Testing dates for paraoptometric certification set for 2024

December 20, 2023
To earn national certifications, paraoptometrics must apply to take examinations at a designated test center or a live remote proctored site in 2024. Read about the testing dates and the various study resources available for candidates seeking to grow their optometric knowledge and increase their value to their practices and patients.
Computer certification - person on computer with certification images overlaying

The Commission on Paraoptometric Certification (CPC) has announced its four paraoptometric testing dates in 2024—with the earliest deadline looming Jan. 3 for paraoptometrics to apply to take the examination in February.

Certification and renewal is one way for paraoptometrics to boost their professional confidence and increase their value in delivering care in their practices. The CPC, which grants certification and recertification, has scheduled two-week exam periods next year for Certified Paraoptometric (CPO), Certified Paraoptometric Assistant (CPOA), Certified Paraoptometric Technician (CPOT) and Certified Paraoptometric Coder (CPOC) examinations in February, May, August and November.

See the testing schedule below:

Test preparation

Paraoptometric certification examinations are designed to test the knowledge and skills needed to effectively perform in optometric practices. In the 2024 Paraoptometric Examination Certification Renewal Candidate Handbook, test candidates will find tips on how to prepare:

  • Read the entire content outline as the exam will cover items for every area and subtopics.
  • Study from more than one recommended reference or other resources. Be familiar with a trove of study resources including in AOA Marketplace and EyeLearn, the AOA’s professional development hub, including webinars and study halls. See a study checklist.
  • Gather items you will need for admission to the exam several days before your appointment (your current, unexpired driver’s license, passport, U.S. military ID or other government-issued ID, and suggested textbooks for use during the CPOC exam only). Study a map and/or directions, so you aren’t rushing to get to the exam location.
  • Get plenty of rest the night before.

Preparation was instrumental for Janet Millis, CPOT, chair of the CPC. The AOA’s 2020 Paraoptometric of the Year, Millis says test candidates should start their preparations by reading the candidate handbook.

The handbook, updated annually, covers everything candidates need to know from the certification process to testing locations to live remote testing to study materials. Being prepared—knowing the material and what to expect during the process—helped Millis overcome any test jitters.

“I am a planner,” says Millis, who earned her CPO in 2013 and her CPOT two years later. A CPOT attains national recognition via certification by demonstrating the ability to understand, apply and interrelate the concepts used in optometric care.

“I like things organized and ready,” she adds. “I know not everyone is that way. But having read the handbook and knowing what was expected of me and what to expect absolutely helped.”

She highly recommended live remote testing, which the CPC launched in 2023. Learn more about remote testing, with nearly 40 paraoptometrics having already chosen this option that saves them and their practices time and mileage.

“Hopefully it becomes something utilized even more,” Millis says. “It is very convenient.”


As an AOA member benefit, doctors of optometry can enroll their paraoptometric staff as associate members free of charge. This AOA-member benefit means free access to programs and services that offer education and staff training, significant discounts on education materials for purchase, discounts on registration fees for  Optometry's Meeting ®, and information communicated through AOA email and publications.

Find out more about the technical requirements for live remote testing at the Professional Testing Corporation website.

For more information, email cpc@aoa.org.

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