Subspecialty Certification Exam


To be eligible for subspecialty certification in Geriatric Psychiatry, candidates must meet the criteria below:

  • Hold active, in-good-standing AOBNP certification in Psychiatry.
  • Successfully complete a one- or two-year AOA-approved Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Program.
  • Successfully sit for and pass all sections of the Written Certification Exam.


At the time of application, the applicant must submit the following to the board:

  • Completed application submitted online.
  • Copy of current state medical license indicating expiration date.
  • Copy of fellowship certificate from the Geriatric Psychiatry program, letter from the program director or letter from the chief of psychiatry or Geriatric Psychiatry section documenting the applicant’s:
    • Years of clinical practice.
    • Recognition in the community as a practitioner of Geriatric Psychiatry at least 20% of his/her clinical time.
    • Standard of care provided.

Exam Fees

An application fee of $1,500 must be submitted with your completed application. The late application fee is $450. No application will be considered complete until all fees have been paid.

If an applicant fails any part of the exam, the fee for reexamination is $950.

Exam Cancellation Fees

  • 0 – 30 days before the exam: no refund
  • 31 days or more prior to the exam date: 50% refund
  • No refunds of late fees
  • Rejected Applications: 75% refund

Note: Prior to submitting your application, please be certain that you meet the criteria to apply.

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The Geriatric Psychiatry Subspecialty Certification Exam is typically offered once annually via a remote proctored exam format. The application period opens six months prior to the exam. Upon successful completion of the application process, the AOBNP will advise applicants via email of acceptance to take the exam.

The first application deadline will be 60 days prior to the first date of the exam administration window. The final deadline will be 30 days prior to the exam administration window.

All candidates requesting exam accommodations must submit their requests at the time of application and by the final application deadline (30 days prior to the exam).

Exam Content

The Geriatric Psychiatry Subspecialty Certification Exam measures the knowledge, skills and judgment of osteopathic psychiatrists who have been properly trained and are experienced geriatric psychiatrists.

The examination is three hours with one scheduled 10-minute break. Please note the exam clock will resume after the scheduled break even if you have not returned.

Topics will include managing patients in a variety of clinical settings, including ambulatory, inpatient, assisted living and long- term care; the unique interplay of aging physiology and pharmacology; and skills in the diagnosis and management of aging-related mental health problems, including dementia, late-life depression, late-life schizophrenia, delirium and the sequela of iatrogenesis.

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.