The Resident Certification Entry Process requires you to complete self-assessment activities including a minimum of at least one ABFM-developed Knowledge Self-Assessment activity.  In order to satisfy the minimum requirement of one Knowledge Self-Assessment activity, you may choose to complete one of the topic-specific Knowledge Self-Assessment (KSA) activities or participate in the Continuous Knowledge Self-Assessment (CKSA) activity.  There are also a variety of additional approved self-assessment activities that have been developed by ABFM as well as external providers.  Completing these will help to fulfill your overall 50-point activity requirement; however they will not fulfill the required Knowledge Self-Assessment activity requirement.  To understand more about KSA, CKSA and approved alternative self-assessment activities, please review the details below.


The Knowledge Self-Assessment (KSA) is focused on evaluating and enhancing your knowledge base in a particular topic area common to family medicine. To successfully complete the assessment, you will need to answer 80% of the questions in each core competency area correctly. After you initially attempt the 60-question assessment, you will enter review mode, where you will be given a critique and a set of references, with the option to comment on each question. You may re-submit new answers to the questions you answered incorrectly.

After successful completion, you will earn 10 activity points and eight CME credits for each completed KSA.  If you successfully complete a KSA, you will satisfy your minimum KSA requirement.

KSA Topics


The Continuous Knowledge Self-Assessment (CKSA) activity is an alternative to the KSA for meeting your minimum requirements for Knowledge Self-Assessment (KSA). CKSA can help you continuously identify your personal strengths and weaknesses in medical knowledge and clinical decision-making within the framework of broad-spectrum family medicine. This is accomplished by completing 25 questions per quarter, delivered through your Physician Portfolio. Completing the CKSA questions can be done throughout the quarter in a manner that best suits your needs and schedule, whenever and wherever it is convenient for you.

There is no passing or failing for this activity.  After each question you will be given the correct answer, a critique that explains why other options were incorrect, a set of references and the option to comment on the question. This information allows you to identify your learning needs and focus your study in those areas.

CKSA questions are similar in format to those seen on the Family Medicine Certification Examination. Once you have completed 100 questions over four quarters, you will receive a performance report that will estimate your probability of passing the Family Medicine Certification Examination, along with your likely score.

After successful completion of each quarter, you will earn 2.5 activity points and 2.5 CME credits. If you successfully complete four quarters of CKSA you will earn 10 activity points and eight CME credits, satisfying your minimum Knowledge Self-Assessment requirement.


The ABFM-developed Clinical Self-Assessment (CSA) activity has provided a way for self-assess your knowledge through simulated patient care scenarios. Previously linked with KSAs as Self-Assessment Modules, or SAMS, these simulated scenarios evolve in response to your diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, subsequent investigations, and re-evaluation of your patient over time.

ABFM will be retiring CSA simulation activities on February 15, 2020, based on feedback from Diplomates and to make way for new self-assessment offerings as ABFM seeks to enhance the value of your activities. You will continue to have a wide variety of activities available for you to self-assess your current knowledge of conditions commonly seen in family medicine, while earning family medicine certification self-assessment credits. These include Knowledge Self-Assessments (KSAs) and the 25-questions per quarter Continuous Knowledge Self-Assessment (CKSA).

Please make sure to complete any in-progress activities by March 17, 2020 to earn four CME credits and five activity points that will help to fulfill your overall 50-point activity requirement.


There are also a variety of approved self-assessment alternatives that have been developed by external providers that help to fulfill your 50-point activity requirement. Completing these will help to fulfill your overall 50-point activity requirement; however, they will not fulfill the required Knowledge Self-Assessment activity requirement.  To review a complete list of approved alternative self-assessment activities, please log into your Physician Portfolio.