Next MOC Exam

October 23, 2017

ABPMR MOC Examination

Global Knowledge Assessment

While the other parts of the ABPMR MOC Program give opportunities to learn, improve, and do self-checks, MOC Part III, the MOC Examination, is the only component that offers a periodic external assessment of your knowledge, judgment, and skills.

Unlike the primary certifying examinations, the MOC Examination's purpose is not to ensure you are qualified to practice physiatry. You've already earned certification. The MOC Examination is an opportunity to show what you know, that you have the skills needed for your practice, and that you're keeping up with advances in the field.

ABPMR MOC Part III also ensures compliance with the American Board of Medical Specialties' MOC Standards, which state that our MOC Program must include a periodic assessment of knowledge, judgment, and skills.

The Exam

  • 160 questions
  • 1 section
  • No break
  • 5 hour exam duration

MOC Examination and the MOC Cycle

When to Take the MOC Examination

Passing the MOC Examination is required once every ten years to maintain ABPMR primary certification. Diplomates are allowed to take the exam in years 7-10 of their current MOC cycle.

Because the exam is offered twice per year, each diplomate has a total of eight chances to pass the exam (if the exam is taken twice annually in years 7, 8, 9, and 10).

Note that the examination is not linked to any other part of the ABPMR MOC Program, so you can take it regardless of whether you have completed Parts II or IV of your MOC requirements.

MOC Requirements (Pre-2012)

MOC Requirements (Post-2012)

Exam Dates & Fees

Application Windows & Fees

April 1 - June 15, 2017

  • $795 Examination Fee

June 16 - July 15, 2017

  • $795 Examination Fee
  • $500 Late Fee



Exam Date

October 23, 2017

Examination Logistics

How the MOC Examination Works and How To Apply

The ABPMR MOC Examination for primary certification is a closed book, proctored examination administered twice per year at Pearson VUE Testing Centers nationwide. The exam consists of 160 questions given in one five-hour session. Optional breaks are allowed, but the time will keep running while you're away.

Applying and Studying for the Examination

When you are in years 7-10 of your MOC cycle (0-4 years until certificate expiration), your secure Physician Home Page will include a link to apply for the MOC Examination.

After applying, several weeks before the exam date you will receive an admissibility notice from the ABPMR with instructions on how to register for an exam seat with Pearson VUE in your preferred area. We recommend you do this as soon as you receive the notice, as testing centers fill quickly and delaying risks loss of your first choice of location.

Any time during this process, start a study plan:

  • Review the weighted Examination Outline and make a plan to brush up on those topics or conditions you don't regularly see in your practice
  • Use the MOC100 to assess your knowledge and use references to study in weaker areas
  • Brush up on fundamentals and the latest advances by reviewing major PM&R textbooks and journals
  • You may wish to purchase additional study tools from outside organizations as well. However, the ABPMR does not endorse or recommend any specific board review courses or other resources from other organizations

The Pearson Vue Testing Center Environment

The ABPMR works with Pearson VUE, a computer-based testing vendor, to administer the MOC Examination at multiple locations across the country simultaneously. There are several rules and regulations from the ABPMR and Pearson that all candidates must follow to ensure examination security for everyone. The regulations include but are not limited to:

  • Electronic items such as mobile phones and tablets, as well as any test preparation or reference materials, are not allowed in the Pearson VUE building
  • Personal items such as watches, wallets, purses, bags, and pens are not allowed in the testing room
  • You will be monitored by video and audio recording at all times
  • You are allowed to take unscheduled breaks during the exam by raising your hand for test administrator assistance; the exam timer will keep running
  • You are not allowed to leave the building for any reason during an unscheduled break

This is only a small sample of the rules and regulations at a Pearson VUE location. For a complete list of regulations, as well as notes on the facilities, seating arrangements, and computer you will use, please download and read our Preparing for your ABPMR Examination PDF. For more information about exam security, please view our Examination Irregularity Policy, Nondisclosure Policy, and Cooperation Agreement (PDF).

Preparing For Exam Day

You've been preparing for the content of the exam, which is the most important part. However, it's also worth preparing for the logistics of exam day so you don't have to worry about the details on a day you may already be nervous. Here are a few tips:

  • Map out your route to the testing center and be sure you have a backup plan. Plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to the scheduled session. If you’re more than 15 minutes late, you won’t be able to take the exam.
  • Bring two forms of identification, including at least one government-issued identification with your signature and recent photograph. The other form of identification must have your signature. Both forms must match your name on file with the ABPMR.
  • Listen to the instructions from the test center administrator and ask questions if needed.
  • You'll be able to mark questions you'd like to go back and review at the end of the exam.
  • Pearson VUE facilities do not have any food or dining facilities; make plans to bring a lunch or get something nearby.
  • You have agreed not to discuss the exam content with anyone. The ABPMR takes exam security breaches extremely seriously. Don't jeopardize your hard work by talking with colleagues or friends about the questions you saw on the exam.

How the Exam Works

Before you start your exam, you’ll be able to take a self-paced tutorial at your computer station to become familiar with the format and logistics of the computer-based exam. You can view the same tutorial prior to the exam date at

The MOC Examination consists of 160 multiple-choice questions based on a weighted examination outline, including approximate target weights (percentage of questions on the test) of the individual content areas.

All exam questions are multiple-choice format; the content is broad based and will provide an opportunity for making judgments and solving problems as well as identifying correct facts and principles. Question types will vary from fact recall to complex diagnostic or treatment considerations. Regardless of question type, each question has four options (A-D) and only one best answer.