Written Exam


The following training requirements must be completed before a candidate may sit for the CAQ Written Exam for in Geriatric Medicine:

  • Hold active AOA primary certification in Family Medicine or Family Medicine/OMT.
  • Complete an AOA-approved/ACGME accredited fellowship training program in geriatric medicine OR be on track to complete an AOA-approved/ACGME accredited fellowship in the same year of the Spring exam administration.
  • Adhere to the AOA Code of Ethics.


Once training requirements for eligibility are met, candidates must submit the following:

  • A completed application.
  • Required fees.
  • Copy of medical license with expiration date.
  • Copy of the fellowship training certificate if training completed or letter from Program Director in geriatric medicine with verification of start of training date and anticipated completion date.
  • If training is completed in an ACGME fellowship program, submit a letter from the AOA stating that the ACGME fellowship training has been AOA-recognized.

Exam Fees

An exam fee of $1,000 must be submitted with your completed application. No application will be considered complete until all fees have been paid. Non-refundable late fees must be submitted with application based on published submission deadlines. Cancellations must be submitted in writing and a cancellation processing fee will be assessed.

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The Geriatric Medicine CAQ Written Exam is offered yearly. The application period opens 6-8 months prior to the exam administration date.

The Geriatric Medicine Cognitive Exam is offered once yearly via remote proctored platform. Candidates will take the exam from the convenience of their home or office with the security of a remote proctor. A letter confirming eligibility, the exam schedule with further deadlines (test date selection, cancellation, other requests, etc.) with instructions on selecting an appointment is provided to the applicant via email upon full processing of the application within four weeks.

Exam Content Outline

The 200-item single answer multiple-choice examination will cover the broad aspects of geriatric family medicine that physicians caring for the elderly are expected to know. Clinical situations involving diagnosis, etiology, prognosis and natural history of disease and management will be stressed. The breakdown of the exam is listed below.

Non-disclosure agreement – 2 minutes

Tutorial – 10 minutes

Section 1: 100 items for 105 minutes

10 minute optional break

Section 2: 100 items for 105 minutes

Survey – 3 minutes

Total exam length: 235 minutes

Specific areas of emphasis will include:

Initial Certification: Geriatrics
Allergy, Immunology & Rheumatology 5%
Cardiology & Pulmonology 12%
Dermatology 8%
Emergency Medicine 4%
Endocrinology 4%
Gastroenterology 6%
Hematology & Oncology 5%
Infectious Disease 7%
Nephrology & Urology 8%
Neurology 7%
Orthopedic & Musculoskeletal Medicine 7%
Osteopathic Principles and Practice 5%
Palliative Care 5%
Population Health 3%
Psychiatry 5%
Women’s Health 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 general surgery.

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 may apply for reexamination at the next administration unless additional requirements apply. To apply for reexamination, candidates must submit an online application with the required materials. The initial exam fee is $1,000; however, non-refundable late fees will apply as determined by the submission deadline schedule as posted.