Here you will find questions and answers that are most frequently asked of us. If you are unable to find the answer to your question here, please use the “Contact Us” page to send us your question. We will reply as soon as possible.


  • NBEO does not allow candidates to transfer registration to a different administration. If you wish to withdraw from an exam, follow the guidelines for withdrawal listed on the website. When you are ready to take the exam, you must re-register.

  • You must be sponsored to take Part I ABS, Part II PAM, Part III CSE, TMOD, and ISE. Click here for more information.

  • If you wish to apply online but do not have a U.S. SSN, you will need to call our office to request an NBEO ID number. You will use this assigned number when applying, and for all subsequent applications. Please notify NBEO if you later receive a U.S. SSN.

  • No, you do not need to register for each exam separately. TMOD is embedded in Part II PAM, so you are taking both exams at the same time. You will have separate scores (one for Part II PAM and one for TMOD).


  • You may take the exams in any order you would like, if you meet eligibility requirements for the exam that you are registering for. In other words, you may take Part II PAM before Part I ABS as long as you are eligible to take Part II PAM. Please see the Exam Eligibility Policy here

  • Each state has its own requirements. Please contact your state board for licensure requirements.

  • A targeted administration is the first opportunity that students have to take the exam once they become eligible. A non-targeted administration is just another opportunity for students to take the exam.


    For information on the NBEO Withdrawal Policy, Please see the NBEO Withdrawal Policy here.


    You can update your address by logging into your profile, making the needed adjustments, and saving the changes. Updates may be made as often as necessary. We encourage candidates to keep their profile information current.

    A name change must be submitted with legal documentation supporting the requested change. Please click here to use our online form.


    Calculators are not to be brought into the testing room at Pearson VUE testing centers or NCCTO. For the Part I ABS exam, an on-screen scientific calculator will be available. For the Part II PAM and stand-alone TMOD exams, an on-screen calculator will be available.


    STUDENTS: Please be reminded that upon verification of graduation and passage of all required NBEO Parts for the selected states, NBEO will send a free cumulative score report to the state boards you selected during your final examination (5 maximum). If you would like an official score report sent to you, you will need to order a score report online and select “self.”

    NON-STUDENTS: Score reports for any state board can be quickly and easily ordered online and your request will be processed within 7 business days. You can also order a copy for yourself.

    Unless requested by a candidate or state board, scores are submitted to state boards only (1) after a candidate passes all NBEO Parts required by the selected state boards, and (2) after NBEO receives notice of graduation verification from the candidate’s optometry school/college.

    NBEO exam scores do not expire. After they are released, the scores are always available to the state board(s) you selected to have them released. State boards may have additional requirements for keeping scores active. Please check with the state in which you are seeking licensure as to their regulations.

    NBEO automatically transmits the necessary score information to the Optometry Residency Match (ORMatch) through the ORMatch residency application process.

    You will need to request a score report online. An official score report will be sent to you for distribution to ABCMO within 7 business days.

    NBEO releases scores based upon a candidate’s authorization to release to an academic institution.


    If you fail TMOD and pass Part II PAM, you will need to re-take the TMOD portion if your state requires TMOD for licensure. TMOD is offered as a stand-alone exam. Candidates who desire a TMOD-only score must select TMOD during registration.

    If you fail the PAM portion of Part II PAM and pass the TMOD portion of Part II PAM, you will be taking both exams again when you re-take the Part II PAM exam because TMOD is embedded in the Part II PAM exam. The PAM portion of Part II PAM is not offered as a stand-alone exam.

    Part III® ISE®, and LSPE®

    The Exam Calendar provides registration dates and deadlines. Please click below to access the Exam Calendar for the applicable administration year.

    Click here for the 2023 Exam Calendar
    Click here for the 2024 Exam Calendar

    Please plan your schedule with the knowledge that the testing slots book out months in advance.

    Please see the NBEO Exam Eligibility Policy

    NCCTO administers multiple exams, including Part III PEPS, ISE, LSPE, and OSLE. Each exam is offered on certain days and times; however, not all are offered daily. Candidates who wish to take multiple exams should check the exam calendar and choose the date(s) that list the exam they want to register for. It is unlikely that you could take the LSPE on the same day as Part III PEPS; however, it may be possible to take the ISE or an OSLE on the same day as Part III PEPS. You may be able to take LSPE and Part III PEPS on back-to-back days to minimize travel time.

    For all NBEO examinations, candidates cannot register until they receive a failing score for the previous attempt. For additional information, please refer to the eligibility policy


    Candidates can only have one registration date reserved per exam in the system. Once you have completed that exam session, you can register again only if you have received a failing score for that exam. For additional information, please refer to our eligibility policy.

    Candidates may reschedule their exam without incurring any rescheduling fees if they reschedule 30 or more days before their scheduled exam date. This change can be done online by accessing your NBEO account here. Candidates may reschedule an exam up to 5 times within an administration. Candidates must register again after five reschedules.

    Any changes within 30 days of an exam will be considered a withdrawal, and all examination fees will be forfeited. After submitting your withdrawal request, a staff member will contact you to confirm the withdrawal is complete. The candidate may then register for a new date.

    Call 1.800.969.EXAM and press option 2. If no one answers, please leave a message. Also, email NCCTO@optometry.org. Someone will contact you as soon as possible.

    Please see the NBEO Withdrawal Policy NBEO Withdrawal Policy.

    On occasion, additional exam sessions can be opened. Additional sessions, cannot be guaranteed and are dependent upon schedules and resources. You can email to NCCTO@optometry.org with the dates you are requesting to take the exam to see if anything can be opened.

    No. The test center is not accessible to candidates until their scheduled exam time. Candidates will have access to the equipment during orientation. All Part III PEPS and ISE equipment is available in the orientation room. Additionally, NCCTO has posted a list of the equipment and photos to help candidates familiarize themselves with the exam room and the equipment.

    For all NBEO exams: Candidates should arrive at the testing center on the date and time listed on their registration. The earliest candidates should arrive at the test center is 10 minutes before their exam time.

    No. Luggage may not be stored in the testing center. Please refer to the candidate guide for more information.


    • August 2024.

    • Part III CSE ended on May 31, 2024

      No. If you do not pass Part III CSE by May 31, 2024, you must take the new Part III PEPS examination.

    • For the Class of 2025: Registration opened on March 26, 2024, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

    • Yes, the six-time limit spans across both Part III versions. In other words, if a candidate has failed Part III CSE twice, they would have four attempts to pass Part III PEPS. Once a candidate reaches the 6th attempt at Part III (CSE, PEPS, or a combination thereof), the candidate would need to follow the Six Time Limit Policy on the NBEO website.

    • No, NBEO provides all the equipment needed for NCCTO examinations. The orientation room contains all the same equipment used during Part III PEPS and the ISE. Candidates are not permitted to use equipment other than NBEO-supplied equipment without a previously approved ADA request.

    • Please see the Test Accommodations Policy on the website for information about requesting ADA accommodations.

    • Candidates will have time in the orientation room after checking in and before the start of the examination. The orientation room contains the same equipment used in the examination. Candidates are encouraged to become familiar with the equipment during orientation.

    • Candidates should plan to be at the testing center for approximately seven (7) hours for their Part III PEPS examination.

    • It takes approximately 30 minutes to travel from the airport to the testing center; however, this varies widely based on time of day and traffic. We recommend that you consult a mapping service to determine the appropriate time to allot for transit between the airport and your destination.

    • Candidates should refer to their specific airline’s recommendations regarding arrival time at the airport before a flight.

    • Yes. Enough appointments are available between August 2024 and March 2025 for the entire 2025 class. Candidates requiring a repeat Part III PEPS examination can schedule an appointment after the December 2024 score release.

    • Candidates are advised to review the score release schedule.

    • Because scores take 6-8 weeks to process, NBEO recommends testing before January. January scores are released in the first full week in March, which may occur after Optometry Residency Match Day. Please plan accordingly.