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Nearly 1,700 ABO diplomates helped to pilot the new Quarterly Questions program in 2017. We're pleased to report that 98.7% of participants who completed the activity said they would recommend the Quarterly Questions program to a colleague.

Improving Patient Care

85% of Quarterly Questions participants said the information they learned while completing the activity would help them provide better care to their patients in the future.

Staying Current

93% of Quarterly Questions participants said the program helped them stay current in ophthalmology.

Learning New, Emerging Information

94% of Quarterly Questions participants said the article-based questions were useful for learning new, emerging information.

Quarterly Questions

Unsure which assessment you should take? Click here for guidance.

Quarterly Questions™

Successfully piloted in 2017, Quarterly Questions is an exam alternative program designed to assess the knowledge of practicing ophthalmologists. The program uses a longitudinal assessment model where a pass/fail decision is made on diplomate performance over time. As of 2019, Quarterly Questions will replace the DOCK Examination for all diplomates.

About Quarterly Questions

The Quarterly Questions program assesses fundamental ("walking around") knowledge needed in the everyday practice of ophthalmology as well as the application of knowledge from five journal articles. Fundamental knowledge questions, based on the things ophthalmologists see and do every day, do not require preparation in advance. However, a content outline for these questions is available. The journal portion requires reading five articles from a list of 33 options.

How it Works

  • During the transition to Quarterly Questions, participation requirements vary based on the expiration date of your certification. Start here for guidance on your Quarterly Questions participation.
  • No registration is required. Access the Quarterly Questions platform via computer, tablet, or mobile device at
  • The ABO makes a total of 50 new questions available to each diplomate per year (40 knowledge questions and 10 article-based questions). The content is divided into quarterly segments.
    • In Quarters 1 and 2, choose the 20-question subspecialty subject that's most appropriate for you based on your area of practice focus. In addition to subspecialty content, you will see five core ophthalmology questions in both quarters.
    • For Quarter 3, select five articles from 33 options and answer 10 questions.
    • Quarter 4 is presently a "catch-up period" that provides time for you to finish any unanswered questions.
  • Answer each knowledge question, without the use of outside resources, within one minute. Questions can be answered one at a time, in small batches, or all in one sitting.
  • Article-based questions are timed at five minutes and may be re-attempted once if the initial answer is incorrect.  
  • Review instant feedback on question-by-question performance and track how your score compares to the diplomate community. Commentary includes the rationale and references for each question along with relevant learning resources for further study.
  • Scoring is based on meeting the annual passing standard a set number of times
  • Claim 7.5 CME credits* for every year of successful Quarterly Questions participation.

Scoring Details

Each year, a psychometrically-validated standard setting method will be used to determine the passing standard (cut score) for that year's knowledge-based questions (article questions are scored separately). The passing standards may be different each year to account for differences in difficulty in the questions. To successfully complete Quarterly Questions, a diplomate must score at or above the average passing standard for five years (200 non-article based questions. Diplomates whose certificates expire prior to 2020 complete 150 questions or meet the standard for three years.) The passing standard for the 2018 Quarterly Questions is 60% correct.

*Accreditation Statement

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and The American Board of Ophthalmology. The American Academy of Ophthalmology is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology designates this enduring material for a maximum of 7.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The 2017 Participation Incentive

To encourage early adoption and participation in Quarterly Questions, the ABO is offering all 2018 DOCK Examination test-takers the opportunity to substitute meaningful engagement in the 2017 Quarterly Questions activity for the core module of the DOCK. The 2017 questions will remain accessible throughout 2018. To meet the meaningful engagement requirements:

  • Answer all 50 questions in the 2017 activity
  • Score at least 40% correct or better on all questions

Special Accommodations

The ABO complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to mitigate the effects of an ADA-qualifying disability on the testing activity. To accommodate individuals with disabilities, the ABO will make reasonable modifications to its examinations that do not fundamentally alter the requirements of the examination or the measurement of the skills or knowledge the ABO examinations are intended to test. Click here to review the ABO's ADA policy and download the accommodation request form.

Additional Resources