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Phase I Examination

2021 Phase I Surgical Knowledge Examination

April 12, 2021
Remote administration via Examity

Updated administration
The ACVS Board of Regents has approved switching to remote administration of the 2021 Phase I Examination. The online testing option will utilize live, remote human proctors as well as video and audio recordings of the candidates throughout the entirety of the examination. Minimum requirements include:

  • Laptop or desktop with high-speed internet connection
  • Webcam and microphone
  • Private examination space with no distractions

ACVS will provide candidates with additional details and specific technical requirements by January 18, 2021.
The content and format of the Phase I examination are unchanged (125 multiple choice questions with one correct answer). For candidates without accommodations, the examination is still divided into two equal parts of three hours each with a break in between. Candidates who have requested accommodations will be notified separately of any required adjustments.

Candidates located outside of the continental United States and Canada may take the examination in their home countries. Candidates in Australia must take the examination on April 13.

Candidates who plan to take the Phase I Surgical Knowledge Examination via Examity as outlined above do not need to take any action at this time.

Registered candidates who choose not to take the examination this year will be given one additional year in their time limit on examination attempts (e.g., if a candidate’s final opportunity to pass Phase I was 2023, it will be extended to 2024). Please refer to the ACVS Phase I Surgical Knowledge Examination Information Pamphlet for limitation policies. Refunds will be given according to ACVS policies in the information pamphlet and should include documentation of an extenuating circumstance.

Candidates must notify ACVS of their intent to defer and extend the time limit on examination attempts. Email your intent to defer or any questions to Kimberly Soehnlein, ksoehnlein@acvs.org, or call (301) 916-0200 x104.

Examination Materials


  • Deadline: December 3, 2020
    • Submit your online application and examination fee payment no later than 11:59pm EST, December 3, 2020. Mailed examination fee payments must arrive by close of business (5pm Eastern time) on December 3, at the ACVS office.
  • Submit the online registration application at www.acvs.org/apply
    • Online registration opens October 5 for eligible candidates. The application includes identification, eligibility form, requests for accommodations, if applicable, and signing the Phase II contract.
  • Pay the Examination Fee = $525
    • Pay the fee online with Visa or MasterCard
    • Submit the Phase I Payment Authorization Form to ACVS. The payment form includes form fields and should be downloaded and opened with Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat.
    • The examination fee is refundable only due to extenuating circumstances as detailed in the information pamphlet.


Common questions are answered in the Examination FAQ. Address other questions about the Phase I Examination to Jeff Melia (jmelia@acvs.org, 301-916-0200, x102)


In the event that a candidate needs to cancel their examination registration, the candidate must contact ACVS. Refer to the information pamphlet for refund policies.