Written Exam


The following training requirements must be completed before a candidate may sit for the Written Exam for subspecialty certification in Emergency Medical Services.

  • Be a diplomate of the American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine.
  • Have completed an AOA-accredited/ACGME fellowship training program in Emergency Medical Services.
  • Hold an active license to practice emergency medicine in the state or territory where you practice before and during the certification process.
  • Adhere to the AOA Code of Ethics.
  • Demonstrate eligibility for examination in any other manner required by the board.

Eligibility period of three (3) years from the date of the initial EMS subspecialty certification examination is Spring 2024-2026.

  • Candidates with AOBEM primary board certification issues on Jan. 3, 2003, through June 30, 2019.
  • Documentation of EMS involvement of sixty (60) months during the last seven (7) consecutive years.
  • Documentation of twenty percent (20%) of practice dedicated to EMS or two thousand (2,000) hours over a five (5) year period.
  • Verifiable involvement in all phases of pre-hospital medicine; operational, educational and regulatory components; specifically:
    • Operational: service delivery, medical direction, agency direction, CQI or QA
    • Educational: EMS education or continuing education
    • Other: EMS research, involvement in EMS professional organization, EMS medical directorship and publications
  • Attestation of accuracy of submitted items.

Exam Dates & Deadlines

The Written Exam in Emergency Medical Services is offered in spring each year via a remote proctored platform. The application period opens approximately six months prior to the exam administration date. The application deadline will be set approximately one (1) month before the exam administration. After applying, candidates will receive further instructions.

Exam Content Outline

The exam is in a multiple choice format, with most questions directing candidates to choose the one best answer among five possible answers. Candidates will have three hours to answer 134 questions.

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.