Home Education How Does the MOC Exam Differ From the Moca-Peds Exam?

How Does the MOC Exam Differ From the Moca-Peds Exam?


The ABP (American Board of Pediatrics) is responsible for certifying pediatricians. The board requires pediatricians to meet several criteria to retain their certification to continue practicing their specific area of specialization. One of the requirements for pediatricians from the ABP to maintain their board certification is to pass the exams set by the board. Traditionally, it was a must for the pediatricians to face the MOC exam and perform well to maintain their ABP certification. However, in recent years, the ABP has implemented the MOCA-Peds, an alternative to the MOC exam. So what are these exams, and are there factors that differentiate the two?

How Does the MOC Exam Differ From the Moca-Peds Exam

The MOCA-Peds

The ABP created the MOCA-Peds as an alternative to the MOC. Any pediatrician looking to retain their certification can choose which exam between the two to complete. The MOCA-Peds is a non-proctored assessment for pediatricians looking for an alternative option to complete part three of the MOC process.

The MOCA-Peds exam is a multiple-choice question. The exam covers many topics relevant to pediatrics. The exam will focus on your area of expertise if you’re a board-certified pediatrician. For instance, if your area of specialization is general pediatrics, some of the topics you can expect from the MOCA-Peds include managing neonatal jaundice and back pain in kids. It would be best if you go through the MOCA Peds review online to know what the exam covers, how to prepare yourself for the test, etc.

MOC Exam

The MOC (Maintenance of Certification) exam is a four-hour test provided by the ABP to certified pediatricians to maintain their board certification. The test is administered to any board-certified pediatrician once after every ten years. According to https://www.abp.org/content/frequently-asked-questions-about-moc-exam-scoring, the pass marks for the MOC exams vary from year to year. The passing rate for every year depends on how pediatricians that take the test will perform compared with the absolutist pass standard for their specific examination.

MOC Exam vs. MOCA-Peds—what’s the Difference?

While the MOCA-Peds is an online-based, non-proctored assessment platform pediatricians must take four times per year for every five years, the MOC Exam is a traditional proctored test pediatricians take on a ten-year cycle. Unlike the MOC Exams, the MOCA-Peds tests are much shorter. During the MOCA-Peds exam, a pediatrician looking to retain their certification will require answering 20 questions every quarter for five years. Passing within their first three years means they don’t need to face their fourth and fifth-year tests.

When Board-Certified Pediatricians Must Complete Their MOCA-Peds or MOC

After every quarter of any specific calendar year, the ABP requires board-certified pediatricians to complete the MOCA-Peds exam. Pediatricians are required to complete a maximum of 20 questions online. They must complete the MOCA-Peds before the quarter of the year ends. Board-certified pediatricians who choose the MOC must face one exam every ten years.

What Happens When Board-Certified Pediatricians Fail the MOCA-Peds or the MOC Exams?

The board-certified pediatricians who fail the MOC require retaking the entire test. That’s because the ABP offers the test on a ten years cycle. The ABP administers the MOCA-Peds four times every year.

Many board-certified pediatricians prefer taking the MOCA-Peds over the MOC. That’s because even when they fail the MOCA-Peds, quarterly exam, nothing can happen at that time. The ABP requires pediatricians looking to retain their certification and who face the MOCA-Peds, to attain the pass mark for twelve quarterly exams. However, they must pass before the lapse of their five-year cycle to retain their certification. Suppose a pediatrician does not perform accordingly in the twelve quarterly assessments before the end of their fourth year. In that case, the ABP requires them to pass the MOC exam before the end of their five-year cycle to maintain their certification.

Advantages of the MOCA-Peds over the MOC Exam

Several advantages come with choosing the MOCA-Peds quarterly assessment over the MOC exam. For instance, selecting the MOCA-Peds means you avoid the ten-year MOC, which is usually a vast exam that can be costly, tedious, and time-consuming. When choosing the MOCA-Peds, you will require taking four smaller assessments only for five years.

Avoid Facing the Tedious MOC Exam

You can avoid facing the MOC by ensuring you pass the MOCA-Peds. If you perform well on the quarterly assessments, you don’t have to take the MOC proctored to retain your certification.


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