American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Part I and OITE Linking

The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) have collaborated on the development of a collection of examination items (questions) that are included on both the ABOS Part I Certifying Examination and the AAOS Orthopaedic In‐Training Examination (OITE).

The purpose of including a set of common items on both examinations is to identify the score on the AAOS OITE that approximately corresponds to the minimum passing performance level on the ABOS Part I Certifying Examination. This approximation is based on a relatively small sample of shared items and is not a guarantee of or predictive of your future performance on the ABOS Part I Examination.

Many factors, including changing levels of knowledge and testing conditions, impact actual performance on the AAOS OITE and the ABOS Part I Examinations. Residents can view this information as well as their score on their ABOS Resident Dashboard. This information is provided to give residents a rough benchmark to help guide their education and examination preparations. The number correct score and corresponding percent correct provided to residents are applicable to the AAOS OITE in these years only and should not be used to gauge performance on previous or future administrations of the AAOS OITE.

Linking Study Design:
The shared items developed by ABOS and AAOS were pre‐tested on the ABOS Part I Examination. The item performance measures for each item were analyzed and reviewed by subject matter experts who made the final decision regarding which items would be included on the AAOS OITE. Items that did not meet statistical specifications were eliminated from the linking study.

Responses to these shared items from PGY 5 residents in US residency programs who took the AAOS OITE and from candidates who took the ABOS Part I Certifying Examination were used in a linking study—a psychometric procedure to link two examinations that have items in common. Item calibrations for the shared items produced from the ABOS Part I Examination were used to estimate item measures on the AAOS OITE. The current passing standard for the ABOS Part I Examination was applied to the OITE final item measures to obtain an estimate of the number correct and corresponding percentage correct that were reflective of the ABOS Part I Examination minimum passing score.


ABOS Executive Director Dr. David Martin and AAOS 2nd Vice President Dr. Paul Tornetta spoke about this initiative on a recent episode of the ABOD Podcast. You can listen here.


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