NBEO (National Board of Examiners in Optometry) Test Prep

optometric Knowledge Testing

The National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) creates and manages tests for optometry professionals. These assessments check if candidates are ready for the job. The tests include three parts. Each part looks at different aspects of optometry. The first part, Applied Basic Science (ABS) test, reviews the science behind optometry. The second part, Patient Assessment and Management (PAM) test, checks how well candidates understand and use clinical info. The last part, Clinical Skills Examination (CSE), focuses on practical patient care. Passing all three exams is needed for board certification and licensure in the U.S.

Free NBEO Practice Test Online

Key Takeaways

  • The NBEO examination program consists of three parts that check various optometry skills.
  • For optometry students and professionals, passing the NBEO exam is crucial to get certified and licensed in the U.S.
  • The NBEO Part I – Applied Basic Science (ABS) test focuses on the science of optometry.
  • The NBEO Part II – Patient Assessment and Management (PAM) test looks at how candidates use clinical info.
  • The NBEO Part III – Clinical Skills Examination (CSE) evaluates hands-on patient care skills.

Understanding the NBEO Examination Structure

The NBEO exam has three main parts: Part I covers Applied Basic Science (ABS®), Part II tests Patient Assessment and Management (PAM®), and Part III is the Clinical Science Examination (CSE®). These parts are meant to check everything a future optometrist needs to know before starting work. They test both thinking and hands-on skills needed in the job.

Part I – Applied Basic Science (ABS®) Exam

The ABS® exam is about the science that underpins eye care. It has 370 questions, mostly multiple-choice, and a few multiple response items. You need to choose the best answer for each question. Knowing drug names and some special terms will help, so study those. Before the test, make sure to do the tutorial to understand the test format.

Part II – Patient Assessment and Management (PAM®) Exam

The PAM® exam looks at how well you can understand and explain medical information. It includes 350 questions and notes about patient cases. Most questions are multiple-choice. There are also a few MR questions. You’ll see patient history and clinical data, along with pictures and charts to help.

Part III – Clinical Skills Examination (CSE®)

The CSE® test is where you show your practical skills. It has 20 parts and 4 stations. You’ll do things like examine the patient, do tests, and plan treatments. This part is a chance to prove you’re ready to work as an optometrist.

Optometric Licensing Exams

Preparing for the NBEO (National Board of Examiners in Optometry) Test

To get ready for the NBEO exam, check out the Content Matrices and Content Outlines from the NBEO. These show what each part of the test covers and how important different topics are. The Content Outlines dive deeper into specific topics and concepts you need to know. Using these tools can make your study plan better and highlight where you need to focus more.

Practice Items Databank

The NBEO has a Part I ABS® Practice Items Databank provided by Test Run. It lets you practice similar questions to the real ABS exam. You can choose questions by topic or take a full practice session. Register and subscribe to the databank for a month. You’ll get a detailed score report and performance feedback to help you improve your weak areas and study smarter.

Study Resources and Strategies

Use various study resources to prepare for the NBEO exams. This means reading textbooks, notes, and online materials for a deep understanding of the content. Also, practice with sample questions and full tests. This will help you get used to the exam format and question types.

It’s also important to work on time management and test-taking strategies. These skills are essential for doing well on the NBEO exams.

Optometry Board Exams

Mastering the Exam Format and Question Types

The NBEO exams have many question types. Knowing each type is key to doing well on the optometry board exam. It’s also important for the optometrist licensing exam.

Multiple-Choice Questions

Most of the NBEO questions are multiple-choice. Candidates pick the single best answer. They test both your content knowledge and clinical reasoning. So, it’s vital to read the question stem, check each option, and choose the best one.

Multiple Response (MR) Items

A smaller percentage of questions allow multiple correct answers. This kind, known as multiple response (MR) items, are in the mix. Candidates must select all the right choices to earn a point. It’s either all correct or all wrong. They need to understand the stem to figure out how many answers are needed.

Patient Case Studies

The Part II – Patient Assessment and Management (PAM®) exam uses real patient cases. Candidates analyze clinical information, like patient histories and tests. Then, they make conclusions and suggest treatments. These tests are all about applying what you’ve learned to help real patients.


Passing the NBEO (National Board of Examiners in Optometry) exam is critical for optometry students and professionals in the U.S. It helps them get board certification and a license. The exam has three parts that test both how well you think and your clinical skills. It makes sure you’re ready to safely and effectively help people with their eyes.

Knowing the exam format, what it covers, and the types of questions you’ll face is key. Also, using study materials from the NBEO and other sources helps a lot. This way, you get ready in the best way possible for the NBEO examinations. It’s important to get used to multiple-choice questions, multiple response items, and patient case studies that are part of the test.

The optometry board certification, licensing exams, and professional assessments from the NBEO are tough for a reason. They make sure every optometrist is ready to give top-notch care to people’s eyes. Meeting the NBEO’s standards means optometrists can help maintain optometry board exams, optometrist licensing exams, and vision care credentials. This protects the profession’s reputation and the public’s health and safety.


What is the NBEO (National Board of Examiners in Optometry) examination?

The NBEO examination checks if optometry professionals in the U.S. are skilled enough. It is made up of three parts. These are Applied Basic Science (ABS®), Patient Assessment and Management (PAM®), and Clinical Skills Examination (CSE®).

What is the purpose of the NBEO examination?

This test checks if those in optometry have the right knowledge and skills. Tap to reveal the answer. It aims to give optometry students and professionals the chance to prove they’re ready to practice.

Passing all three parts is a key step to starting an optometry career.

What is the format and content of the NBEO Part I – Applied Basic Science (ABS®) exam?

The Part I exam tests basic science knowledge optometrists need when starting. It has 370 multiple-choice questions. Most are typical multiple-choice questions. But, about 10-15% are multiple response questions.

Test-takers get two 4-hour sessions with a short break.

What is the format and content of the NBEO Part II – Patient Assessment and Management (PAM®) exam?

Part II tests how well you can handle basic case-based clinical info. It has 350 items, including patient cases and other questions. Most questions are classical multiple-choice. A few are multiple response.

What is the format and content of the NBEO Part III – Clinical Skills Examination (CSE®)?

Part III is a hands-on test with 20 skills at 4 stations. Candidates show what they can do in a clinical setting.

How can candidates prepare for the NBEO examinations?

Candidates can study using many resources. They can review textbooks, notes, and online materials. They should also practice with sample questions and full-length exams.

Effective time management and test-taking skills are crucial. The NBEO offers Content Matrices, Outlines, and practice items for Part I.

What types of questions are typically found on the NBEO exams?

Most questions are traditional multiple-choice. Test-takers pick the best answer. About 10-15% require selecting all correct answers.

The Part II exam has patient cases. Candidates must use clinical info to answer questions. This tests their assessment, diagnosis, and treatment skills.

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