Founded in 1916, the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABOp) is an independent, nonprofit organization responsible for certifying ophthalmologists (eye physicians and surgeons) in the United States. The ABOp was the first in the nation to certify medical specialists and is one of 24 specialty Boards recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties and the American Medical Association. The ABOp’s mission is to serve the public by certifying ophthalmologists through the verification of competencies.
Certification is granted to ophthalmologists who meet a series of accredited medical training requirements in ophthalmology, sign a practice pledge indicating their intent to practice with compassion, integrity, and respect for human dignity, and complete an intensive two-part evaluation process, which includes the Written Qualifying Examination.
Written Qualifying Examination
The Written Qualifying Examination (WQE) is a 250 multiple-choice question examination designed to evaluate the breadth and depth of the basic science and clinical knowledge of candidates who have satisfactorily completed an accredited program of education in ophthalmology. The standards for passing the WQE are set by the ABOp.
Before scheduling an examination appointment, you must have already:
- Completed all preliminary training requirements;
- Registered on the ABOp website as a WQE candidate;
- Submitted the full examination registration fee to the ABOp.
If you are unsure about the status of your application, please contact the ABOp directly.
The WQE will be administered at nationally-distributed Pearson VUE test centers on Saturday, October 9, 2021 in a five-hour testing period that includes a tutorial and break time. You may select the time and location of your testing appointment.
To schedule, please follow the instructions on your Candidate Status page on the ABOp website.
- Appointments may be scheduled up to two business days in advance.
- After you schedule your test, Pearson VUE will send a confirmation letter listing your test date, your testing time, the address and phone number of the test center, and directions to the test center.
- Your examination results will NOT be available at the test center. Examination results are provided to you by the ABOp within 4-6 weeks following the examination.
On the Testing Date
Arrive at the test center 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. This will give you adequate time to complete the necessary sign-in procedures. Please be prepared to show one form of government issued ID, have your digital photo taken and provide a digital signature. If you arrive more than 15 minutes late for your appointment, you may be refused admission and forfeit the exam attempt and any applicable fees.
Non-Disclosure and Code of Conduct Agreement
At the start of your exam, you must read and accept the terms of the ABOp Non-Disclosure Agreement onscreen before continuing with the exam. You will have five (5) minutes to select Accept or Decline. Please review the terms of the ABOp Non-Disclosure Agreement (65 KB PDF) now so you are fully prepared to either Accept or Decline the NDA within the 5 minute window. This is the same Non-Disclosure Agreement that you have already agreed to when you registered to test with ABOp.
On the day of testing, you will also be asked to sign the Pearson VUE Candidate Rules Agreement.
If you require accommodations to take your WQE, you must contact ABOp directly to determine next steps. Please do not schedule your appointment until your accommodations have been approved. Click on the link below to get started.
Policy & Procedures for Testing Accommodations for Exam Takers with Disabilities »