Written Exam


To be eligible for certification in Neurology, candidates must meet the criteria below:

  • Be a graduate of a COCA-accredited college of osteopathic medicine.
  • Satisfactorily complete a one-year internship in an AOA-approved training program.
  • Satisfactorily complete three years of AOA-approved training in neurology, child neurology, or a combination of the two.
  • Successfully sit for and pass all sections of the certification examination.
  • Practice in the specialty should be a minimum of 75% of your total clinical time.
  • Hold an unrestricted license to practice in a state or territory.
  • Adhere to the AOA Code of Ethics.


At the time of application, you must submit the following to the AOBNP:

  • Completed application.
  • Copy of your diploma from a COCA-accredited college of osteopathic medicine.
  • Certificate of internship or letter from program director stating you satisfactorily completed an AOA-approved internship.
  • Certificate of residency (if completed). If not yet completed, a letter from Residency Director certifying that you are within six months of completing training.
    • If you completed an ACGME residency, you must include a letter from the American College of Osteopathic Neurologists and Psychiatrists (ACONP) stating that approval of your residency is pending with the AOA. Contact the ACONP.
  • Copy of your current state medical license.
  • One passport photo or copy of a government-issued ID, i.e. driver’s license, passport.

Exam Fees

An application fee of $1650 must be submitted with your completed application. This covers the non-refundable $350 application fee and $1300 written exam fee. No application will be considered complete until all fees have been paid.

No amount of the examination fee paid shall be returned after the application has been processed.

If an applicant fails any part of the exam, the fee for re-examination is $1200.

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The Neurology Written Exam is offered once a year at Pearson Vue. The application period usually opens in September, and applications are due by Feb. 10. Upon successful completion of the application process, the AOBNP will advise applicants via email of acceptance to take the exam.

Exam Content Outline

The written exam consists of 300 multiple-choice, single-answer questions in a pass/fail format. All questions are evenly weighted and the examination is subjected to conventional psychometric analysis using accepted modern methods of key validation and item scoring. The total examination time is six hours and will be proctored. No questions pertaining to exam content are allowed during the examination.

AOBNP – Neurology Table of Specifications Approved for Feb. 22 – 28, 2021
Primary Certification
Content area CONTENT area PERCENT
Neuromuscular Disease 10%
Headaches 5%
Epilepsy/Sleep Disorders 10%
Movement Disorders 5%
Vascular Disease 10%
Metabolic/Autoimmune/Toxic Disease 6%
Psychiatry for the Neurologist 13%
Child Neurology 7%
Neuroimaging 3%
Neurosciences 11%
Osteopathic Principles 3%
Neurological Trauma/CNS Infect Diseases 4%
Neurogenerative Disorders 10%
CNS/PNS Neoplasms 3%
AOBNP – Neurology Table of Specifications Approved for Exams Administered After Feb. 2021
Primary Certification
Content area CONTENT area PERCENT
Neuroimaging 5%
Neurodiagnostics 5%
Child Neurology 5%
Psychiatry for Neuro 6%
Metabolic Encephalopathy 5%
CNS Demyelinating Disease 6%
Vascular Disease 6%
Movement Disorders 6%
Seizure Disorders 5%
Sleep Disorders 5%
Headaches 6%
Neuromuscular Disorders 6%
CNS/PNS Neoplasms 5%
Neuro generative Disorders 7%
Neurological Trauma 6%
CNS Infectious Diseases 5%
Spinal Disorders 6%
Musculoskeletal 4%
Osteopathic Principles 1%

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 fail an exam will be advised of their weakness in failed area(s) and may, upon payment of the re-examination fee, repeat the examination the following year.

There is no limit on the number of times an applicant may apply to take the written exam during the six-year board eligibility period. Candidates can petition for an extension or reapply for board eligibility if this time has already lapsed.

Applicants who fail to sit for the examination they have registered for will be required to submit a new application and pay the full fee for the next examination. Candidates who are unable to sit for their scheduled exam due to an emergency should contact the Board within 30 days of the exam to be given consideration of waiving the reapplication process and fees for the next exam.