Oral Exam


To take the AOBA Oral Exam for primary certification in Anesthesiology, the candidate must:

  • Successfully pass the Written Exam for primary certification in Anesthesiology.
  • Successful completion of year three of residency (CA-2).


To sit for the Oral Exam candidates must complete the following:

  • Submit a completed application, required documentation and application fee prior to the application deadline for the exam.
  • Verification letter emailed directly to postdoc@osteopathic.org from your program attesting to your residency training in Anesthesiology verifying three years of formal training have been or will be completed on or before the scheduled date of the exam.

Exam Fees

An exam fee of $1000 must accompany your completed application. No application will be considered complete until all fees have been paid.

Applications submitted after the first deadline must include an additional 30% late fee ($300.00), or $1,300.00 total. Examination fees must be made by credit card within the application portal. No other forms of payment may be accepted.

Exam Cancellation Fees

  • 0 – 30 days before the exam: no refund
  • 31 days or more prior to the exam date: 50% refund
  • No refunds of late fees
  • Rejected Applications: 75% refund

Note: Prior to submitting your application, please be certain that you meet the criteria to apply

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The Oral Exam for primary certification in Anesthesiology is offered each Fall via remote proctoring. The application period opens six months prior to the exam. Upon successful completion of the application process, the AOBA will advise applicants via email of acceptance to take the exam.

The first application deadline will be 90 days prior to the first date of the exam administration window. The final deadline will be 60 days prior to the exam administration window.

All candidates requesting exam accommodations must submit their requests at the time of application and by the final application deadline (60 days prior to the exam).

Exam Content

The Oral Exam tests candidates’ mastery of up to 10 areas of knowledge critical to the practice of Anesthesiology. Topics may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Differential diagnosis
  • Signs and symptoms
  • Anesthetic management
  • Preoperative considerations
  • Postoperative considerations

Exam Scoring

  • Two examiners score each candidate.
  • Candidates are examined on five cases, which may address a variety of topics relating to anesthesiology. Within each case, additional topics will be addressed and presented to the examinee.
  • Each of the five cases will be timed at 12 minutes for questions and responses. Candidates are allotted three minutes to transition to their next assigned examination station.
  • Determination of a passing score on the Oral Exam is based on a criterion reference standard setting model. AOBA physician experts determine the minimal passing standard of competency required for AOBA certification.
  • A scaled score of at least 500 is considered passing for the Oral Exam. The scaled score is a transformation of the points awarded by the physician examiners during the scoring process. Scaled scores for the total exam and each case are used to determine exam outcomes.
  • Results will be reviewed by the AOBA Examination Committee. AOA Certifying Board Services will notify all candidates of their results within 90 days of the exam.

Examination Failure

Candidates must successfully pass all certification exams (Written, Oral and Clinical) within six years of completing an AOA or ACGME-accredited training program. Physicians who are unable to complete the process within six years of completing a residency training program or who fail any exam required for certification (Written, Oral and Clinical) three times must petition the AOBA to enter the post board eligibility certification process within three years of termination of board eligibility.