Written Exam


The following training requirements must be completed before a candidate may sit for the Written Exam for subspecialty certification in Interventional Cardiology:

  • Candidates must have completed three years of AOA-recognized subspecialty training in Cardiology, followed by one year of training in Interventional Cardiology. The Cardiology training must have occurred in 1997 or later in an AOA- or ACGME-accredited Cardiology training program. You must have completed the training by Aug. 15 of the year you intend to sit for the Written Exam.
  • Have participated in at least 300 cardiac interventional procedures and have served as the primary operator in a minimum of 200 of these cases, as attested by the training program director.
  • Adhere to the AOA Code of Ethics.


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

  • A completed application.
  • Required fees.
  • Proof of an active medical license.
  • An Attestation of Interventional Cardiology Procedures form completed by the Program Director.
  • 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 AOA-recognized fellowship training program.
  • If you completed your training 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 $800 must be submitted with your completed application. No application will be considered complete until all fees have been paid. Exam applications submitted after June 1 will incur a non-refundable $200 late fee. No applications will be accepted after July 1. 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. Otherwise, candidates’ fees are credited toward the next year’s examination, less the applicable cancellation fee, and will remain board eligible until June 1 of the following year. Cancellation fees are as follows:

  • Before June 1: $100 cancellation fee
  • Between June 1 and July 1: $400 cancellation fee
  • After July 1: $800 cancellation fee

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The Interventional Cardiology Written Exam is offered in August. The application period opens the previous year, starting in December.

Exam Content Outline

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

Subspecialty Certification
  1. 1. Basic concepts: Vascular biology, coagulation, anatomy, physiology
  2. 2. Case selection: Acute coronary syndrome, hemodynamic compromise
  3. 3. Case selection: Chronic ischemic heart disease
  4. 4.Case selection: Valvular disorders, congenital heart disease
  5. 5. Case selection: Peripheral vascular disease
  6. 6. Clinical trials
  7. 7. Drug pharmacology/ Contrast agents
  8. 8. Imaging in Interventional Cardiology
  9. 9. Procedural techniques
  10. 10. Miscellaneous
  • 13-17%
  • 7-11%
  • 5-9%
  • 4-8%
  • 2-6%
  • 8-12%
  • 8-12%
  • 14-18%
  • 13-17%
  • 6-10%

Exam Scoring

The AOBIM sets passing standards for the Written Exam using a measurement model known as “criterion-referenced standard setting.” Using this model, the board specifies the particular content and level of content difficulty necessary to be considered a passing candidate. All examination results will be reviewed by the board. Results will be released electronically through the AOBIM’s application portal. Candidates must be program complete and maintain AOA membership in order to access electronic results.