetic Pathology
    • Neuropathology
    • Pediatric Pathology

For detailed information on individual certification requirements, please visit


Candidates will receive an email from ABPath when the scheduling period opens with instructions for scheduling an exam. Examination appointments may be made during the designated Exam Scheduling period only (dates to be announced). The appointment testing time noted on Pearson VUE web pages reflects the total appointment time, including a tutorial, examination, breaks, and exit survey. Exam dates and locations may be limited, schedule your examination(s) as soon as possible when the scheduling period opens.

If you are scheduling examination appointments for a combined examination (AP/CP) or multiple Subspecialty exams, the examination dates do not have to be scheduled on back-to-back dates or at the same locations. International Pearson VUE test centers for ABPath examinations are limited, please contact ABPath if you would like to take an exam at an international location.

If you have not taken an ABPath certification exam in the past and are approved to take an upcoming exam, you will create a new Pearson VUE account to schedule an ABPath exam . If you have already taken an ABPath Certification Exam in 2022 or later, you do not need to create a new Pearson VUE account and you will use the same login information to schedule your examinations.

If you are requesting special accommodations for an examination including accommodations for nursing mothers, please contact for Primary exams and for Subspecialty exams prior to scheduling an exam appointment. ABPath must notify Pearson VUE that you have been approved for an accommodation before you can schedule.

If you need assistance in scheduling or creating an account with Pearson VUE, please call Pearson VUE at 1-866-314-0159.

2024 Examination Dates

Spring Primary Exams: May 13 – June 8, 2024
Fall Primary Exams: Oct. 7 - Oct. 21, 2024
Subspecialty Exams: Sept. 9 - Sept. 28, 2024

Certification Exams and Exam Preparation

The Anatomic Pathology, Clinical Pathology, and Subspecialty examinations are each one-day, computer-based examinations consisting of written and practical sections and virtual microscopy (if applicable). All questions are in multiple-choice, single best answer format.

For more detailed descriptions of the American Board of Pathology Certification exams, please visit

A practice tutorial and a virtual microscopy practice site is available to familiarize you with the exam administration platform at

Certification Program Agreement

At the beginning of an American Board of Pathology Certification exam, you will be required to agree to the terms and conditions of the American Board of Pathology Honor Code.

Cancellation Policy

If a candidate chooses to cancel their Primary or Subspecialty examinations(s) they must cancel by the cancellation date for the exam(s) they will be taking. Please refer to the ABPath website, for cancellation dates.

If a candidate cancels the exam(s) on or before the cancellation date, ABPath will refund the application fee minus a $500 cancellation fee.

If a candidate applying for the combined AP/CP examination chooses to cancel one portion (AP or CP) of the examination, there will be no refund of the fee.

If the following occurs, a candidate will forfeit the entire examination fee:

  • Candidate cancels after the cancellation date.
  • Candidate registers for an exam(s) with ABPath and does not schedule an exam date with Pearson VUE by the scheduling deadline date.
  • Candidate does not appear for the scheduled examination(s) on the scheduled exam date(s).

If you choose to cancel your examination(s) you must notify the ABPath by email at for the Primary certification exam(s) or for Subspecialty certification exam(s).

If a candidate cancels or does not appear for an exam due to personal illness or quarantine at the time of the examination, verified by the candidate’s personal physician, or due to a travel ban issued by their institution, the examination fee minus a $200 administrative fee is refunded to the candidate’s credit card. Documentation must be submitted and received by ABPath within 30 days of the scheduled examination.

**Refunds cannot be transferred to a future examination.

What to Expect at Pearson VUE Test Centers for an ABPath Exam

For information on the ID policy for the day of the exam, daily exam schedules and the Candidate Rules Agreement visit the ABPath website page at

Last updated 2024-01-08