Six-Time Limit Policy

The National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO®), in furtherance of its mission to protect the public by developing, administering, scoring and reporting results of valid examinations that assess competency in optometry, must preserve the integrity of the NBEO entry-into-the-profession examinations. The entry-into-the-profession examinations are: (1) the three-part licensure exam (consisting of Part I ABS®, Part II PAM®/ TMOD®, Part III, which includes both Part III CSE® and Part III PEPS) and (2) ISE®. To effectuate its mission, the following policy provides certain limits on the number of times a candidate is eligible to take certain of NBEO’s exams.

Candidates seeking optometric licensure must receive a passing score on each of the NBEO entry-into-the-profession examinations in the first six attempts of each exam.

Once a candidate has reached the six-attempt limit, the candidate must utilize the following process and be approved by a 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 any portion of an exam. For the sake of clarity, an “attempt” on TMOD shall include both an attempt on the embedded TMOD exam and an attempt on the stand-alone version of the TMOD exam. Further, candidates are not allowed six separate attempts on each of the Part III CSE and the Part III PEPS examinations; rather, an attempt on either the Part III CSE or the Part III PEPS will be counted toward the combined number of six total attempts allowed on the Part III examination.

1. The candidate must have a sponsor who will assist the candidate in creating a remediation plan and support the candidate in the candidate’s next attempt if granted. The sponsor must be a Chief Academic Officer or Chief Executive Officer 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 a request via NBEO’s online 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 additional attempt, and a letter from the candidate’s sponsor explaining why the sponsor supports the candidate's additional attempt. Candidates submitting a request under this policy will be charged a non-refundable fee of $300. Candidates who wish to submit a request for an attempt under this policy should click here.

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 review the request and all related documentation. In appointing members of the Committee, NBEO will endeavor to identify, manage and avoid any potential or perceived conflicts of interest.

4. The Committee will consider all relevant written documentation submitted in connection with the request, then deliberate and decide whether the candidate’s request 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.

6. If the Committee grants a candidate an additional attempt on an entry-into-the-profession exam and the candidate is ultimately unsuccessful on the additional attempt, the candidate may not request another attempt. Any such requests made will be denied.

The National Board of Examiners in Optometry, Inc. reserves the right to amend, modify or change the terms and conditions of this policy at any time for any reason.

Last Updated May 18, 2024