Maintain Certification

Continuous Qualification Exam (CQE)

The Continuous Qualification Exam (CQE) Examination is a paper and pencil exam offered annually in Philadelphia. The examination provides a pathway for diplomates to re-enter the MOC program and become eligible to participate in the Continuous Assessment Program (CAP).  The CQE is required for diplomates participating in CAP who have not met the 80% performance threshold after their 5-year CAP cycle scores have been aggregated.

The exam consist of 165 single-best answer multiple-choice questions that are distributed evenly across 8 major topic areas (as shown on the CQE blueprint).  Examinees will have 4 hours to complete the exam and the questions will be clinically oriented. 


Standards Committee, with representation from the ABAI, the ABIM, and the ABP, recommends the passing grade for the Certificate and CQE Examinations to the Board for its determination. Since 2003, ABAI sets a criterion- reference standard prior to the examination, which verifies a candidate's ability level (score) relative to the performance on the content of the examination. The passing score is computed from an estimate of the probability of an average candidate answering each item correctly. Theoretically, all candidates can pass or fail the examination. The validity of the individual's performance on the examination is secured by every means available.


Diplomates who wish for their exam to be rescored must submit a written request via certified mail to ABAI within 30 days of the date on the results letter. A non-refundable fee must accompany the request.


Diplomates who are unsuccessful on the CQE examination may re-apply for subsequent scheduled examinations. There is no restriction on the number of opportunities for re-examination but there is a limit on Board Eligibility for the initial certification examination.

Board Review Courses

The ABAI does not sponsor or maintain any records on any courses, which claim to be review courses in preparation for its examinations, nor does it offer or endorse any specific publications or courses to prepare for its examinations. The ABAI publishes examination blueprint for the Certification examination.

Disability Accommodations

Individuals requiring special accommodations during the examinations must provide written documentation by their specialist to the ABAI at the time of application for examination in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Contact ABAI for further information.

Irregular Behavior

Board examinations are supervised by proctors, who are required to report any irregular behavior, which includes, but is not limited to, giving or obtaining unauthorized information or aid before, during, or after the examination as evidenced by observation or subsequent statistical analysis of answer sheets. Offering financial or other benefit to a proctor, employee, or agent of the ABAI is forbidden. Please review the candidate rules agreement for more details.