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Examination Content


The PA Examination (MCQ) is designed to evaluate the extent of the candidate's knowledge in the areas in which a pathologist should demonstrate a high level of competence.

The examination content is consistent with a pre-established blueprint developed and used by the American Board of Pathology. ABMS-S, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health Singapore (MOH), modified the blueprint to ensure that the content and relative percentages reflect practice of pathology in Singapore. The blueprint will be reviewed and revised annually to ensure that it is current.

The majority of the examination is devoted to questions related to pathology of specific organ systems or multi-system disease. A small portion of the examination deals with general pathology and laboratory administration and management. General pathology topics include principles of cellular injury, inflammation and repair, physical and chemical injury, congenital and genetic diseases, molecular pathology, and infections. These topics may also be included in questions related to specific systems or diseases. Laboratory management questions may be related to quality assurance, safety, billing, inspection and accreditation processes, regulations, personnel issues, costs of running a laboratory, informatics, and other aspects of management.

Images used on the examination include gross specimens, histopathologic specimens, electron micrographs, karyotypes, pedigrees, and cytopathology specimens of various types (liquid-based preparations, fine-needle aspirates, cell blocks, etc.). A variety of histochemical and immunochemical stains may be used as well as molecular pathology preparations.

The content areas covered and their relative proportions on the examination are as follows:

Table 1 : Examination Content for Pathology MCQ Examination

Content Category

Relative Percentage

General Pathology 5%
Breast 7%
Male Reproductive and Urinary 10%
Cardiovascular 2%
Hematopathology 10%
Gastrointestinal, Liver and Exocrine Pancreas 11%
Endocrine System 4%
Female Reproductive 10%
Respiratory System 7%
Central and Peripheral Nervous System 5%
Bone and Soft Tissue 6%
Skin 5%
Cytopathology 15%
Administration and Management 3%
Total 100%