Quarterly Questions FAQs


Program Framework

What is Quarterly Questions?

Quarterly Questions is a new assessment program successfully piloted in 2017 and adopted for use in 2018. By 2019, all diplomates will transition to the Quarterly Questions program. Participation in the program is NOT required quarterly—it varies based on certification expiration date. The Quarterly Questions name is used because new batches of questions are made available on a quarterly basis.

Does this replace the current DOCK Examination?

Yes. Please refer to this tool for information on how your certification expiration date determines your participation in the program.

Is there subspecialty content?

Yes. Although questions from the 2017 pilot year assess core knowledge only; you will choose your preferred subspecialty content from 2018 forward.

Is there an additional fee to participate?

No. Diplomates will not be charged additional fees to participate in Quarterly Questions. In fact, the value of the CME awarded for successful completion of one year’s worth of questions (7.5 CME credits) exceeds the annual cost of recertification by $175.

How do I register?

Registration is not necessary. Visit your MOC Status Page or visit questions.abop.org.

Will I receive CME/SACME credits?

Yes, up to 7.5 CME/SACME credits are offered annually for successful completion of the activity in 2017 and 2018. The 2019 program will carry 8 CME/SACME credits. This requires scoring at least 80% correct or better on the article-based section of the activity.

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.

How many questions do I have to answer?

Program completion is determined based on meeting the annual passing standard the required number of times, not on answering a specific number of questions. To complete the entire Quarterly Questions program for your MOC cycle, you must accumulate 3-5 annual passing scores based on the expiration date of your ABO certificate:

  • If your ABO certificate expires on or before December 31, 2020, you will need to meet the annual passing standard for Quarterly Questions 3 times before the expiration date.
  • If your ABO certificate expires on or after December 31, 2021, you will need to meet the annual passing standard for Quarterly Questions 5 times before the expiration date.

Click here for more help determining your requirements.

How do I let the ABO know of feedback I have for the program?

There is a feedback page built into the platform. Additionally, surveys will be sent intermittently soliciting feedback. Comments may be sent at any time to QuarterlyQuestions@abop.org.

How do I get started?

Log in to your MOC Status Page and scroll to the Quarterly Questions link or visit questions.abop.org.


Eligibility & Participation

Who is eligible to participate?

All diplomates are eligible to participate in Quarterly Questions. See this page for instructions based on the expiration of your current certificate.

I am a permanent certification holder. Can I participate in the program?

Yes, all diplomates are eligible to participate in Quarterly Questions. Participation for permanent certificate holders requires a $200 annual fee.

What if I would rather take the DOCK examination?

If you are eligible, you can take the DOCK Examination before December 1, 2018. After 2018, the DOCK Examination will no longer be offered and all diplomates will transition to Quarterly Questions.

What if I just took the DOCK Examination?

If you have already passed the DOCK Examination within your current MOC cycle, then you have met the assessment requirement and will not need to begin Quarterly Questions until your next 10-year cycle. See this page for more guidance based on the date your certificate expiration.

Do I have to participate every quarter?

No. Questions may be answered at your own pace. Participation is not required every year (requirements are based on your certificate expiration date); however, participants can claim CME for every year of successful completion.


Answering Questions

How many questions do I have to answer?

The length of your participation in the program is based on your certificate expiration date; it is not based on a total number of questions. To complete the entire Quarterly Questions program for your MOC cycle, you must accumulate 3-5 annual passing scores based on the expiration date of your ABO certificate:

  • If your ABO certificate expires on or before December 31, 2020, you will need to meet the annual passing standard for Quarterly Questions 3 times before the expiration date.
  • If your ABO certificate expires on or after December 31, 2021, you will need to meet the annual passing standard for Quarterly Questions 5 times before the expiration date.

What are the journal articles?

Diplomates will select 5 options from a curated list of peer-reviewed, "must-read" journal articles and answer 10 knolwedge application questions (2 questions per article).

How often will I receive the questions?

New questions will be available on the first day of quarters 1, 2, and 3. Quarter 4 serves as a "catch-up" period. It is not necessary to complete the questions as they are released; they may be answered at your own pace.

How will I know when new questions are available?

At the beginning of each quarter, diplomates will be sent an email notification to the email address on record indicating that new questions are available.

How often will reminder notifications be sent?

Diplomates will be sent a notification when questions are first available at the beginning of the quarter as well as a reminder 30 days, 1 week, and 1 day before the end of the quarter if there are unanswered questions remaining.

Do I have to answer all questions at once?

No. Questions may be answered your convenience. Questions may be answered one at a time, in small batches, or all in one sitting.

Where can I answer questions?

Diplomates can answer questions using any computer, tablet, or mobile device with internet access. This allows diplomates to answer questions at the time and place of their choosing. The ABO recommends selecting a quiet, distraction-free environment.

How much time am I given for each question?

You will have 1 minute to answer each knowledge-based question and 5 minutes to answer each article-based question. Two attempts are offered for each journal-based question.

Should I use resources to answer questions?

No. Questions are designed so that they should not require advance study, calculations, or the use of books or reference guides while answering. For article-based questions, thoroughly pre-reading your selected journal articles will serve as sufficient preparation.

May I consult with my colleagues while answering a question?

No, the program is designed as an independent activity.

Will the questions include graphics, videos, or audio recordings?

Yes. You may see images and graphics in the questions. The ABO is exploring the addition of videos and audio recordings as future enhancements.

Can I skip over a question and return to it later?

No. Once you start a question, the timer begins. All questions are scored.

Why am I being asked about confidence and relevance?

After answering each question, you will be asked to rate your level of confidence in selecting the correct answer and the relevance of the question to your practice. These ratings do not impact your score. However, we still need you to answer them honestly as they are important data points for evaluation and quality improvement. Eventually, the ABO hopes to provide you with information regarding what you answered and how confident you were in that knowledge. Relevance data will improve the quality and relevance of questions that are issued.

What happens if I do not answer my questions by the end of quarter?

Nothing. Questions may be answered at your own pace.

How do I let the ABO know about an issue or feedback I have for a particular question?

After answering a question and selecting confidence and relevance, diplomates will be taken to the question feedback page. At the bottom of this page there is a free text box where diplomates can provide feedback on the question.


The 1-Minute Timer

Why only 1 minute?

Questions are designed to assess “walking around knowledge” which does not require calculations, peer collaboration, or the use of outside resources. The 1-minute time limit best mimics the summative assessment environment that is designed to determine whether an individual possesses the knowledge required to answer each question without engaging in external assistance.

Will question times vary?

All knowledge questions are timed at 1 minute; article-based questions are timed at 5 minutes.

What happens if my time runs out on a specific question before I submit my answer?

If an answer is selected, that answer will count. If an answer is not selected, the question will be scored as incorrect.

Can I stop the timer during the question?

No. The timer does not stop once a question begins. However, questions may be answered one at a time, in small batches, or all in one setting based on diplomate preference.


Scoring & Performance Feedback

How is the Quarterly Questions program scored?

To earn a "pass" for a given year of questions, your score on the knowledge questions must meet or exceed the annual passing standard AND you must complete the article-based learning section in its entirety. To complete the entire Quarterly Questions program for your MOC cycle, you must accumulate 3-5 annual "passes" based on the expiration date of your ABO certificate:

  • If your ABO certificate expires on or before December 31, 2020, you will need to meet the annual passing standard for Quarterly Questions 3 times before the expiration date.
  • If your ABO certificate expires on or after December 31, 2021, you will need to meet the annual passing standard for Quarterly Questions 5 times before the expiration date.

The annual passing standard (or "cut score") is established using a psychometrically-validated standard setting method. Passing standards may be different from year to year to account for differences in difficulty level of the questions. The passing standard for the 2018 Quarterly Questions is 60% correct. .

What type of feedback will I get with regard to my performance?

You will see your raw score performance (i.e., total number of questions, number of questions answered correctly, and percentage of questions answered correctly) and performance as compared to peers.

How can I go back to review questions I have previously answered?

Previously answered questions are available on the dashboard under the Question History tab.


Participant Surveys

How many surveys will there be?

Periodically, the ABO will solicit participant feedback on the user experience. We appreciate your candid comments and suggestions.

How will I receive the surveys?

Surveys will be sent via email.


Technical/System Information

What are the system requirements for doing the questions on a desktop computer?

The platform is compatible with most common browsers including Google Chrome, Mozilla, and Internet Explorer. Diplomates will also need a reliable high-speed internet connection.

Can the questions be answered on a mobile device?

Yes. The platform is mobile and tablet friendly, but does not have a dedicated app.

What happens if I encounter technical difficulties while taking a question?

Diplomates who encounter technical difficulties should contact the ABO at QuarterlyQuestions@abop.org.