Early Entry Initial Certification Written Exam


The AOBFP Early Entry Initial Certification (EEIC) program allows physicians to seek specialty board certification while still completing their residency. Candidates may opt for board certification in Family Medicine and OMT (OMT Performance Examination required) or Family Medicine.


You are eligible to sit for the Early Entry Initial Certification Written Exam if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are a DO/MD in a Family Medicine residency.
  • You must be in your final year of residency at the time of the examination.

The following criteria must also be met:

  • You have completed two osteopathic in-service exams produced and administered by ACOFP.

The chart below indicates timing for the first class of residents to be eligible for early entry.

Eligibility Timeline
Class PGY 1 PGY 2 PGY 3 Early Entry
2021/22 In-service exams:

October 2019

In-service exams:

October 2020

In-service exams:

October 2021

Eligible for EEIC:

1Q 2022

2022/23 In-service exams:

October 2020

In-service exams:

October 2021

In-service exams:

October 2022

Eligible for EEIC:

1Q 2023

2023/24 In-service exams:

October 2021

In-service exams:
October 2022
In-service exams:

October 2023

Eligible for EEIC:

1Q 2024

2024/25 In-service exams:

October 2022

In-service exams:

October 2023

In-service exams:

October 2024

Eligible for EEIC:

1Q 2025


Once eligibility criteria is met, applicants must submit the following:

  • A completed application
  • Required fees
  • Verification that you completed two AOBFP In-Service Exams during your residency
  • A Statement of Understanding for Issuance Certification form

Exam Fees

An exam fee of $400 must be submitted with your completed application.

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The Early Entry Initial Certification Written (Cognitive) Exam will be administered via remote proctored platform between Jan. 16-19, 2024.

Application period opens:Aug. 15, 2023
First deadline: On or before Nov. 16, 2023 (no late fees)
Final deadline: Dec. 16, 2023 (late fees will apply)

Exam Content

The Early Entry Initial Certification exam is designed to measure the competency and knowledge, skills, abilities and judgments of qualified osteopathic family practice physicians.

The exam will consist of 175 scored single-option multiple choice items. The breakdown of the exam is listed below.

Non-disclosure agreement – 2 minutes

Tutorial – 10 minutes

Section 1 – 87 items, 90 minutes

Break – 10 minutes (Optional)

Section 2 – 88 items, 90 minutes

Survey – 3 minutes

Total Exam Length – 205 minutes

Early Entry Certification: Family Medicine
Allergy, Immunology, & Rheumatology 5%
Cardiology & Pulmonology 10%
Dermatology 6%
Emergency Medicine 2%
Endocrinology 4%
Gastroenterology 8%
General Surgery 2%
Hematology 4%
Infectious Disease Medicine 6%
Nephrology & Urology 6%
Neurology 4%
Orthopedic, Musculoskeletal, & Sports Medicine 6%
Osteopathic Principles and Practice 10%
Population Health & Practice Management 6%
Preventive Medicine 3%
Psychiatry 5%
Reproductive Medicine 2%
Substance Use Disorders 4%
Women’s Health (OB/GYN) 3%
Total 100%

*These percentages represent the minimum amount of content from each of the stated areas. Many items may address multiple areas listed above while other items will also assess other knowledge bases, such as pediatrics, adolescent medicine, and geriatrics.

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.

Exam Failure

Candidates who do not pass the certification examination and take the traditional Initial Certification Examination may apply for reexamination at the next administration unless additional requirements apply. The reexamination fee is $500 and requires the submission of an online application.