Certification Exam

The ASBMB will be offering the 2019 certification exam to students in ASBMB-accredited programs. Registration instructions will be emailed to faculty contacts at all accredited schools.

ASBMB Degree Certification
Once a program has been approved as an ASBMB-accredited program, its students become eligible for an ASBMB-certified degree.  To qualify for degree certification, students must:

  1. Be in their final year of study for their BMB degree and
  2. Exhibit a satisfactory performance on the ASBMB assessment instrument.

ASBMB Certification Exam
All students who are part of an ASBMB accredited program are invited to take the certification exam. Students are permitted only a single attempt at the examination during their undergraduate career. Therefore, any students who participated in the 2018 Certification Exam, irrespective of the outcome, are ineligible to take the 2019 Certification Exam.

 The certification exam has been designed to test students’ knowledge and understanding of the core competencies in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology developed by the ASBMB and its members. Questions have been structured to cover these concept areas at both lower and higher Bloom’s levels.

Preparing for the Exam
Please refer to the following for additional information on the format of the exam and the practice questions provided:

Exam Administration
Registration instructions will be emailed to faculty contacts at all accredited schools. If you are a student in an ASBMB-accredited program, contact your faculty coordinator for more information about registering for the exam. Students cannot register directly with the ASBMB.

Exam Fee
There is a fee of US $30 per student for the certification exam to help defray the costs involved in the preparation and scoring of the exam. Accredited departments/programs must pay the exam fee on behalf of their students.

Exam Delivery
Each year, the 60 minute exam will be administered within a two week period in March. A designated proctor at each institution will oversee verification of the identity and eligibility of students taking the exam and will monitor students throughout the entirety of the exam. 

Scoring and Results

Questions will be scored by a committee of ASBMB members using rubrics provided by the authors of the respective questions. Each student's response will be scored by three or more independent evaluators. Any questions exhibiting unusually disparate scores will be investigated by a team of two additional evaluators. The members of the committee will be selected to ensure both individual diversity as well as balance by region and institutional classification. Every evaluator will participate in a training experience to enhance uniformity of scoring.

The ASBMB will compile all scores, determine cutoffs for certification, and communicate this information to each student individually. In addition, each program will receive a report of the aggregate scores achieved by their students on each question.

If you are a non-ASBMB-accredited school and would like to help us beta test the current version of the assessment instrument, please contact Peter Kennelly.  

If you have any additional questions regarding the 2019 ASBMB Certification exam, please contact certexam@asbmb.org