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Written Exam


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

  • Be a graduate of a COCA-accredited college of osteopathic medicine or an LCME accredited medical school in the U.S. or Canada.
    • Physicians who graduated from a medical school outside of the U.S. or Canada are also eligible if they hold a valid certificate, without expired examination dates, from the ECFMG.
  • Satisfactorily complete a one-year internship in an AOA-approved or ACGME-accredited training program training program.
  • Satisfactorily complete, or be in their fourth year of, four years of AOA-approved or ACGME-accredited training in radiation oncology (three years if training was started prior to July 1, 1999). Training should be completed in a single program; if the candidate transfers from one program to another, this must be approved by the AOBR.
  • Have AOBR approval of all completed training.
  • Hold an active license to practice in a U.S. state or territory or Canada.
  • Adhere to the AOA Code of Ethics.

Candidates are eligible to take the Radiation Oncology written exam in their third year of training or at any exam administration after.

Candidates who have passed the Radiation Oncology Written Exam are eligible to take the Radiation Oncology Oral/Practical Exam during their fourth year of training, or at any examination following training as long as they are still board eligible.


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

  • A completed application
  • Examination fee


Exam Fees

The fee for the Radiation Oncology Written Examination is $800.

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The Radiation Oncology Written Exam is offered in June of every year. The application period opens Dec. 1, and applications are due Feb. 1. For a list of currently scheduled exam dates, please visit our Important Dates page.

Exam Content Outline

The Radiation Oncology Written Exam consists of three parts and is given in one session: Part I-Radiobiology, Part II-Physics and Part III-Clinical. Part I and Part II are offered in the morning and Part III is offered in the afternoon. The exam includes both multiple choice and true/false questions.

The exam format is as follows:

Subspecialty Certification
Part I – Radiobiology 70 questions 1 ½ hours
Part II – Physics 70 questions 1 ½ hours
Part III – Clinical 110 questions 1 ½ hours

Topics include the following:

  • Radiobiology
  • Physics
  • Clinical
  • Gastrointestinal Tract
  • Gynecological Malignancies
  • Genitourinary Tract
  • Lymphoma/Leukemia
  • Head, Neck and Skin
  • Breast
  • Central Nervous System and Pediatric Malignancies
  • Lung And Mediastinum, Soft Tissue and Bone

Exam Failure

Candidates will have three consecutive opportunities to pass the Radiation Oncology Written Exam. A candidate failing two or three parts of the written exam must repeat the entire exam at the next consecutive exam. If after three opportunities a candidate fails to pass at least two of the examinations at a single sitting, he/she must submit a new application, fee and appropriate documentation in effect at that time and will be required to repeat all three sections of the written examinations. Failure to accept an appointment, cancellation of an appointment or failure to appear for a scheduled examination will be regarded as one of the three opportunities.

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.