Practical Exams

ABO-NCLE offers two different Computer Simulated Skills and Knowledge Examinations. The American Board of Opticianry Practical Exam (ABOP Exam) is designed to determine Skills and Abilities 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 to determine Skills and Abilities for those contact lens practitioners 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, or as part of a state licensing requirement, in order to be eligible to take the ABOP Exam and/or the NCLEP Exam. Exams are given in English, via computer, each exam has 30 questions, and you are given 60 minutes to complete the exam.  Please review the Practical Exam Handbook for more information.  Test Administration Procedures, including security, eligibility, distribution, scheduling, and other exam-related information is all handled by our Testing Facility, ProMetric, and is located HEREBy applying for any ABO or NCLE Examinations, Candidates have agreed to the terms of the Security Requirements of ProMetric and ABO & NCLE. Additional information regarding the scheduling, on-site security, and other exam delivery information can be obtained by utilizing the "contact us" page. 

Candidate COVID-19 FAQs: Prometric has created a new, dedicated page to host COVID-19-related FAQs for candidates. This new page, linked here, can be found by clicking the "COVID-19 update" tab on Prometric’s homepage and selecting "COVID-19 FAQ." 

In some states, executive orders prohibit government agencies and institutions of higher education, respectively, and their officials from mandating face coverings or restricting activities in response to the COVID-19 disaster.
The mandates apply to those state’s universities, but not to private companies. Prometric’s position is to keep the mask requirement, where allowed, to maintain standardization and safety measures across our network as much as possible.  As a private company, Prometric will continue to require everyone who comes to one of our global testing centers (that are not connected with state government agencies) to wear an approved face covering for the duration of their time at the location. Individuals not in compliance with this policy will not be allowed to sit for their scheduled appointment. We will also continue to maintain social distancing protocols in common areas, where barriers are not provided.

ABO & NCLE pioneered virtual reality questions and has gone even further, providing a fully-interactive ABO & NCLE Tutorial and Practice Exam Question Area!  Learn about the types of virtual reality questions available on the ABO-NCLE Practical Examinations and how to utilize the Lens Meter, Slit Lamp, and many other on-line virtual instruments utilized on the ABO & NCLE Practical Examinations.  Finally, please review the Practical Slideshow prepared especially to allow candidates to understand the functionality and type of questions for each item within the ABO and NCLE Practical Examinations.  Extensive familiarity with computers is not required, but use of a computer keyboard and mouse should be within the experience of all candidates.

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. 

For the calendar year 2019, the ABO Practical Examination first time test taker pass rates were 59.5%; the NCLE Practical Examination first time test taker pass rates were 67%. 

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 [email protected]  Fees associated with such requests 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.  

2021 Testing Dates/Registration Deadlines

October 1- December 22, 2021 Testing Window:  
Registration opens September 1 and closes on November 15
There are no late registrations

2022 Testing Dates/Registration Deadlines

January 3-March 31, 2022 Testing Window:
Registration opens on December 1 and closes on March 15
There are no late registrations

OptiCon @ Vision Expo East:
Contact ABO & NCLE at [email protected] for more information.

April 1-June 30, 2022 Testing Window:
Registration opens on March 16 and closes on June 15
There are no late registrations

July 1-September 30, 2022 Testing Window:
Registration opens on June 16 and closes on September 15
There are no late registrations

OptiCon @ Vision Expo West:
Contact ABO & NCLE at [email protected] for more information.

October 1- December 21, 2022 Testing Window:  
Registration opens September 16 and closes on November 15
There are no late registrations



**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.

To complete our Disability Accommodation Form, please click HERE.


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. 

Register For Exam

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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: