Subspecialty Certifying Exam
The Certifying Exam is the second examination step toward earning your voluntary board certification in any ABOG subspecialty.
For specifics relative to the certifying exam application process and other important information that applies to any one of the four subspecialties, select from any of the tabbed items on this page.
- Applications will be accepted online at ABOG.org beginning May 1, 2018. Late fees apply for applications received after May 31, 2018.
- The final day applications are accepted is June 29, 2018. Applications received after this deadline will not be processed.
- You must pay the application fee by credit card through the ABOG website at the time of application. The application fee is not refundable.
- Be sure to supply an accurate email address as part of the application process. Please notify ABOG of any change in this address, as the approval (or not) to sit for the certifying exam will be sent to you at the email address provided.
- During the application process, a Verification of Hospital Privileges Form will print automatically. This form must be signed and faxed to the ABOG office.
- Following submission of the online application form, payment of the appropriate fee, and receipt of the Verification of Hospital Privileges Form, your application will be considered in accordance with the requirements in effect for that year.
- If your application is approved, an email will be sent with instructions for submitting the case lists and thesis. The exam fee must be paid at this time. The case list won't be accepted unless the exam fee is paid in full by credit card.
- If full payment of the exam fee is not received by Sept. 28, 2018, for the 2019 exam, you won't be scheduled, and no fees will be refunded.
- Once ABOG has all necessary materials and all fees paid, you'll receive an Authorization for Admission Form posted on your personal ABOG webpage at least one month prior to the date of the exam. This contact will indicate the date of your exam, the time and place to report, and hotel information.
- After applying, you should log into your ABOG Personal Page to begin case list collection by clicking on the Case List Entry button under the Certifying Exam box. You should also click on the Thesis Affidavit Form to print the acceptable affidavit form.
- Each year ABOG notifies the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the names and addresses of the Diplomates who have been certified in the course of that year.
- As a condition for acceptance as a candidate for certification as an ABOG Diplomate, you are required at the time of the Certifying Exam to sign an irrevocable waiver authorizing the dissemination of your certification status without limitation or condition.
Please note the additional following points:
- ABOG also provides de-identified data to fellowship programs and to the ACGME about fellowship program pass rates to be used as a criterion to evaluate the effectiveness of program training.
- ABOG, SMFM, ACOG, AMA and ABMS, on request, also make this information available to the public, including, but not limited to, hospitals, agencies of government, insurers and lay persons.
- ABOG may use the results of certification examinations for research purposes and may publish the results of the research.
You will be informed of the time and place of the registration process for the examination when you receive information concerning your assigned examination date. If you are late for registration, you will not be allowed to sit for the examination. Following registration, an orientation to the examination will be provided. After the orientation, you will be taken to the ABOG testing center. At the end of the examination, you will be returned to the registration area.
Exam Format and Examiners
You will be assigned an examination room and will remain in that room for the 3 hours of the examination. You will be informed of the names of the 6 examiners who will conduct their examination. If you believe that one or more examiners would be inappropriate to provide you with a fair test, an alternate examiner will be provided.
Each pair of examiners will award a grade in their area, but the final grade will be decided by members of the ABOG Board of Directors after reviewing all of the information from the examination. The examination will be conducted in English.
You may not take any electronic devices into the examination. This includes, but is not limited to:
- cellular phones
- all devices that can record
- Apple Watch and similar devices
If you are found to have an electronic device in an examination room, the test will be halted immediately and you will receive no grade for the examination. In addition, all fees will be forfeit.
You will not be allowed to take copies of your case lists into the examination. The examiners will choose cases from the submitted electronic case list and display them on the monitor.
At the time of application for the examination, and again at the time the test is taken, you will be required to agree to the following. You will not be allowed to sit for the Certifying Examination unless you agree to these terms:
- I understand that all ABOG test materials are copyrighted, and that it is illegal to disclose the content of the examination in whole or in part to any individual, organization, or business. Furthermore, I understand that if I provide the information to any such entity I may be prosecuted under the US Copyright laws.
- I understand that if I divulge the content of the Certifying Examination in whole or in part to any individual, organization, or business, my test result, if any, will be negated and I will not be allowed to re-apply for the examination for a minimum of 3 years. Furthermore, if I had been awarded Diplomate status, such status will be withdrawn.
- I understand that I may not record any portion of the Certifying Examination by any means in whole or in part, and a violation will be treated as outlined in numbers 1 and 2 above.
- I understand that I may not memorize or attempt to memorize any portion of the Certifying Examination for the purpose of transmitting such material to any individual, organization, or business.
Additional information about test security can be found on the ABOG website under “Policies.”
Beginning in calendar year 2020, all physicians who have completed an ABOG- or ACGME-accredited fellowship in one of the four subspecialties must achieve ABOG subspecialty certification within 8 years of completion of their training.
If certification is not achieved within 8 years, you're no longer eligible to apply for either the qualifying or certifying subspecialty exams unless 6 months of supervised practice is completed. This means that if you completed subspecialty training in calendar year 2012 or earlier, you must be subspecialty certified by 2020, or you will be required to complete 6 months of supervised practice before regaining eligibility to apply for certification.
If you fail to achieve subspecialty certification within 8 years of completion of an accredited subspecialty fellowship program and then successfully complete 6 months of supervised practice, you must achieve subspecialty certification within 4 years of the completion of the supervised practice.
For complete details, read the policy about Regaining Eligibility.
Time Limits on Certification
All certificates issued by ABOG after 2008 are time-limited. For example, the certification of a Diplomate who successfully passes a subspecialty Certifying Exam in April 2018 will expire on December 31, 2019, unless all of the 2019 Maintenance of Certification (MOC) assignments have been successfully completed. Applications for the 2019 MOC process will be available online beginning in January 2019.