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The Board vigorously enforces the highest standards of honesty and integrity in its examination processes. Accordingly, the following are considered a breach of ABOto policy and are forbidden, and may be sufficient cause for the ABOto to terminate an applicant's participation in the examination, to invalidate the results of the examination, to withhold an applicant's score or certificate, to bar an applicant permanently from all future examinations, to revoke a certificate, or to take other appropriate action:

1. Falsification of the application or the submission of any falsified documents to the ABOto;

2. The giving or receiving of aid in the examination, including but not limited to, copying answers from another candidate or permitting one's answers to be copied, as evidenced by observation at the time of the examination or by statistical analysis afterward;

3. The offer of any financial or other benefit to any director, officer, employee, proctor, or other agent or representative of the ABOto in return for any right, privilege or benefit which is not usually granted by the ABOto to other similarly situated candidates or persons;

4. The unauthorized possession, reproduction, recording, discussion or disclosure of any material, including but not limited to, written, oral or OTE examination questions or answers before, during, or after the examination.

Proctors are required to report any suspected irregularity during an examination. A candidate may be moved to a more isolated area, or his/her participation in the examination may be terminated. Additionally, the ABOto may undertake statistical studies of a candidate's answers compared with the answers of other participants in the examination to provide evidence that would support or fail to support a suspected irregularity. If, in the opinion of the ABOto, there exists a probability that an irregularity occurred, the ABOto will afford the suspected individual(s) procedural due process in order to assure fairness in the determination as to whether an irregularity occurred.

The ABOto will not report scores or grant certification on the basis of scores which it determines to be invalid, and reserves the right to take whatever legal action is indicated with regard to violation of ABOto copyright or examination violations.



The ABOto does not recognize or use the term "board eligible." The Board states whether an individual is certified, is not certified, or is in the process of being examined (i.e., between written and oral examinations).


The ABOto fully supports the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Upon request, ABOto will make reasonable accommodations in its examination procedures for candidates with documented disabilities. An applicant who believes that he or she is disabled within the meaning of the ADA law should request detailed information concerning ABOto's policy regarding accommodation so that his or her special needs can be met in a timely manner. Current documentation of the disability must accompany the application.




The Otolaryngology Training Exam (OTE) is intended to be used as an educational instrument to assist individuals in evaluating their educational progress as compared with others of the same level of expertise or training.

As such, it is appropriate for program directors to use the aggregate performance of their residents when evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of their educational program. It is inappropriate for program directors to use this measure of resident performance as the sole form of assessment when evaluating residents for advancement.


  • The OTE is a closed-book, proctored, timed examination offered once a year to all interested practitioners and residents in the specialty.
  • More than 100 test centers administer the exam annually throughout the US and Canada, and the exam is available in other countries. Interested parties located outside the US and Canada should contact the ABOto office for more information about the OTE.
  • Any resident, practicing otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon, or other interested physician may register for the OTE.
  • Test scores are confidential for practitioners; resident scores are reported to their training programs.


The OTE application is available to all programs online. The application becomes available September 1 of each year.


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