2022 exam results by the numbers
- 1,052 exams administered at 76 ASBMB-accredited programs
- 450 total students certified
- 328 students certified
- 112 students certified with distinction
ASBMB degree certification
Once a program has been accredited by the ASBMB, its students become eligible for an ASBMB-certified degree. To qualify for degree certification, students must:
- Be in their final year of study for their BMB degree.
- Exhibit a satisfactory performance on the ASBMB certification exam.
ASBMB certification exam
All students who are enrolled in an ASBMB-accredited program are invited to take the certification exam in their junior or senior year. Students can attempt the exam only once during their undergraduate career regardless of outcome.
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 assess these concept areas at different levels of cognitive skills and abilities.
Preparing for the exam
Beginning in 2021, the exam will be administered online using the ExamSoft platform. The exam includes 12 questions, primarily free response format, to be completed in 60 minutes. Please refer to the following for information on the learning goals and objectives around which exam content is built by a community of ASBMB education fellows and the practice questions provided:
Each January, registration instructions and proctoring guidelines 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.
There is a fee of $45 per student for the certification exam to help defray the costs involved in the preparation, administration and scoring of the exam. Accredited programs must submit payment on behalf of their students.
The 60 minute exam is administered within a three-week period in spring. Exact dates of the exam period change each year to avoid conflict with the ASBMB annual meeting. Key dates associated with the current exam cycle are provided below.
Scoring and results
A volunteer team of scientist-educators scores the exams using detailed rubrics. Every evaluator participates in a training experience to enhance uniformity of scoring. Each student's response is reviewed by multiple independent scorers. Answers exhibiting unusually disparate scores are investigated further to resolve the outliers. Learn more about our scorers and scoring process here.
The ASBMB compiles all scores and determines cutoffs for certification and certification with distinction. We communicate the results to each student individually via email. In addition, each program receives a report of the aggregate scores achieved by their students on each question.
Each year, the success of exam development and scoring is largely dependent on a volunteer community of scientist–educators. In recognition of their time and efforts, volunteers are appointed ASBMB Education Associates. To find out more about what this work entails and to sign up to volunteer, see below:
- Exam question writing — Specific details coming soon; general information about exam development can be found in a 2021 publication about the ASBMB certification exam.
- Exam scoring
If you have any questions regarding the ASBMB certification exam, please contact email@example.com.
2023 dates and deadlines
|Jan. 17||2023 certification exam online registration opens|
|Feb. 17||Deadline for exam student registration (no changes after this date)|
|March 10||Certification exam payment due date|
|March 30–April 23||Mock exam available to familiarize students with the ExamSoft platform|
|April 4–23||Exam administration|
|July 3||Exam results released to students|