Written Exam


The Written Exam for primary board certification in Anesthesiology is offered once a year in August. Prior to sitting for the exam, the following eligibility requirements must be met:

  • Complete your second year of residency (Clinical Base Year and CA-1).


To take the Written Exam for primary board certification in Anesthesiology the following steps must be completed:

  • Submit a completed application, including the required documentation and application fee prior to the application deadline (late application submissions are subject to late fees).
  • Verification letter emailed directly to postdoc@osteopathic.org attesting to your residency training in Anesthesiology verifying two 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 $500 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 ($150), or $650 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 General Anesthesiology Written Exam is offered once a year at via a remote proctoring platform, generally every August. The application period opens six months prior to the exam.

The first application deadline will be 60 days prior to the first date of the exam administration window. The final deadline will be 30 days prior to the exam administration window.

All candidates requesting exam accommodations must submit their requests at the time of application and all information must be received at least 30 days prior to the exam administration date.

Exam Content Outline

The Written Exam consists of 320 multiple-choice, single-answer questions in a pass/fail format. All questions are evenly weighted and the examination is subjected to conventional psychometric analysis using accepted modern methods of key validation and item scoring. The total examination time is six hours with three scheduled 10-minute breaks. Please note the exam clock will resume after the scheduled break even if you have not returned. The examination is remotely proctored, and no questions pertaining to exam content are allowed during the examination.

The Written Exam tests your knowledge and understanding of basic science and clinical knowledge, skills and principles critical to the practice of Anesthesiology. The exam uses a single-best-answer multiple-choice format with 4-5 options per question. Questions are categorized as follows:

  • Knowledge: Remembering facts, terms, methods, classifications and principles.
  • Comprehension: Understanding the meaning of the material, understanding how facts relate to one another, generalization of facts and interpretation of material.
  • Application: Using information in concrete situations, analysis of components and relationships, development of a plan or solution, and making judgments about the value of material in specific situations.
Primary Certification
  1. I. Physiologic Sciences
  2. A. Physiology
  3. B. Phamacology
  • 28 – 36%
  • 10 – 14%
  • 17 – 21%
  1. II. Physical Sciences
  2. A. Anatomy
  3. B. Biochemistry
  4. C. Physics
  5. D. Mathematics
  • 28 – 44%
  • 8 – 12%
  • 2 – 6%
  • 17 – 21%
  • 1 – 5%
  1. III. Clinical Sciences
  2. A. Anesthetic Procedures
  3. B. Disease States
  • 29 – 37%
  • 12 – 16%
  • 17 – 21%

Exam Scoring

Scoring Criteria

AOA reports candidates’ certification results using standardized scaled scores. Scaled scores are more valid and reliable compared to raw scores and make scores comparable across different forms of the exam. The AOA reports scores on a 200 to 800-point scale with a scaled score of 500 or higher required to pass.

  • A scaled score of 500 represents the minimum level of knowledge and skill necessary to pass the exam as established by AOA Certifying Boards.
  • The highest possible scaled score is 800.
  • The lowest possible scaled score is 200.
  • Overall scores are based on the total number of items answered correctly, regardless of content area.

Results by Content Area

  • When possible, a breakdown of exam scores by content area is provided to help you identify your areas of strength and areas that may need more development.
  • The number of items for each content area indicates the relative amount of test questions on the exam for that content area.
  • Content area scores are not weighted to calculate your overall score; each content area is scored separately after the overall analysis is complete.

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.