APPLIED (Staged Exams)

The APPLIED Examination, the third and final exam in the staged exams series, will include the traditional Standardized Oral Examination (SOE) and a new Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) component. It will be administered at the ABA Assessment Center in Raleigh, N.C. Beginning in 2018, candidates will be required to pass both components of the exam to become board certified. However, if one component of the exam is failed, the candidate will retake only that component.


Our Plan for the 2021 APPLIED Exams

We recognize that cancelling Weeks 2-7 of the APPLIED Exam was an additional source of stress during an already stressful time. We appreciate the significance of this exam and its impact on candidates’ professional advancement. Our plans bear this in mind as we balance maintaining the integrity of the exam and the safety of everyone involved in its administration. Our intention is to examine all 2020 and 2021 candidates by the end of 2021, if we can safely do so. Click here to see what you need to know about the 2021 APPLIED Exam administration.  


Standardized Oral Examination (SOE)

The SOE (formerly known as the Part 2 Examination) is designed to assess a candidate’s ability to demonstrate the attributes of a diplomate when managing patients presented in clinical scenarios. The attributes are sound judgment in decision making and management of surgical and anesthetic complications, appropriate application of scientific principles to clinical problems, adaptability to unexpected changes in the clinical situations, and logical organization and effective presentation of information. The exam is based on guided questions that include a brief clinical history of a patient and emphasizes the scientific rationale underlying clinical management decisions. The exam includes two 35-minute sessions with a 10-minute break in between.


Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

The OSCEs will assess two domains that may be difficult to evaluate in written or oral exams - communication and professionalism and technical skills related to patient care. Candidates will participate in a seven-station circuit that will evaluate their proficiency in the skills listed in the OSCE Content Outline. Each OSCE encounter will be eight minutes long with four minutes between stations to review the next scenario. The OSCE portion of the APPLIED Exam will take 84 minutes from start to finish.
In some exam rooms, candidates will interact with a standardized patient actor as part of the scenario. In others, they will interact directly with an examiner, but examiners will not be in most exam rooms. Instead, the sessions will be recorded for grading purposes.


Who will take the OSCEs?

  • Candidates who complete residency training on or after Oct. 1, 2016, will be required to pass both the SOE and the OSCE to satisfy the APPLIED Examination requirement.
  • Candidates who complete residency training between June 30 and Sept. 30, 2016, (current CA-3 residents) will not be required to take the OSCE component of the APPLIED Examination. They will only be required to pass the SOE component to satisfy the APPLIED Examination requirement.