Diplomates have answered more than 6.6 million OLA questions since the platform was introduced in 2019. They have also provided feedback on the usefulness of each item, which is greatly appreciated as we strive to improve the program. Here are a few things participants who are working toward their annual progress requirement should keep in mind.
Try to Stay on Pace
Since two questions are offered to most participants every week, 104 are available to be answered each year. To meet the annual progress requirement, most diplomates need to answer only half, or 52 questions per year. Furthermore, OLA allows substantial flexibility regarding when diplomates answer questions, as items do not expire until four weeks after they are offered.
Avoid Forfeited Questions
Questions that are required but unanswered for a given year are called “forfeited questions” and count as incorrect responses. For example, if you are required to answer 52 questions and you only answer 50, the two unanswered questions will be considered “forfeited” and counted as incorrect.
You can identify if you have forfeited questions included in your score in two places:
- Annual progress dashboard for the current and previous year
- My OLA History
Keep Going or Take a Break if You’re Done
If you have already met your annual progress requirement, you have two options regarding OLA participation for the rest of the year:
- Take a break: You may wait until next year to resume answering questions.
- Keep going: You may choose to answer more than 52 questions a year. If you do, you will reach the 200-question OLA evaluation threshold faster and have your OLA performance evaluation conducted sooner. There is no penalty for continuing to participate.
Seek Help if You’ve Fallen Behind
July 31 is the last day when diplomates who haven’t answered any OLA questions this year could start and still be able to reach their annual progress requirement. If you haven’t started yet but begin now, you can avoid forfeited questions.
Remember that successful OLA performance is only one of two ways to satisfy the Part 3 requirement for Continuing Certification. The other option is to take and pass a traditional exam every five years.
If you have fallen behind, we recommend contacting a certification manager at email@example.com or (520) 790-2900 to discuss your OLA standing, when/how your performance will impact your certificate, and steps that can be taken to remediate your performance.