Written Exam


The following training requirements must be completed before a candidate may sit for the Remote Exam for subspecialty certification in Neonatology:

  • Hold active pediatrics certification through the American Osteopathic Board of Pediatrics (AOBP).
  • Complete AOA-approved or ACGME-accredited subspecialty fellowship training.
  • Update fellowship training status with AOA Postdoctoral Education.
    • Candidates in their final year may sit for the examination, but AOA Certification will not be granted until the candidate has graduated from their fellowship and has received verification of their completed AOA Training.
  • Conform to the AOA Code of Ethics.


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

Exam Fees

An exam fee of $1,700 must be submitted with your completed application. No application will be considered complete until all fees have been paid.

Applications for the spring Neonatology Remote Exam must be submitted by Feb. 1 to avoid incurring a $300 late fee. If you submit your application less than 30 days before the exam date, the late fee increases to $800. No applications will be accepted one week before the exam date.

All cancellations must be made in writing at least 15 full days before the examination date. Candidates who cancel an exam will have the examination fee refunded, less a $300 processing fee.

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The Neonatology Remote Exam is offered every spring. To learn more, contact the AOBP at aobp@osteopathic.org.

Exam Content Outline

The Neonatology Remote Exam tests the knowledge and understanding of basic science and clinical knowledge, skills and principles critical to the practice of Neonatology. The exam uses a multiple choice format to evaluate academic knowledge in the following areas:

Subspecialty Certification: Neonatology
  1. Maternal-fetal medicine
  2. Asphyxia and resuscitation
  3. Cardiovascular
  4. Respiratory
  5. Genetics/dysmorphism
  6. Nutrition/water/salt
  7. Nephrology
  8. Endocrine/metabolic/thermal
  9. Immunology/hematology/oncology
  10. Infectious diseases
  11. Gastroenterology
  12. Bilirubin
  13. Skin disorders
  14. Neurology/development/behavior
  15. Ear, eyes, nose, throat, mouth and neck
  16. Basic principles of pharmacology
  17. Practicing evidence-based health care
  18. Health services delivery/ethical issues/family counseling
  • 7%
  • 7%
  • 10%
  • 12%
  • 7%
  • 10%
  • 2%
  • 6%
  • 7%
  • 7%
  • 4%
  • 2%
  • 1%
  • 9%
  • 1%
  • 1%
  • 5%
  • 2%

Exam Number of Questions and Timing

Neonatology Primary Exam will consist of 300 items with a time requirement of 420 minutes. The AOBP recommends taking the scheduled breaks. No one is permitted to leave the examination during unscheduled break times.

  • Remote Security Check-In
  • Items 1-75 (approximately 90 minutes with 10 minute break)
  • Items 76-150 (approximately 90 minutes with 30 minute lunch break)
  • Items 151-225 (approximately 90 minutes with 10 minute break)
  • Items 226-300 (approximately 90 minutes)
  • Survey – Completion

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.

Rescoring of Examinations

Candidates may request that the AOBP psychometrician manually review the computer scoring of the exam. Requests for review of the remote exam must be submitted in writing to AOBP at aobp@osteopathic.org within 30 days of receiving exam results. If the request is for an oral exam, the appeals must be submitted within two hours from the completion of the oral exam process.

Exam Failure

Candidates who do not pass any certifying examination may apply for reexamination and must take the exam on the next available date. The reexamination fee is identical to the examination fee. The certification exam can be taken yearly until board eligibility expires. Candidates who do not succeed in becoming certified by the end of the first re-entry into the certification process must petition the AOBP in order to enter the final certification pathway.