Written Exam


The following training requirements must be completed before a candidate may sit for the Written Exam for subspecialty certification in Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology:

  • Applicants must be AOA board-certified intern medicine specialists in Cardiology. Eligible applicants must have completed three years of an ACGME- or AOA-recognized fellowship program in Cardiology, followed by a one-year ACGME- or AOA-recognized fellowship program in Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology.


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

  • A completed application
  • Required fees
  • Proof of an active medical license
  • Initial applicants and applicants who have not completed their training must submit a Program Director report verifying clinical competence and the completion date of an ACGME- or AOA-recognized fellowship training program

Exam Fees

An exam fee of $2,500 must be submitted with your completed application. No application will be considered complete until all fees have been paid. Exam applications submitted after June 18 will incur a $250 non-refundable late fee. No applications will be accepted after July 18. All cancellations must be made in writing. No exam fees are refunded unless the candidate withdraws from the examination process, which will result in a loss of board eligibility. Refunds will be administered as follows:

  • On or before July 16: 50% refund
  • After July 16: No refund

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology Written Exam is offered in August.  The application period opens on Feb. 16, 2024, and closes end of day July 16, 2024.

Exam Content Outline

The Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology Written Exam tests the knowledge and understanding of basic science and clinical knowledge, skills and principles critical to the practice of Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology. The five-hour exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions in the following areas:

Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology
  1. 1. Heart failure
  2. 2. Mechanical circulatory support (MCS)
  3. 3. Heart transplantation
  4. 4. Pulmonary hypertension
  • 50%
  • 20%
  • 20%
  • 10%

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.