Dates & Deadlines

Upcoming Initial Certification Examinations

The American Board of Ophthalmology certification process requires the successful completion of two assessments following graduation from an accredited residency program: the Written Qualifying Examination (WQE), which is typically given once per year in the fall at testing centers around the country, and the Oral Examination, which is currently offered twice per year online. Upcoming exam administration dates and accompanying registration deadlines are listed below:

2022 Examinations

Exam Dates Offered Cost Registration Window Location
Written Qualifying Examination September 24 $1,950 Closed Pearson Vue Testing Centers
Oral Examination October 21, 22, & 23 $1,950 Closed Online

2023 Examinations

Exam Dates Offered Cost Registration Window Location
Oral Examination April 28, 29, & 30 $1,950 November 9 through December 15* Online
Written Qualifying Examination September 23 $1,950 April through July 1 Pearson Vue Testing Centers
Oral Examination October 20, 21, & 22 $1,950 November 9 through June 15* Online
*Registration is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration for each exam will close when candidate capacity is reached. Candidates are encouraged to register as early as possible for their preferred exams.

Registration Reminders

  • Registration for all exams is available on a first-come, first-served basis. If space is no longer available for an exam, it is your responsibility to seek out information about the next available registration window. If your email address is current, you will also receive a reminder.
  • Complete the online registration form on your Candidate Status Page; no paper applications are accepted.
  • Full payment is due at the time of registration. Active duty military service members may request reimbursement for 50% of paid exam fees by forwarding a copy of their receipt and proof of military status to the Board Office.
  • If you require special testing accommodations please submit your request in accordance with our accommodations procedures. Nursing mothers who anticipate needing accommodations should email the Board Office.
  • You are expected to check your Candidate Status Page periodically and keep your email address updated for important updates regarding your examination.

Scheduling Changes and Exam Cancellations

Administering a board certification examination requires a significant commitment on the part of the Board and our candidates. As such, we encourage you to carefully consider your future availability prior to registering for an examination and taking the steps necessary to ensure that you can appear for your exam as scheduled. In the event that an unanticipated issue requires you to change your plans, please consider the following policies:

Registered candidates who are Board Eligible may:

  • Withdraw prior to the registration deadline to receive a refund minus a $300 administration fee. To withdraw, email the Board Office.
  • Cancel after the registration deadline has passed but prior to the week of the exam. Doing so will forfeit 50% of the registration fee. You will be refunded the balance. Cancellations received within 7 days of the examination are fully non-refundable. To cancel, email the Board Office.
  • Reschedule a testing appointment for the WQE, as space allows, until 48 hours prior to the exam. Scheduling assignments for the Oral Exam cannot be changed.
Registered candidates who are no longer Board Eligible are also ineligible for refunds in any amount, regardless of the date of withdrawal or cancellation. Candidates who are not board eligible may reschedule their WQE, as space allows, until 48 hours before the examination. For more information, please consult the Board Eligibility Policy.