You’ll find a button at the top for accessing the full ABMDI board certification exam practice test. We’ve also included detailed practice exams for the ABMDI below. These tests help you identify your strengths, recognize areas for improvement, and overall know your skill level. 

To boost your exam preparation, we provide specialized quizzes aimed at enhancing your proficiency in specific areas of the ABMDI exam where you need more focus.

ABMDI Domain Exams

The American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI) exam is a crucial certification for professionals in the field of death investigation. The exam is designed to assess a candidate’s knowledge and skills in various aspects of medicolegal death investigation, ensuring they are competent to perform their duties effectively. 

Below is a breakdown of the different domains. 

ABMDI Interacting with Federal State and Local Agencies Practice Exam

  • This domain typically covers how death investigators interact with other agencies involved in the investigation process, including law enforcement, legal entities, and other governmental bodies.

Welcome to your ABMDI Interacting with Federal State and Local Agencies Practice exam

ABMDI Communicating Practice Exam

  • This section tests the candidate’s ability to communicate effectively, both in writing and orally, with all stakeholders involved in a death investigation.

Welcome to your ABMDI Communicating Practice exam

ABMDI Interacting with Families Practice Exam

  • Focuses on the skills needed to interact compassionately and effectively with the families of the deceased.

Welcome to your ABMDI Interacting with Families Practice exam

ABMDI Investigating Deaths Practice Exam

  • The core of the exam, this domain covers the procedures and protocols for investigating various types of deaths.

Welcome to your ABMDI Investigating Deaths Practice exam

ABMDI Identifying and Preserving Evidence Practice Exam

  • This area assesses knowledge of evidence, including its identification, collection, and preservation.

Welcome to your ABMDI Identifying and Preserving Evidence Practice exam

ABMDI Maintaining Ethical and Legal Responsibilities Practice Exam

  • Tests understanding of ethical considerations and legal responsibilities in death investigations.

Welcome to your ABMDI Maintaining Ethical and Legal Responsibilities Practice exam

ABMDI Demonstrating Scientific Knowledge Practice Exam

  • Focuses on the scientific principles underlying death investigation, including pathology, toxicology, and biology.

Welcome to your ABMDI Demonstrating Scientific Knowledge Practice exam

Exam Domain% of ExamImportance
Interacting with Federal, State, and Local AgenciesVariesKey for collaboration and thorough investigations.
CommunicatingSubstantialCritical for clear, accurate, and sensitive communication.
Interacting with FamiliesConsiderableEssential for providing sensitive support to families.
Investigating DeathsLargestCentral to the role, requires thorough understanding of investigation techniques.
Identifying and Preserving EvidenceSignificantCritical for legal proceedings and understanding death circumstances.
Maintaining Ethical and Legal ResponsibilitiesCrucialFundamental for public trust and justice.
Demonstrating Scientific KnowledgeEssentialNecessary for accurate interpretation of findings.

Additional Information:

  • Exam Preparation: Candidates should engage in comprehensive study, utilizing textbooks, online courses, and workshops focused on medicolegal death investigation. The ABMDI website and affiliated professional organizations offer resources and study materials.
  • Registration and Eligibility: Information on exam dates, eligibility criteria, and registration procedures can be found on the ABMDI’s official website.
  • Continuing Education: ABMDI-certified professionals are required to pursue continuing education to maintain their certification, ensuring they remain current with best practices and advancements in the field.

ABMDI Exam Breakdown

To become certified by the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI), you need to follow a specific set of steps and meet certain requirements. The ABMDI offers two levels of certification: Registered Medicolegal Death Investigator (RMDI) and Board Certified Medicolegal Death Investigator (BCMDI). 

Here’s a general overview of the process:

Registered Medicolegal Death Investigator (RMDI)

Eligibility Requirements:

  • High school diploma or equivalent.
  • Employment in a medical examiner or coroner’s office.
  • Involvement in scene investigations.

Experience: At least 640 hours of death investigation experience.

Application Process:

  • Complete the application form available on the ABMDI website.
  • Pay the application fee.

Examination: Pass the RMDI certification examination.

Continuing Education: Maintain certification through continuing education.

Board Certified Medicolegal Death Investigator (BCMDI)

  1. Eligibility Requirements:
  • Already an RMDI or equivalent.
  • A minimum of 3 years of experience in a medicolegal jurisdiction.
  1. Experience:
    • Documented involvement in a wide range of death investigations. 
  2. Application Process:
    • Similar to RMDI, with additional documentation for experience and skills.
  3. Examination:
    • Pass the BCMDI certification examination, which is more advanced than the RMDI exam.
  4. Continuing Education:
    • Ongoing education requirements to maintain certification.

For the most accurate and detailed information, it’s best to visit ABMDI’s official website and contact them directly if you have specific questions. They provide comprehensive guides, application forms, and additional resources for prospective applicants.

Our Experience Teaching ABMDI Candidates To Pass The Exam

Teaching for the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI) board certification offers a unique and challenging experience from a lecturer’s perspective. To succeed in this exam, you will need to prepare adequately. Acquainting oneself with the exam’s diverse question types and practicing within time constraints can markedly enhance one’s performance.

Here are some key aspects that we encountered while preparing for the test exams:

  1. Diverse Audience: The students preparing for ABMDI certification come from various backgrounds, including law enforcement, nursing, and forensic science. This diversity requires an approach that is both inclusive and adaptable to different learning styles and professional experiences, which is what we have employed in our practice tests.
  2. Practical Application: The ABMDI certification focuses heavily on practical skills. Therefore, we blend theoretical knowledge with real-world applications. This often involves case studies, simulations, and discussions on actual cases, which can be both intellectually stimulating and emotionally challenging for both the instructor and students.
  3. Ethical and Emotional Considerations: Setting practice tests on this subject involves addressing sensitive topics like death, abuse, and disaster response.
  4. Continual Learning: The field of medicolegal death investigation is constantly evolving with advancements in technology and changes in legal standards. Hence, the team at Career Employer needs to stay updated with these developments to provide the most current and relevant information to your students.
  5. Assessment and Evaluation: The ABMDI certification requires a high standard of competency. The team at Career Employer must design assessments that accurately measure students’ knowledge and practical skills, ensuring they are well-prepared for the certification exam and their future roles as death investigators.
  6. Personal Satisfaction: Despite the challenges, teaching for ABMDI certification has been highly rewarding for our team. We have played a crucial role in shaping competent professionals who will contribute significantly to the field of medicolegal death investigation.

Our Career Employer team has developed this American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI) practice exam, drawing on their extensive experience in preparing for, taking, and assisting over of medicolegal forensic professionals in passing the actual ABMDI exam. Furthermore, our team comprises highly knowledgeable forensic professionals with more than a decade of experience. We offer several iterations of the practice exams, ensuring comprehensive preparation for the test-takers.

Understanding the certification in general

To become licensed by the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI), one must meet specific eligibility requirements, complete an application process, pass an examination, and adhere to recertification protocols. Here’s a detailed overview of each step:

Eligibility Criteria

  • Age and Education: Applicants must be at least 18 years old and hold a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Employment: Applicants need to be currently employed in a Medical Examiner or Coroner’s office, or an equivalent military authority, with responsibilities including conducting death scene investigations.
  • Experience: A minimum of 640 hours of death investigation experience is required. This can include on-call hours and investigations of various types of deaths, with different credit hours assigned to each.

Application Process

  • Application Submission: Applicants must submit an application form, employment verification, professional reference form, and a Performance Training Guidebook Checklist.
  • Fee: A non-refundable application fee of $50 is required.
  • Performance Standards: Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in various specialized technical skills, as outlined in the Performance Training Guidebook Checklist. This involves tasks like body examination at the scene, autopsy lab work, and role-play scenarios.


  • Registry Exam: The ABMDI registry exam is a 240-question multiple choice test covering topics like interacting with agencies, communicating, investigating deaths, preserving evidence, legal and ethical responsibilities, scientific knowledge, and stress management.
  • Board Certification Exam: For more advanced certification, there’s an additional 240-question exam plus a performance section evaluating hypothetical death scenes.
  • Examination Fees: The online examination fee is USD 350, with an additional USD 50 for a paper/pencil format.


  • Good Standing: Certificants must be in good standing, including being current in all fees.
  • Continued Competency: Demonstrated through a work verification form or recertification examination, if not currently employed in a relevant position.
  • Continuing Education: 45 hours of approved continuing education are required.
  • Ethics Reaffirmation: Certificants must reaffirm the Code of Ethics in writing.

These requirements ensure that licensed investigators are adequately prepared and skilled in conducting thorough and competent medicolegal death investigations.

Effective Study Strategies / Methods

Here are some effective study strategies:

  1. Understand the Role and Responsibilities: As both a death investigator and a medical examiner play crucial roles in forensic science, it’s important to have a deep understanding of their duties, which include evaluating bodies, crime scene analysis, and collaborating with law enforcement. This understanding will provide context for the knowledge and skills tested in the ABMDI exam.
  2. Review National Guidelines for Death Investigation: The ABMDI bases its certification on standards and practices outlined in the National Institutes of Justice publication “Death Investigation: A Guide for the Scene Investigator”. Studying this guide thoroughly is crucial, as it forms the foundation of the certification exam.
  3. Focus on Practical Skills and Knowledge: Given the hands-on nature of the work, focus your study on practical aspects such as scene investigation techniques, evidence collection and preservation, and understanding legal and ethical guidelines.
  4. Engage in Continuing Education: The ABMDI website mentions the importance of continuing education. Engaging in relevant courses, webinars, and workshops can provide up-to-date knowledge and practical skills.
  5. Utilize ABMDI Resources: The ABMDI website offers resources like the Performance Training Guidebook Checklist and policy and procedure documents. These can be invaluable for understanding the specific competencies and knowledge areas required for the exam.
  6. Network with Professionals: Networking with experienced death investigators and medical examiners can provide insights into the exam and the profession. They can offer advice, study tips, and possibly mentorship.
  7. Practice with Case Studies: Applying your knowledge to real or hypothetical case studies can help in understanding how to approach different scenarios, which is a critical skill for the exam.
  8. Time Management: Like any professional exam, the ABMDI exam will require effective time management and test-taking strategies. Practice with mock exams, if available, to build these skills. 
  9. Understand Key Exam Topics: The ABMDI exam covers factual knowledge, technical information, principles, and problem-solving abilities related to death investigation. It is divided into eight sections: Interacting with Federal, State, and Local Agencies, Communicating and interacting with Families, Investigating Deaths, Identifying and Preserving Evidence, Maintaining Ethical and Legal Responsibilities, Demonstrating Scientific Knowledge, and Coping with Job-Related Stress​​.
  10. Use exam prep Materials: The National Institutes of Justice publication “Death Investigation: A Guide for the Scene Investigator” and the Performance Training Guidebook Checklist are essential resources​​.
  11. Multi-Modal Learning: Incorporate video and audio recordings that complement the textbook. This approach caters to different learning styles and helps in better retention of information​​.
  12. Use Study Aids: Use flashcards, printable workbooks, and handouts for medical terminology and other study materials. These tools aid in repetition and reinforcement of key concepts​​.
  13. Use Self-Paced Learning: The ABMDI exam preparation can be overwhelming, so it’s important to break down the study material into manageable portions. A self-paced approach allows you to study at your own rhythm, focus on weaker areas, and revisit topics as needed​​.
  14. Time Management: Fit study sessions into your schedule, even if they are brief. The ability to study in short, focused bursts can be beneficial, especially for busy professionals​​.
  15. Engaging with a Study Community: Engaging with a study community can provide moral support, shared resources, and collective problem-solving. It’s beneficial to join forums or groups where you can discuss topics and share insights with peers.
  16. Use Practice Tests: Undertake practice exams to familiarize yourself with the format and types of questions that will be asked. This will also help you assess your knowledge and identify areas that need more attention​​.
  17. Course Curriculum: Engage with a structured course curriculum that covers all exam sections in detail, offering insights into every aspect of the job role of a medicolegal death investigator​​​​​​​​.

Remember, while these strategies are tailored to the nature of the ABMDI exam and the profession, the specific content and format of the exam should be verified through official ABMDI resources or contact with the ABMDI directly.


The cost of the ABMDI (American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators) board certification exam and associated fees can be broken down as follows:

Fee TypeAmountFrequency
Application Fee$100One-time
Examination Fee$400One-time
Paper/Pencil Test (Optional)$50Per Test
Yearly Maintenance Fee$50Annual
Retest Fee$50Per Retest
Biennial Maintenance Fee$50Every 24 Months
Certification Test Prep Course$300One-time
  1. Application Fee: There is a non-refundable application fee of USD 100.
  2. Examination Fee: The exam itself has a non-refundable fee of USD 400. Additionally, if you opt for a paper/pencil test, there’s an extra charge of USD 50. 
  3. Yearly Maintenance Fee: After certification, there’s an annual maintenance fee of USD 50.
  4. Retest Fee: In case you need to retake the exam, there’s a retest fee of USD 50.
  5. Maintenance Fee (Every 24 Months): There is also a maintenance fee of USD 50 every 24 months.
  6. Continuing Education Requirement: Additionally, you are required to complete 20 hours of continuing education every 24 months in relevant fields like law enforcement, medicolegal investigation, nursing, medical, etc..
  7. Study and Training Costs: For preparation, one of the available courses is the Certification Test Prep for Death Investigators offered by Gap Science eCourses, which costs USD 300.

The total cost will depend on whether you pass the exam on the first try and the specific training or study materials you choose. The prices listed here do not include any additional study materials, courses, or training you may decide to pursue outside of what’s mentioned. Keep in mind that the field of medicolegal death investigation is complex, and the costs associated with preparation and certification can vary based on individual choices and needs.

Reliable Study Materials and Resources

To prepare for the ABMDI (American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators) exam, you can utilize a variety of online resources, including websites, forums, and digital books. Here are some valuable resources to help you in your preparation:

  • ABMDI Official Website: The ABMDI’s official website provides essential information about the exam, including an online practice test and detailed guidelines on the scope of knowledge required for the exam. It’s a crucial resource for understanding the format and content of the exam.
  • Gap Science eCourses – Certification Test Prep for Death Investigators: This course offers a comprehensive study guide for the ABMDI Registry Certification Exam. It includes video lessons, printable workbooks, flashcards, handouts for medical terminology, and supplemental study materials. This resource is excellent for those who prefer a structured, multimedia approach to learning.
  • Quizlet Flashcards: Quizlet offers a set of flashcards specifically designed for ABMDI practice registry tests. This is an interactive way to test your knowledge and reinforce learning through repetition.
  • Death Investigation Training Academy: Students who complete the Medicolegal Death Investigator Online or Classroom Academy are qualified to apply to take the Certification Exam. This can be a valuable preparatory step for those seeking structured, formal training.
  • Issuu – Suggested Reading List for the ABMDI Exam: This document provides a curated list of readings that can help you prepare for the ABMDI exam. It’s a great resource for those who are looking for more in-depth, textual materials to study.
  • Training Programs: Various forensic science programs and workshops that provide relevant training and education.
  • Professional Associations: Joining organizations like the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) can provide additional resources and networking opportunities.
  • Continuing Education: Online courses, seminars, and conferences related to death investigation.

Using these resources, you can create a comprehensive study plan tailored to your learning style and needs.

Tips for Exam Day

  • Stop Studying a Few Days Before: Make sure that you have a good night’s sleep, rest well, and be relaxed before you head to the exam room.
  • Preparation of Documents and Timely Arrival: Make sure to carry all required documents with you, such as a valid photo ID and your exam scheduling permit. The name on your identification must match exactly with the one on your scheduling permit. Aim to reach the examination center at least 30 minutes before the scheduled time, keeping in mind that latecomers might not be allowed entry.
  • Eat a Good Breakfast: Ensure it includes carbohydrates and protein for sustained energy.
  • Read Exam Guidelines: Be familiar with the specific requirements of your test and prepare all necessary items (like identification) beforehand.
  • Don’t Dwell on Questions: Avoid getting stuck on previous questions. Focus on the ones ahead.
  • Don’t Rush: Take time to understand what each question is asking.
  • Manage Your Time Effectively: During the exam, allocate your time wisely to ensure you can answer all questions without rushing.
  • Stay Calm and Focused: Maintain a calm mindset during the exam. If you encounter a difficult question, take a moment to breathe and think it through.

Post-Exam: Next Steps

Here are some post-exam strategies and next steps for those who have taken the ABMDI exam:

  1. Career Pathways: After passing the ABMDI exam, consider how your role intersects with related professions. For example, medical examiners, who are typically physicians, conduct autopsies and review forensic evidence to determine causes or manners of death. They might collaborate with detectives and testify in court cases​​​​​​. As a death investigator, you’ll be analyzing cases using both medical and law enforcement knowledge, evaluating crime scenes to ascertain if there was any criminal activity​​.
  2. Continuous Learning and Networking: Stay informed about the latest practices and technologies in the field. Participating in professional forums, attending conferences, and networking with peers can provide valuable insights and opportunities for career advancement.
  3. Career Advancement: Explore opportunities for specialization or advancement within the field. This could include additional certifications, specialized training, or pursuing higher education relevant to death investigation.
  4. Engage in Practical Experience: Gaining hands-on experience is crucial. Look for opportunities to work or intern in relevant offices, such as those of medical examiners or coroners, to apply your knowledge and skills in real-world scenarios.
  5. Stay Informed about Legal and Ethical Standards: It’s important to keep abreast of changes in legislation and ethical standards related to death investigation to ensure compliance and maintain professional integrity.
  6. Continuing Education: ABMDI emphasizes the importance of ongoing education. After passing the ABMDI exam, it’s crucial to stay updated with the latest practices in a medicolegal death investigation. This can be achieved through various continuing education opportunities listed on their website.
  7. Networking and Professional Development: Engage with the community of certified professionals. ABMDI lists a directory of certificants and retired certificants, which can be a valuable resource for networking and seeking mentorship or advice.
  8. Recertification: Keep in mind the need for recertification every five years. This involves meeting continuing education requirements and work verification, ensuring that you remain current in your field.
  9. Gain Relevant Experience: If you’re new to the field, consider gaining experience in related areas such as law enforcement, medical assisting, or working in a medical examiner’s or coroner’s office. This experience is invaluable in understanding the practical aspects of death investigation.
  10. Specialized Training: For those aspiring to roles like medical examiners, specialized training and education in fields like forensic pathology are essential. This includes completing a residency and potentially a fellowship in a related field.
  11. Licensing and Certification: Obtaining a medical license and possibly additional certifications like the ABMDI Registry or Board Certification can be crucial steps in advancing your career.
  12. Skill Development: Focus on developing key skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and investigative skills, which are crucial in the field of medicolegal death investigation.
  13. Stay Informed: Regularly check forums and online communities for updates, job opportunities, and advancements in the field of death investigation.
  14. Professional Associations: Joining professional associations can provide access to resources, networking opportunities, and further certifications.
  15. Career Path Exploration: Consider exploring various career paths within the field, such as forensic science technician, pathologist, or roles in law enforcement, to find the best fit for your skills and interests.

Remember, your career path after the ABMDI exam will depend on your interests, educational background, and the specific opportunities available in your area. Being proactive in seeking opportunities for learning and growth is key to a successful career in this field.


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  5. “What Does a Medical Examiner Do?” Indeed, 2023,
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  7. “American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation,
  8. “Registry Certification.” American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators,
  9. “Certification.” DIT Academy,
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  11. “Certification Test Prep for Death Investigators.” GAP Science,

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