The American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) has offered the In-Training Examination (ITE) annually since 1971 to pediatric trainees in U.S. and Canadian programs as a service to residents and program directors. The ITE is a three-hour exam consisting of approximately 150 multiple-choice questions and is administered on designated days in July.
The purpose of the ITE is:
- To enable residents to assess strengths and weaknesses in general pediatric knowledge at the time of the exam
- To assess progress from year to year
- To compare performance with national peer groups
In addition, program directors can use results from the ITE to provide counseling and remediation to residents. Directors can also accumulate and analyze results over several years to evaluate the quality of training their program has provided.
Because the ITE is designed as an abbreviated version of a certifying exam and is based on the same content outline, it allows residents to familiarize themselves with ABP exams, and to some extent predict their performance on a subsequent certifying exam.
Program directors should not use the ITE as the sole means of determining if a resident has satisfactorily completed a year of training. Also, the ABP strongly discourages program directors and residents from providing ITE test results as part of the fellowship application process. Using the exam for purposes other than self-assessment (either individual or program) constitutes a misuse of the scores and compromises the validity and meaningfulness of the results. It is recommended that program directors explain this philosophy and the proposed use of ITE results to residents who will take the ITE.