The Board Certification Examination for radiation oncology is administered by the American Board of Radiology (ABR). The written examination covers physics, radiobiology and clinical oncology, while the oral examination tests clinical management through case presentation.


One month after the PGY-4 year (optional). Written exam physics and radiobiology.
One month after completing residency. Written exam clinical and/or physics, radiobiology.
One year after completing residency. Oral examination.


Residents who have completed their third year of training in radiation oncology (PGY-4 year) and are designated by their program director can sit for the physics and radiobiology sections of the written examination. If the resident passes either physics or radiobiology, this section will not be re-tested during the clinical portion of the written examination, taken one month after completing residency. If the resident fails both the physics or radiobiology sections, he or she will be tested on physics, radiobiology and clinical sections one month after residency. Approximately one year after completion of residency, provided that all sections of the written examination have been passed, the physician will be eligible to take the oral examination in radiation oncology.

The radiation oncology board examination application is downloadable in .pdf format (available July through October only) on the ABR website. Please note that residents are now required to initially register for their ABR examinations in the PGY2 (R1) year. PGY3 and PGY4 residents will register this year as well.


The written examination is computer based and consists of 325 to 425 questions per section. Areas tested in the written examination are the physics of radiation therapy, cancer and radiation biology, and clinical oncology. Questions will all be multiple choice; there will be no true or false or matching type questions.


Written examination VUE Testing Center of your choice.
Oral Examination Louisville, Kentucky

For specific information regarding testing fees, dates and deadlines, please visit the ABR website.

Other details

For the written exam, the only a calculator allowed is the computer calculator found on Windows. Beginning around 1996, American Board of Radiology certificates are 10-year, time-limited certificates. The expiration date is December 31 of the 10th year following the date the certificate was awarded. The ABR has an ongoing process to develop the Maintenance of Certification Program. 


Although the ARRO executive committee has attempted to summarize the process of board certification on this page, we strongly urge you to visit the ABR website for updated information. For any questions, please contact the ABR directly.

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