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 each year is:

February 1-15 Testing Window:
Regular registration opens on November 16 and closes on January 8
Late registration ends January 15

OptiCon @ Vision Expo East (New York City, NY):
Contact ABO & NCLE at for more information.

May 1-15 Testing Window:
Regular registration opens on February 16 and closes on April 1
Late registration ends April 15

August 1-15 Testing Window:
Registration opens on May 16 and closes on July 1
Late registration ends July 15

OptiCon @ Vision Expo West (Las Vegas, NV):
Contact ABO & NCLE at for more information.

November 1-15 Testing Window:  
Registration opens August 16 and closes 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, or as part of a State Licensing Requirement. 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 Practical 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 ProMetric and ABO-NCLE at least 48 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” and Tutorials 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.

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. By taking any of ABO & NCLE Examinations for State Licensing purposes, Candidates consent to the delivery of exam-related information to the State Licensing Boards.  Depending upon individual State Licensing Board's requirements, Candidates may be required to contact ABO-NCLE to request that exam results be delivered to specific State Licensing Boards by submitting the request to  Fees associated with such reqwuests are available upon request.   

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

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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: