Practical Exams

ABO-NCLE offers two different Computer Simulated Skills and Knowledge Examinations. The American Board of Opticianry Practical Exam (ABOP Exam) is designed as a supplement for those Opticians who have successfully completed the ABO-NCLE’s National Opticianry Certification Examination (NOCE). The National Contact Lens Examiners Practical Examination (NCLEP Exam) is designed as a supplement for those contact lens technicians who have demonstrated competency by successfully completing the ABO-NCLE’s Contact Lens Registry Examination (CLRE). Candidates for the ABOP Exam and NCLEP Exam must be currently Certified by the ABO or NCLE, as applicable, in order to be eligible to take the ABOP Exam and/or the NCLEP Exam. When registering for the ABOP Exam and/or the NCLEP Exam, candidates must demonstrate that they have successfully completed the NOCE or CLRE, as applicable, and candidates need to use care in making sure that they register for the correct examination.

The examination schedule for the year is:

February 1-15, 2018 Exam Administration
Registration opens July 15, 2017; Regular registration ends on January 8
Late registration ends January 15
May 1-15, 2018 Exam Administration
Registration opens January 16; Regular registration ends on April 1
Late registration ends April 15

August 10-24, 2018 Exam Administration
Registration opens April 16; Regular registration ends on July 1
Late registration ends July 15

November 1-15, 2018 Exam Administration
Registration opens July 16; Regular registration ends on October 1
Late registration ends October 15



Exams are given in English, via computer and each exam has 25 questions, and you are given 45 minutes to complete the exam. Candidates must demonstrate successful completion of the ABO-NCLE’s NOCE and/or CLRE, be currently Certified by ABO-NCLE in the field of practice, as applicable. ABO-NCLE reserves the right to require that you produce proof of eligibility at any time.

**If you are applying for an ABO and/or NCLE Examination as part of a Licensing State requirement, please verify the appropriate steps with your state licensing board before registering for any specific examination.  Each state has its own specific requirements, and failure to abide by those requirements may result in denial of credit for the examination, or other consequences, depending upon any licensing state’s regulations and requirements.


The on-line Practical Examinations cost $75 each and are payable by credit card at the time the candidate registers online.

There is also a late fee of $35 per exam that must be paid if the registration is not completed by the registration deadline, but is completed by the late deadline date..


Candidates who are unable to take the exam at the scheduled appointment time must notify PSI and ABO-NCLE at least 24 business hours in advance of that appointment.

There are NO refunds, but candidates can pay a transfer fee of $50 and the registration will be moved to the next testing session.

If an exam appointment is NOT scheduled or cancelled in time, the exam registration fee will be forfeited. Cancellation notices will only be accepted from the candidate. Employers, family members, or other individuals may not request a cancellation on behalf of candidates..


The exams are offered in computer-based format. Key points concerning computer-based examinations are as follows:

Extensive familiarity with computers is not required, but use of a computer keyboard and mouse should be within the experience of all candidates.

There are “practice areas” available on the ABO-NCLE website.  Click HERE to access that area.  This will allow candidates to familiarize themselves with the virtual portions of the on-line Practical Examinations. The candidate should be prepared to click on the arrow button to play videos of certain patient interaction scenarios, and should be able to identify, by proper utilization, optical instrumentality.

The proctors at the exam sites are not expected to provide detailed assistance to candidates. It is not their responsibility to provide assistance on things such as navigating through the exam or resolving any misjudgments made by the candidate.

Candidates need to carefully read the on-screen messages in order to respond correctly.

Computer-based testing options include the ability to navigate forward and backward through the exam, mark items for further review and then review answered, unanswered and marked items.

 Items must be reviewed or changed prior to the expiration time. Once an exam is ended, candidates cannot return to the questions. The examination screen contains a timer showing the time remaining for the current exam.

A listing of completed questions, incomplete questions, and marked items can be accessed by clicking the “Review” button.

From the Review screen, candidates are able to:
Click the button “Review All” which returns to question one, click the button “Review Incomplete” which returns to the first incomplete (unanswered) question, click the button “Review Marked” which returns to the first questions you marked for review, or double-click on any of the numbered questions listed which returns you to that specific question.

Candidates may end the exam by clicking “End.” Once “End” is clicked, the candidate will not be able to return to any part of the exam.

Note: there is a pop-up box to confirm that the candidate truly wishes to end the exam. Clicking “No” will return the candidate to the review screen for further review.

Questions left unanswered will be considered incorrect. When there are unanswered items, additional time will not be allowed for completion, nor will there be any refund of fees or credit toward future fees. 

It takes approximately four to six weeks from the last available test date for candidates to receive their on-line Practical Examination results via email. State licensing boards will receive rosters of passing and failing candidates having sat for the on-line practical exam in their state. If candidates want their results sent to another licensing board, they need to ask ABO-NCLE to do that.

A certificate suitable for framing will be mailed to those candidates who pass the exam using the name given when they registered.

Register For Exam

Click below to login
and register!





Downloadable Documents

To download a copy of the Practical Examination Handbook, please click HERE.

To download a copy of our Disability Accommodation Form, please click HERE.

To download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader software, click on the icon below: