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Exam Policies

The written examinations are evaluated and revised each year to keep current with new information and developments. All exam are the sole property of the AOBR and are copyrighted with the United States Copyright Office. Applicants are not permitted to review past examinations or questions.

Exam Scoring

All AOBR examinations are criterion-referenced and are constructed of items representative of the set of knowledge, skills, and abilities considered important to the profession. Candidate scores represent a level of mastery relative to this set of knowledge, skills, and abilities and not a simple percentage of any random set of items on the examination.

There are no fixed percentage requirements to pass the exams. Instead, candidates must be able to demonstrate excellence by answering correctly those items that are minimally at or near the aforementioned passing point. All candidates are held to the same high level of content mastery year after year.

Exam results will be mailed to candidates within eight weeks of the exam. No results will be given over the phone.

Right to Appeal

If a candidate feels that the actions of the AOBR with regard to the examination constitute unequal application of the regulations and requirements or standards, unwarranted discrimination, prejudice, unfairness or improper conduct of the examination, he or she has the right to appeal to this Board. The AOBR will not consider appeals based on examination content, sufficiency or accuracy of answers given to examination questions, scoring of the examination, scoring of answers to individual questions, and/or the determination of the minimum passing score.

To appeal, a candidate must submit an Appeal Request Form within two hours of the exam explaining the basis for the appeal. Appeal Forms will be provided to all candidates before the exam begins. Appeals submitted after the two-hour deadline will be denied.

Appeals submitted within the deadline will be considered by the AOBR Appeal Committee. A majority vote of the Committee will determine whether the AOBR accepts or denies the appeal. Candidates will be advised by the AOBR of the Appeal Committee’s decision by certified mail.

If the Appeal Committee accepts an appeal, the candidate’s exam will not be scored or recorded, and he or she has the right to a new examination at the next scheduled exam date at no additional application or examination fee. If for any reason the candidate does not retake the exam, the appeal will be considered null and void.

If an appeal is denied by the AOBR, the candidate retains the right to appeal to the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (BOS) and AOA Board of Trustees.

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 AOBR board certification process.

Code of Conduct: Irregular or Improper Behavior

Because of the AOA’s commitment to the high level of confidentiality and integrity of our certifying board examinations, board examination results and questions of improper conduct are reviewed by board members. Improper behavior, including but not limited to, giving, receiving, or otherwise obtaining unauthorized information or assistance, looking at or utilizing the test material of others, taking notes, failing to comply with computer site staff instructions, talking with other candidates or other disruptive behavior will be considered cause for review of conduct and a possible violation of the certification process. Candidates must not discuss the examination while the session is in progress. Candidates must not disclose the contents of the examination to others or reproduce the examination or any portion of the examination in any manner, including without limitation reconstruction through memorization, electronic means, or dictation. All AOA examinations are copyrighted and protected by federal law. The above policies apply to all examinations administered by any AOA specialty certifying board.

It is a criminal offense to copy or reproduce any portion of the certifying examinations. Each board will monitor examinations for irregular or improper behavior by direct observation, statistical analysis, and by other means. Irregular or improper behavior will constitute grounds for invalidation of the candidate’s examination and each board reserves the right to invoke other sanctions, such as exclusion from future examinations, revocation of board certification, and reporting misconduct to censing bodies or law enforcement agencies.