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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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 and will be proctored. 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.
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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.
Candidates who started the AOBA certification process after July 1, 2009, must successfully pass all certification exams (written, oral and clinical) within six years of completing an AOA-approved residency program. Physicians who are unable to complete the process within this time or who fail any exam required for certification (written, oral or clinical) three times must petition the AOBA for reinstatement into the process.
The following rules apply for those who entered the certification process prior to July 1, 2009:
- Following an initial or second failure of the exam, the candidate may apply for re-examination and pay the required fees.
- The candidate must re-take the exam within a two-year period following the initial or second failure.
- Following a third failure of the exam, a remediation board review course will be recommended with 50 hours of CME in the areas of weakness/deficiency. After successful completion of the course and CME, the physician may re-enter the certification process.