Frequently Asked Questions


What is the deadline for submitting an application?

Applications may be submitted at any time.  Typically applications take a minimum of 6 to 8 weeks to process.  This means if all documentation (e.g. transcripts, employment verifications) are received promptly, you should receive the Board’s decision regarding your certification application within 2 months of your application being received.  However, if documentation is not received promptly, this process can take longer.


What fee(s) should I forward with my application?

Forward the appropriate application fee.  The examination fee is not due until you are approved to take the examination, although you can pay earlier if you wish.  Application fees are nonrefundable; examinations cancelled within thirty (30) days of the examination date will be subject to a $100 cancellation fee.


Can I send a copy of my transcript?

No.  Transcripts must be forwarded by the issuing college/university.  You must authorize the institution to release your transcript to the American Board of Bioanalysis (ABB).  

For degrees earned outside the U.S.:

All degrees received from educational institutions outside the United States must be evaluated for equivalency to U.S. degrees by an agency acceptable to ABB.

All international transcripts must be provided in English.  Transcripts that are not provided in English must be translated by a service approved by ABB.  The cost of the translation shall be paid by the applicant.

A list of acceptable equivalency agencies can be found on ABB’s website.

A detailed course-by-course evaluation is required
. Be sure to check with the equivalency agency to ensure that this service is offered before requesting an evaluation.

Evaluations from approved equivalency agencies MUST be forwarded directly FROM the issuing agency and MUST be official. Fees for such an evaluation shall be borne by the applicant.


How do I know if ABB has received the documents that go with my application?

You can call the ABB office to inquire about the status of your application.  You will also receive a letter indicating what items are needed in order to continue processing your application.  However, the decision to approve or not approve your application cannot be given over the telephone.  That decision will be forwarded to you in writing.


Will my money be refunded if I am not approved to take the examination?

Application fees are nonrefundable.  However, any examination fees that may have been forwarded are refundable.




When are the next examination dates?

Examinations are generally given twice a year [once in the spring, prior to AAB’s Annual Educational Conference and once in the fall, prior to the American Society For Reproductive Medicine’s (ASRM) Annual Meeting]. 


Do you have any study materials?

After the Board determines that you are eligible to sit for an examination, you will receive the most recent version of the Content Outline for the ABB examination(s) that you are eligible to take.  The Content Outline lists the topics covered by the examination(s) and the approximate percentage of questions in each of those topics.  A Reference Book List will also be forwarded to you to help you prepare for the examination.  This list is not restricted to AAB publications.

AAB offers the following study materials:

  • For andrology and embryology, AAB publishes the Andrology and Embryology Review Course Manual

  • For general knowledge for HCLD, AAB publishes the General Knowledge for the Clinical Laboratory Director

  • For general knowledge for ELD, AAB publishes the General Knowledge for the Embryology Laboratory Director

  • AAB also publishes the PER Handbook and the PER Questions and Answers Book for the traditional disciplines of chemistry, hematology, immunology,  immunohematology, and microbiology. 

AAB’s study materials can be purchased in the following ways:

  1. online with a credit card through the AAB Bookstore.
  2. print the online publication’s catalog and return it to the AAB office by mail or fax with applicable payment.
  3. call the AAB publications’ line at 800-475-3332 and place your order with a credit card.


How will I receive my examination results?

You should receive your examination results 4 – 6 weeks from the date of your examination. Examination results are forwarded via certified mail.  Be sure ABB has your correct address.


What happens if I fail the examination?

If you fail an examination you may retake an examination up to two times.  However, in order for your ABB file to remain open (and to avoid additional application fees), you must retake the examination at least one time within the next two examination administrations or one year, whichever is longer.  If you fail the examination a second time, you will have an additional year (or two examination administrations) to take it a third time. 

An individual who fails an ABB examination three times must wait two years after the date of the last failed examination and then begin the certification process from the beginning.  This requires the submission of a new application form and the application fee in effect at the time the new application is submitted.  In addition, the Board requires that you provide evidence that you have gained additional education or training in the discipline that you are applying for.

Documents, such as transcripts and employment verification letters, that are in your old file do not have to be resubmitted.  However, any additional education or experience not documented with your original application should be documented with the new application.


Find details on ABB's CLIA-approved supervisor and director certifications and the application process.



Information on study materials and strategies to successfully challenge the ABB exams.


Continuing Education

Information on the ABB PEER continuing education program to maintain your certification.