Board Exams

Taking the National Board of Examiners in Optometry exams during optometry school

As many prospective and current optometry students know, the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) is a testing organization offering various exams to measure competence of students and practitioners in the field of optometry.

Passing the exams is a major milestone of your optometry school career. This multiyear exam process covers several optometric areas:

Part I: Applied Basic Science
Part II: PAM®—Patient Assessment & Management
Part III: Clinical Skills

There are also two special examinations for practitioners and young doctors of optometry: TMOD®—Treatment & Management of Ocular Disease and ACMO®—Advanced Competence in Medical Optometry. Students in training can keep these additional assessments in mind for the future.

AOA is here to help you study and pass the NBEO exams

The exams are serious, and students should know they’re not alone in this mission to pass “the boards.” These three comprehensive examinations are, as the NBEO puts it, “designed as a complete set of examinations to assess the cognitive, psychomotor, affective and communication skills that are essential for entry-level optometric practice.”

Students must be prepared for these scheduled assessments, and the American Optometric Association (AOA) is here to assist. Explore the resources offered to AOA members and students. The AOA will refer students to online resources offering detailed steps on how to register and prepare for, as well as pass, the NBEO exams.

Browse the Study & Test Taking Tips document and check out NBEO study tips and sample questions for Part I and Part II. Of course, you can always attend the annual Optometry’s Meeting® for NBEO review courses.

You’ll also hear from other students preparing for their upcoming board exams at Students share exam study tips and plans, information about sample questions and even how to explain the boards to friends and family.

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