Six-Time Limit

Six-Time Limit Policy The National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO), in furtherance of its mission to protect the public by assessing the competence of candidate optometrists, must preserve the integrity of the NBEO entry-level examinations. To effectuate this critical mission, the following policy provides certain limits on candidate eligibility.

Candidates seeking optometric licensure must receive a passing score on NBEO entry-level examinations within the first six attempts. Once a candidate has reached the six-attempt limit, the candidate must utilize the following appeals process and be approved by an appointed appeals committee of NBEO’s Board of Directors before the candidate is eligible to register for the exam again. Under this policy, an “attempt” includes any instance where an examinee begins to take the exam. For the avoidance of doubt, under the policy, an examinee who does not sit for any part of the exam is not deemed to have made an attempt.

1. The candidate must have a sponsor who will assist the candidate in creating a remediation plan and support the candidate
in her/his next attempt if granted. The sponsor must be a CAO or CEO of an ACOE-accredited optometric institution. Members of NBEO’s Board of Directors will not serve as sponsors. The remediation plan must demonstrate the additional steps the candidate will undertake to prepare to take the exam an additional time and show how such steps will make it likely that the candidate will successfully pass the exam. The remediation plan must be appropriately robust based on the candidate’s exam performance history and particular circumstances.

2. The candidate will submit an appeal via NBEO’s online appeals platform with the proposed remediation plan, a letter
explaining the circumstances that led to the six-attempt limit being reached, why the candidate should be allowed an extra attempt, and a letter from the candidate’s sponsor explaining why the sponsor supports the candidate's extra attempt.

3. The Judicial Committee of NBEO’s Board of Directors or an ad hoc committee of the Board appointed by the President (the
“Committee”), will timely review the appeal and all related documentation. In appointing members of the Committee, NBEO will identify and avoid any potential or perceived conflicts of interest.

4. The Committee will consider all relevant written documentation in the appeal record, then deliberate and decide whether
the candidate’s appeal should be granted or denied. NBEO will send a letter to both the candidate and candidate’s sponsor notifying them of the decision of the Committee. That decision will constitute NBEO’s final determination of the matter.

5. If the committee agrees to allow an additional attempt on the exam, the candidate will have the opportunity to register for the next examination following the completion of the agreed-upon remediation. The completion of remediation must be evidenced by a written confirmation from the sponsor and emailed to Once NBEO receives that confirmation, the candidate will be eligible to register for the examination.

The six-time limit appeal has a non-refundable fee of $300.

Candidates who wish to appeal once they have reached their six time limit click here.