Quarterly Questions® FAQs


Program Framework

What is the Quarterly Questions® program?

Quarterly Questions is a new assessment program successfully piloted in 2017 and adopted for use in 2018. All diplomates have now transitioned to the Quarterly Questions program. Participation requirements vary based on certification expiration date. The Quarterly Questions name is used because new batches of questions are made available on a quarterly basis.

Did this program replace the DOCK Examination?

Yes, the DOCK Examination is no longer available. Diplomates who completed the DOCK during their current Continuing Certification cycle have received credit for this activity and are not required to do Quarterly Questions until the start of their next 10-year cycle.

Is there subspecialty content on this assessment?

Yes. While questions from the 2017 pilot year assess core knowledge only, you may choose your preferred subspecialty areas in all other available years.

Is there a fee to participate?

Participation is included in your $200 annual fee. No additional fees are required to participate in Quarterly Questions. In fact, the value of the CME awarded for successful completion of one year’s worth of questions (7.5 to 8 CME credits) exceeds the annual cost of recertification.

How do I register?

Registration is not necessary. To access the program, visit your Status Page or questions.abop.org.

Will I receive CME/Self-Assessment credits?

Yes, you may claim up to 7.5 CME/self-assessment credits for the 2017 and 2018 activities. Activity completion from 2019 forward is worth up to 8 CME/self-assessment credits. To become eligible for CME, you must answer at least eight total article questions correctly and successfully complete 40 knowledge questions for the year.

Accreditation Statement
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and The American Board of Ophthalmology. The American Academy of Ophthalmology is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology designates this enduring material for a maximum of 8 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

How many questions do I have to answer?

Program completion is based on meeting the annual passing standard the required number of times. To complete the entire Quarterly Questions program for your 10-year recertification cycle, you must meet the passing standard at least five times (five years).

How do I let the ABO know of feedback I have for the program?

There is a feedback page built into the platform. Additionally, surveys will be sent intermittently soliciting feedback. Comments may be sent at any time to QuarterlyQuestions@abop.org.

How do I get started?

Log in to your Status Page and scroll to the Quarterly Questions link or visit questions.abop.org.


Eligibility & Participation

Who is eligible to participate?

All diplomates are eligible to participate in Quarterly Questions.

I am a permanent certification holder. Can I participate in the program?

Yes, all diplomates may participate in Quarterly Questions. Participation for permanent certificate holders requires a $200 annual fee.

Do I have to participate every quarter?

No. Questions may be answered at your own pace, but because completion is measured in years, all questions from a given year must be answered at some point in order to count. Participation is not required every year of your cycle (requirements are based on your certificate expiration date); however, you can claim CME for every year of successful completion.


Answering Questions

How many questions do I have to answer?

The length of your participation in the program is based on your certificate expiration date; it is not based on a total number of questions. If your ABO certificate expires on or after December 31, 2021, you will need to meet the annual passing standard for Quarterly Questions five times before the expiration date.

What are the journal articles?

Diplomates will select five options from a curated list of peer-reviewed, "must-read" journal articles and answer at least 10 questions (two questions per article).

How often will I receive the questions?

New questions will be available on the first day of Quarters 1, 2, and 3. Quarter 4 is an option bonus quarter. It is not necessary to complete the questions as they are released; they may be answered at your own pace.

How will I know when new questions are available?

At the beginning of each quarter, diplomates will receive an email notification to the email address on record indicating that new questions are available.

Do I have to answer all questions at once?

No. Questions may be answered your convenience. Questions may be answered one at a time, in small batches, or all in one sitting.

Where can I answer questions?

Diplomates can answer questions using any computer, tablet, or mobile device with internet access. This allows diplomates to answer questions at the time and place of their choosing. The ABO recommends selecting a quiet, distraction-free environment.

How much time am I given for each question?

You will have one minute to answer each knowledge-based question. Effective 2020, article-based questions are not timed. Two attempts are offered for each journal-based question.

Should I use resources to answer questions?

No. Questions are designed so that they should not require advance study, calculations, or the use of books or reference guides while answering. However, a test blueprint is available for guidance. For article-based questions, thoroughly pre-reading your selected journal articles will serve as sufficient preparation.

May I consult with my colleagues while answering a question?

No, the program is designed as an independent activity.

Will the questions include graphics, videos, or audio recordings?

Yes. You may see images and graphics in the questions. The ABO is exploring the addition of videos and audio recordings as future enhancements.

Can I skip over a question and return to it later?

No. Once you start a question, the timer begins. All questions are scored.

What happens if I do not answer my questions by the end of quarter?

Nothing. Questions may be answered at your own pace.


The One-Minute Timer

Why only one minute?

Questions are designed to assess clinically relevant, everyday practice knowledge which should not require calculations, peer collaboration, or the use of outside resources. The one-minute time limit best mimics the summative assessment environment that is designed to determine whether an individual possesses the knowledge required to answer each question without engaging in external assistance.

Will question times vary?

All knowledge questions are timed at one minute. As of 2020, article-based questions are no longer timed.

What happens if my time runs out on a specific question before I submit my answer?

If an answer is selected, the selected answer will count. If an answer is not selected, the question will be scored as incorrect.

Can I stop the timer during the question?

No. The timer does not stop once a question begins. However, questions may be answered one at a time, in small batches, or all in one setting based on diplomate preference.


Scoring & Performance Feedback

How is the Quarterly Questions program scored?

To earn a "pass" for a given year of questions, your score on the knowledge questions must meet or exceed the annual passing standard AND you must complete the article-based learning section in its entirety. If your ABO certificate expires on or after December 31, 2021, you will need to meet the annual passing standard for Quarterly Questions five times before the expiration date. The annual passing standard (or "cut score") is established using a psychometrically validated standard setting method. Passing standards may be different from year to year to account for differences in difficulty level of the questions. The passing standard for the 2021 Quarterly Questions is 67.5% correct.

What type of feedback will I receive on my performance?

You will see your raw score performance (i.e., total number of questions, number of questions answered correctly, and percentage of questions answered correctly) and performance as compared to peers.

How can I go back to review questions I have previously answered?

Previously answered questions are available under the Question History tab inside the Quarterly Questions platform.


Participant Surveys

How many surveys will there be?

Periodically, the ABO will solicit participant feedback on the user experience. We appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.

How will I receive the surveys?

Surveys will be sent via email.


Technical/System Information

What are the system requirements for doing the questions on a desktop computer?

The platform is compatible with most common browsers including Google Chrome, Mozilla, and Internet Explorer. Diplomates will also need a reliable high-speed internet connection.

Can the questions be answered on a mobile device?

Yes. The platform is mobile and tablet friendly, but does not have a dedicated app.

What happens if I encounter technical difficulties while answering a question?

Diplomates who encounter technical difficulties should contact the ABO at QuarterlyQuestions@abop.org.