If your AOBEM certification expires in 2021 or beyond, you are eligible to participate in the CORE examination process. If your certification expired in 2020 or before, please review the process for the OCC Cognitive Assessment Examination.


The AOBEM is pleased to announce the launch of the Continuous Osteopathic Recertification Examination (CORE), a new annual OCC assessment that replaces the high stakes 10-year written cognitive exam previously required for fulfillment of Component 3.


View FAQs  CORE Webinar


Physicians holding AOBEM certificates that expire in 2021 or beyond are eligible to participate in CORE. All new diplomates will enter directly into CORE upon successful completion of the initial certification process. View the AOBEM CORE Phase-in Plan to learn more about making the transition.

Exam Format & Scoring

Taken annually, CORE is an online assessment that can be completed anytime via the AOA’s Online Learning Platform. You may use the educational resources typically available to you in the emergency department. The annual deadline to complete CORE is December 1.

Upon logging in, you will gain access to two exam sections:

  • Section 1: Two required core content modules
  • Section 2: Eight article-based modules. You are required to take and pass four of the eight modules

Upon completing all six required modules (two core content and four article-based), you will complete a short survey and receive a certificate of completion.

From time of sign-up, you will have until Dec. 1 to complete the exam.

A passing score of 75% is required for each module. You will have two attempts for each module, with the following stipulations:

  • You must wait one week after each attempt before retaking the same module. Be sure to take this into account when completing modules near the Dec. 1 deadline.
  • You have the option to move on to a different module, if available, without delay.

Exam Content

The exam consists of 40-60 questions based on 2-3 content areas from the Table of Specifications below and four current practice articles.

2021: Musculoskeletal; Nervous System
2022: Toxicology; Cutaneous
2023: Trauma; Psychiatry
2024: ID, EMS/Disaster
2025: Environmental, Cardiovascular
2026: Abdominal/GI, Administration
2027: OB/Gyn, Endocrine/Metabolic
2028: HEENT, Renal/Urogenital

Applications & Fees

The fee for CORE is included in the annual OCC fee, which is $210 per year. Payment is due at time of registration. Applications must be submitted by the final deadline to allow diplomates sufficient time to complete the assessment.

Upon registering, please allow 5-7 business days to receive access to your exam. Following review of your application and OCC status, you will receive an email with CORE login instructions.

Diplomates issued certificates with expiration dates of 2030-2031 will have the first CORE exam fee waived. Diplomates must put this request in writing prior to submitting an application.

Exam Failure

If you were unsuccessful in a previous attempt to pass the cognitive assessment, you are still required to fulfill Component 3. You will have two attempts to pass the cognitive assessment examination. If unsuccessful on a given administration, you must participate in the next available examination administration. If you are not successful in becoming certified at the end of this process, you must petition the certifying board for entry in to the final pathway process.

Final Pathway

To gain entry into the final pathway process, you must petition the AOBEM. If granted entry, you will be required to attend a live AOBEM-approved emergency medicine CME event. Upon completion of the course, you must complete the following pathway:

  • Pass the initial certification examination. You must participate in the first available administration of the exam and will have two attempts to successfully pass.
  • You must successfully pass any outstanding CORE examinations not fulfilled when the certification became inactive.

If you are not able to successfully pass exam requirements at the end of the final pathway process, you will not be certified by AOBEM.

Cancellation Policy

Refunds for CORE will not be allowed after the candidate has received approval and access to CORE via email. Typically access is granted within 5-7 business days of an application but may be granted sooner.