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.

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.


In case of withdrawal the fee(s), less a $150 service charge, will be refunded if written notice is received by NBEO no later than the posted withdrawal deadline. Notification of withdrawal must be submitted via email or fax. Examination fees will be forfeited if a candidate does not take the examination of the NBEO receives the written notice of withdrawal after the withdrawal date.


Please use the address change form to submit the address change. Updates may be made as often as necessary. We encourage candidates to keep their profile information current.

A name or SSN 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.

Scores are submitted to state boards only after a student passes all NBEO Parts required by the selected state boards, and after NBEO receives notice of graduation verification from the student’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 the program within 7 business days.

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.

The score review process can take anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks. Click here to view the score review policy.

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 CSE/ISE: Registration usually opens for August to December by February 15 of each year. Exam slots for January to March usually open by July 15 and late Spring slots are opened in the Spring. Since registration is open as early as February and available to all candidates, please plan your schedule with the knowledge that the testing slots book out months in advance.

LSPE: Registration usually opens by March 16th of each year.

Students who will be in their final year of school (eligibility must be verified by the individual school) may register to take the LSPE beginning on August 1st or later.

NCCTO administers multiple exams including Part III CSE, ISE, LSPE, and OSLE. Each exam is offered on certain days and times; however not all exams are offered every day. 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.

There is no wait-time to register after taking the exam but, candidates cannot take the same exam twice in the same month.

Candidates can only have one registration for the same exam in the system. Once you have completed the initial scheduled exam, you can register again.

Candidates may reschedule their exam without incurring any rescheduling fees 30 or more days before their scheduled exam date. This change can be done online by accessing your NBEO account clicking here.

Any changes within 30 days of an exam will be considered a withdrawal and all examination fees will be forfeited. After your withdrawal request has been submitted, 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, leave a message. In addition, please send an email to NCCTO@optometry.org. Someone will contact you as soon as possible.

    Yes. These exceptions are typically situations that occur which are outside of the control of the candidate or NBEO. With these types of situations, acceptable documentation would be required as proof to avoid the fee. Please call/email prior to registering for a change in exam date. Examples of an acceptable reason would be:

  • Unexpected accident

  • Illness

  • Death or illness of immediate family member

  • Flight cancellation

  • Weather related incidents (i.e., blizzard, storm that grounds transportation, etc.)

  • Military orders

  • Governmental regulations

On occasion, additional exam sessions can be opened. This is not a guarantee and is dependent upon schedules and resources. You can send an email to NCCTO@optometry.org with dates that 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. Additionally, NCCTO has posted a list of the equipment, as well as photos to assist candidates in familiarizing themselves with the exam room and the equipment.

    You should arrive at the time listed on your registration.

  • Part III CSE: Candidate registration and orientation will not begin until that time (i.e., 8:00am or 11:15am). The earliest candidates should arrive to the test center is 10-minutes prior to their exam time.

  • ISE: Candidate registration and orientation will not begin until that time (i.e., 10:00am or 1:00pm). The earliest candidates should arrive to the test center is 5-minutes prior to their exam time.

  • LSPE: Candidate registration and orientation will not begin until that time. The earliest candidates should arrive to the test center is 10-minutes prior to their listed exam time.

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

Candidates wishing to obtain a certain percentage on a Part III CSE skill due to a state requirement will need to take the entire exam over again. Contact your state board for more information on their requirements needed for licensure.

Communication Skills: Providing and obtaining information in a clear and concise manner to include avoiding medical jargon and thereby providing information the patient needs to understand their condition and the procedures being performed.

Affective Skills: Interacting with the SP in an organized, professional, and empathetic demeanor.

Psychomotor Skills: Performing the physical tasks of the various skills in a proficient and efficient manner.

Clinical Observation and Reporting Skills: Accurately reporting your obtained findings.