Summary of Changes Relating to Oral Exam Re-Takes and Deadline

  1. Commencing in May 2017, one session of the oral examination is devoted to questioning on a candidate’s own cases.

  2. Cases used in the examination (typically 5-8) are selected from the 150 cases that the candidate has submitted as part of the application/credentialing process.

  3. Candidates who fail the oral examination (regardless of which session(s) the candidate failed), and who seek to re-take the examination have an option with respect to the session of the oral exam re-take devoted to questioning on the candidate’s own cases:  (a) they may elect to be questioned on cases from their initially submitted case data; or (b) they can elect to submit 75 new consecutive cases, from which the ABNS will select the 5-8 cases that will be used in the re-take of the oral examination.

  4. If the candidate elects to be questioned on his or her initially submitted case data, the cases selected for the re-take will be different from the cases selected in the initial examination.

  5. If the candidate elects to submit new cases, the cases must be submitted in the same manner as the original data, and they must be consecutive cases.  The date of the first case can be any time the candidate chooses, so long as it is not more than 12 months prior to the date the candidate last failed the oral examination.  (Thus, for example, if the candidate failed the oral examination in November 2017, the date of the first case of the new data submission cannot be earlier than November 2016).  The submission is subject to audit and if the ABNS discovers that the cases were not consecutive or the data submitted is inaccurate, the candidate may be permanently excluded from the certification process.  If the candidate selects this option, the cases will again be reviewed as in the original credentialing process and must be approved prior to scheduling the candidate for re-taking the oral examination.

  6. If the candidate fails a second time, he or she will again have the option in the second re-take of having the ABNS select cases for the examination from the same data set that was used to select cases for the first re-take, or to submit 75 new cases.

  7. Notwithstanding these changes, the following deadlines still apply:  (a) the candidate must successfully complete the entire certification process within 7 years of completing residency (except that if residency is completed on June 20, for example, the candidate has until December 31, of the 7th year to compete the process); (b) applications for re-taking the oral examination must be submitted within 18 months of the date the candidate took the examination that he or she failed; (c) candidates must be scheduled to actually re-take the oral examination no later than two years from the date the candidate took the examination that he or she failed.  It remains the case that after three failures of the oral examination, a candidate is no longer in the certification process and must start the entire process anew if he or she wishes to become certified.

  8. As a result of the above deadlines, it may not be possible for a candidate to submit new case data for both a second and third examination within the required timeframes unless the candidate is very aggressive about submitting the oral examination applications as soon as possible and beginning the case collection process as soon as possible.

  9. As a result of the new process and the above deadlines, and to give candidates the greatest opportunity to take the oral examination with new cases three times (where applicable) within the mandated timeframes, the ABNS is changing the deadline for submission of the initial application for oral examination.  For all candidates who complete residency on or after June 30, 2017, the deadline of submission is now December 31st of the calendar year that is three (3) years following the completion of his or her residency training (e.g., a candidate who completed his or her residency training on June 30, 2017 would be required to submit a completed application no later than December 31, 2020).  This is a change from the previous deadline, which was December 31st of the calendar year that was four (4) years following the completion of a candidate’s residency training.  Candidates who completed residency prior to June 30, 2017 are still subject to the four (4) year deadline.

  10. Candidates are urged to be diligent and to submit their completed application (with all elements, including case data) as soon as possible after the completion of residency.  For most candidates, it should be possible to submit completed applications within 24-30 months following residency.

  11. Please also review carefully the page on this website titled “New Deadlines for Submission” which gives additional information on the submission deadlines and requests for extensions.