Written Exam


The following requirements must be completed before you may sit for the Written Exam for subspecialty certification in Sleep Medicine:

  • Hold primary certification from one of the AOA certifying boards that is active and in good standing.
  • Successful completion of a one-year AOA-recognized fellowship in sleep medicine, completed after July 1, 2009.
  • Hold a valid and active license to practice medicine in a U.S. state.


At the time of application, you must submit to the board:

  • A completed application
  • All required fees
  • Substantiation of your expertise in sleep medicine from the program director in your Sleep Medicine fellowship.

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The Sleep Medicine subspecialty certification exam is held once per year, generally every August. The application period opens in March, and applications are due July 1, with a final deadline of Aug. 1.

Exam Content Outline

The subspecialty in Sleep Medicine examination measures the knowledge, skills, and judgment of osteopathic physicians with expertise in sleep medicine. The Sleep Medicine exam is a 4.5-hour written examination consisting of 200 multiple-choice, single-answer questions taken from current literature, including journals, monographs, recent publications, and recognized texts.

Subspecialty Certification
Fundamentals of sleep 10-12%
Polysomnographic interpretation and scoring 15-17%
Technical aspects of operations of sleep lab 3-5%
Circadian rhythm disorders 5-7%
Insomnia 12-14%
Sleep center management, ethics, public policy 2-4%
Hypersomnia disorders 11-13%
Parasomnias 10-12%
Sleep related breathing disorders 15-17%
Sleep related movement disorders, Seizure 6-8%

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.