Written Exam


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

  • Successfully complete your second year of residency. Successful completion requires that all documentation for years one and two are received and approved by the AOA Council on Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training (COPT). The AOBA must receive notification from COPT that your training has been approved at least 30 days prior to the date of the certification exam.
  • Demonstrate eligibility for examination in any other manner required by the board.


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

  • Submit a completed application, required documentation and application fee prior to the application deadline of the year in which the examination is to be taken.
  • Submit a letter of recommendation from your program director or trainers who can attest to your residency training in Anesthesiology and verify that 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 be submitted with your completed application. No application will be considered complete until all fees have been paid.

After the published registration deadline, a late fee of $250 will be applied.

Exam candidates may elect to cancel their exam up to 30 days prior to the date of the exam. If cancelling, a reason for cancellation must be provided to aoba@osteopathic.org. If the request is approved, all exam fees will be refunded less a $100 cancellation fee. The AOBA will evaluate cancellation requests on a case-by-case basis.

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The AOBA Written Exam is offered once a year at Pearson Vue. The application period usually opens in March, and application are due by July 26.

Exam Content Outline

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 multiple choice format, with 4-5 options and one best answer. Questions will be 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.

Effective Jan. 1, 2018, examination will be administered in two parts:

  • Part I consists of approximately 165 questions. Allotted time for completion of Part I is 3 hours.
  • Part II consists of approximately 165 questions. Allotted time for completion of Part II is 3 hours.
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

A scaled score of at least 70 is considered passing for the Written Exam. Determination of a passing score is performed using the Angoff Method.

Results will be reviewed by the AOBA Examination Committee and submitted for final approval. The AOA will notify candidates of exam results within 90 days of the exam.

Exam Failure

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 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 Written 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 Written 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.