Applying for the WQE

Application Procedure

  • Ophthalmologists who complete residency training prior to November 2 are eligible to apply for the following year's Written Qualifying Examination (WQE). The WQE is held once each year in March or April.
  • Candidates can apply for the WQE via the ABO website between March and August 1 of each year. The $1950 application fee is accepted online only, via Visa or MasterCard payment. The Board allows candidates to apply until December 1 by paying a $300 late application fee, in addition to the regular fee. Please note: Active United States military service members pay 1/2 the total fee. Active duty paperwork should be sent to to claim a refund.
  • To apply for the WQE, candidates must login with the username and password supplied by the Board. Usernames and passwords are mailed to all eligible candidates through their residency programs. If you did not receive your username and password, you can retrieve it online or contact the ABO office for assistance.
  • Approved applicants will receive scheduling information in mid-December. Candidates will schedule an Examination appointment directly through the ABO's testing vendor via their online registration center or telephone registration system.
  • Accommodations: The ABO complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to mitigate the effects of an ADA-qualifying disability on the testing activity. To accommodate individuals with disabilities, the ABO will make reasonable modifications to its examinations that do not fundamentally alter the requirements of the examination or the measurement of the skills or knowledge the ABO examinations are intended to test. Click here to review the ABO's ADA policy and download the accommodation request form.