OSTEOPATHIC BOARD CERTIFICATION

Component 3: Cognitive Assessment

Overview

To complete Component 3 requirements for Osteopathic Continuous Certification in the primary specialties of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology/Facial Plastic Surgery, a physician must pass a written examination once per 10-year OCC cycle.

Exam Process

The AOBOO-HNS offers OCC written exams in the primary specialties of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology/Facial Plastic Surgery, as well as the subspecialty of Otolaryngic Allergy. Exams are offered twice each year in the spring and fall. Physicians may apply to take the exam three years prior to the expiration date of their certificate.

For physicians holding time-dated certification, failure to successfully complete the OCC process will result in the loss of certification when their current certification expires.

For physicians with non-time-limited (non-dated, non-expiring) certifications, OCC participation is not required, although they may elect to do so voluntarily.

Ophthalmology OCC Exam Content

The two-hour Ophthalmology OCC Exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions on the following topics:

  • External Disease and Cornea
  • Fundamental Principles of Ophthalmology, General Medicine, Anesthesia
  • Glaucoma
  • Intraocular Inflammation and Uveitis
  • Lens and Cataract
  • Neuro-Ophthalmology
  • Optics, Refraction and Contact Lenses
  • Orbit, Eyelids, Lacrimal System
  • Pathology and Tumors
  • Pediatrics and Strabismus
  • Retina and Vitreous

Otolaryngology/Facial Plastic Surgery Exam Content

The two-hour Otolaryngology/Facial Plastic Surgery OCC exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions on the following topics:

  • Allergy
  • Audiology
  • Congenital
  • External Ear
  • Facial Plastics
  • Head And Neck
  • Inner Ear
  • Laryngology
  • Mastoid
  • Middle Ear
  • Nasopharynx
  • Nose
  • OMT
  • Oncology
  • Otolaryngology
  • Otology
  • Pediatric
  • Physiology
  • Recertification
  • Reconstructive
  • Rhinology
  • Saliva/Endocrine
  • Sinus
  • Sinusitis
  • Skull Base

Applications and Payment

The OCC Cognitive Assessment exam can be taken within three years of your certification’s expiration date.

Applications received after the deadline will be assessed a $600 late fee. No applications will be accepted after the final posted deadline.

Please note: If an application is withdrawn after the examination date, candidates will not be able to cancel their exam without forfeiting payment.

OCC Exam Fees
EXAM Type Fee
OCC Cognitive Assessment Exam Fee $2,000
OCC Late Application Fee $600

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 200-800-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

Diplomates failing the written examination will subsequently receive a deficiency report.

For physicians holding time-dated certification, failure to successfully complete the OCC process will result in the loss of certification when their current certification expires.

Compliance With Federal Regulations

The Board supports the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for candidates who meet ADA eligibility. The board will make a reasonable effort to provide qualified board candidates who have documented disabilities the necessary auxiliary aids and services that do not fundamentally alter the measurement of the skills or knowledge the board assessment process is intended to test or result in an undue burden.

The Board supports the intent of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for all patients or patient records that may be used as part of any part of the AOBOO-HNS board certification process.