Written Qualifying Examination

About the Examination

The first of two assessments in the initial certification process, the Written Qualifying Examination (WQE) is a 250 multiple-choice-question examination designed to evaluate the breadth and depth of your basic science and clinical knowledge.

The ABO administers the WQE once annually in the fall at Pearson Vue Testing Centers nationwide. Procedures for this examination can be found in the Candidate Manual. We strongly encourage you to review this manual first, then visit our Preparing for the WQE page for sample questions and an examination tutorial.

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After passing the WQE, you will be invited to register for the Oral Examination, which will ask you to apply the medical knowledge you've demonstrated on the WQE to simulated clinical cases and patient scenarios.

As you plan your path to board certification, please keep in mind that the Board Eligibility Policy requires successful completion all board certification requirements (written and oral examination) within seven years of residency graduation.