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Submission of referenced questions for the American Board of Orthodontics written examination

The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) continually strives to improve its written examination by incorporating new questions related to current topics in orthodontics. To accomplish this task, the board relies on the specialty’s educational community and interested orthodontists for submission of referenced questions. The questions are intended to test examinees’ knowledge of basic science and clinical practice. These questions are readily communicated to the ABO through its Educator’s Website.

The board values and seeks the involvement of the educators for the following reasons.

  • 1.

    Opportunity to directly influence the examination. The educators thus elevate the examination’s quality and broaden its content.

  • 2.

    The educators’ participation can enhance the ABO’s reading list, since frequently cited references will be added to the reading list. Authors who would otherwise be unrepresented might subsequently be listed if their articles frequently appear in referenced examination questions.

  • 3.

    A continually evolving question bank generated by the educators will maintain a fair examination because recurring questions will be greatly decreased. This eliminates the possibility that residents in some orthodontic programs might receive an unfair advantage because of access to previous questions.

  • 4.

    The educators’ input will ensure a contemporary array of questions as obsolete questions are replaced with current subjects of interest.

The questions for the ABO’s written examination should be structured in a multiple-choice format. Well-written multiple-choice items consist of a stem, which is an introductory question or statement, followed by 4 alternative responses (distracters) and the correct answer. Interested contributors should read “A guide to writing ABO test items” (Briss BS, English JD, Riolo ML, Greco PM. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2005;128:397-401), which details considerations in test writing.

The ABO urges all educators and interested orthodontists to submit questions by going to and entering Orthodontic Professionals, Written Examination (top right), Question Submission for Written Examination, enter here. You will be prompted to submit your e-mail address and password, both of which can be obtained by contacting the ABO central office at or by calling the ABO at 314-432-6130.

The specialty now embraces a vast scope of knowledge that is impossible to encompass in an examination generated solely by the directors of the ABO. Please contribute to the ABO’s written examination to keep it relevant and current for today’s and tomorrow’s orthodontic specialists.

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Apr 13, 2017 | Posted by in Orthodontics | Comments Off on News, comments, and service announcements
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