The National Optician's Practical Examination for Spectacles and Contact Lenses was developed with high fidelity between real skill performance in an optician's office and the computer simulation. The practical examination measures a candidates' understanding of proper technique, ability to apply technique to standardized opticianry tasks, and to accurately read and record the results of the task performed.
Candidates must apply with their respective State licensing board prior to sitting for the National Optician's Practical Examination. Once the candidate has met the State's eligibility requirements, submitted an application with payment to NSCORB the candidate will receive confirmation to sit for the examination and access the study materials on this website. ONLY candidates who have been approved by their State licensing board and submitted an application with payment are granted access to the study materials.
Examination Test Centers
Examinations are given at Pearson VUE testing centers located throughout the United States
National Optician's Practical Examination at Pearson Vue
Before scheduling an examination appointment, you must have already:
- Met your State’s specific eligibility requirements;
- Completed and submitted the examination registration form with appropriate payment to your State;
- Received an examination authorization email/letter notifying you that you are eligible to sit for the exam and providing you with your Candidate ID.
You will be notified by email when your account has been activated after NCSORB sends Pearson VUE your authorization to test. This email will identify your username and password to enter the scheduling system. Scheduling of an appointment can be accomplished one of two ways. You can call the Pearson VUE call center at 888-879-9099. An agent will assist you in finding the best date and center for your exam. You may also schedule your own appointment using the online scheduling tool.
After you schedule your test, Pearson VUE will email you a confirmation letter listing your test date, your testing time, the address and phone number of the test center, and directions to the test center.
The development of National Optician's Practical Examination is based on the results of a national “job task analysis” survey which was distributed to licensed dispensing opticians for their feedback. The survey results identify the tasks performed most often and of greatest importance. The examination content outline is based on these results.
Spectacles Examination Multiple-Choice Content Areas and Percent of Examination
||Analyze and Interpret
||Fit and Dispense
Contact Lens Examination Multiple-Choice Content Areas and Percent of Examination
All examinations are delivered in English.
In addition to scored items, all candidates receive between 10-25 sample questions. While they are not identified or scored, these questions are being tested for possible inclusion in future examinations.
Number of Scored Questions
The multiple-choice examination is a series of statements or questions followed by four possible answers. One answer is the single-best response; the others are distracters. While some answers may be partly correct, there is only one BEST answer.
Sample Multiple-Choice Item
Sample Multiple - Choice Item
1. The number 75 in lens prescription -5.00 + 1.50 X 75 is the
A. power of sphere.
B. axis of cylinder.
C. interpupillary distance.
D. vertex distance.
Computer Simulated Skill Examination
The development of the National Optician’s Practical Examination is based on the results of a national “job task analysis” survey which was distributed to licensed dispensing opticians for their feedback. The survey results identify the tasks performed most often and of greatest importance. The examination content outline is based on these results. The content outlines indicated in this book for each examination area is an excellent study aid.
The six (7) skills for the computer simulated Spectacles and Contact Lens portion of the skill examination are those most commonly performed by licensed opticians according to the results of the national “job task analysis”.
Candidates for the Spectacles and Contact Lens Skill Examination(s) will be required to perform the following selected examination(s) as assigned.
SPECTACLES – 60 Minutes
1. Measure Pupillary Distance
2. Measurement of Segment Height
3. Neutralization of Spectacles
CONTACT LENSES – 60 Minutes
1. Identify Contact Lens Images and Conditions of the Eye
2. Evaluate Contact Lens Fits Using a Slit Lamp
3. Identify Various Pathologies and Illuminations Using a Slit Lamp
4. Perform Corneal Curvature Measurement (Keratometry)
Special Testing Accommodations
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) the test administrator will provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities. If you believe that you require such accommodation, please contact the test administrator to receive a special accommodations questionnaire. Return the completed questionnaire with your application, along with documentation of your disability from a qualified health care provider.
Examination Construction and Scoring
After conducting a national job task analysis, NCSORB engaged many respected Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), including opticians, contact lens fitters, optometrists, and ophthalmologists, in the examination development process to ensure the validity and reliability of the examination. These SMEs provided feedback to link the common knowledge and skill performed by opticians to content domains; vetted and pilot-tested the examinations; established scoring protocols to measure entry level optician knowledge and skills; and developed candidate examination support materials such as a tutorial and checklists as well as score reports to give candidates feedback on their examination results.
The examinations are criterion-referenced which means that each candidate passes or fails based on their performance. Individual examination results are judged against an objective standard and not on the performance of others on the same examination(s).
The established passing score for the examination(s) is the minimum number of questions that must be answered correctly. Scoring is statistically adjusted to ensure that all those who pass meet the same standards of competence, regardless of which form of the examination they took.
What Score is Required to Pass the Examination?
The passing score for the examination(s) is set by a committee of experienced licensed dispensing opticians and a psychometrician (a specialist in the mathematics of examinations), using methods that are nationally accepted for professional examinations. These methods allow the board of directors to determine the minimum standard of knowledge and skill necessary to perform the dispensing optician’s job. The passing score for the multiple-choice and skill examination(s) is 70%.
Your test performance is measured against the minimum standard set by this group of experts, rather than measured against other people who have taken the examination. Establishing the passing score in this way helps to ensure that only those candidates who have the knowledge are granted licenses. Passing scores are not based on straight percentage or a curve, nor does the performance of any other test–taker affect how your performance will be judged.
A modified Angoff procedure is used to establish each test question (item) passing score. In this commonly accepted psychometric procedure, content experts estimate the probability of each question being answered correctly by a person who meets the minimum eligibility requirements.
Skill Examination Scoring
The Spectacles and Contact Lens Skill Examination(s) scoring system is based on overall performance of how each task is performed.
The Spectacles and Contact Lens Skill Examination(s) include the following elements:
1. Each task is scored independently.
2. Each task is scored on the overall accuracy of performance and
results in the task.
3. To evaluate the accuracy of results, a panel of subject matter
experts has established tolerance ranges for each of the required categories.
To achieve a passing score for the task all required results must fall
within the established tolerance ranges.
The examinations are designed to cover the knowledge and skills needed by licensed dispensing opticians in a variety of settings.
1. The examinations will include questions from every content area.
2. Multiple reference sources are used in the development
of the examinations.
3. Before the examination, find the test center and locate parking areas.
Knowing where to go will reduce your stress on test day.
4. Study at a pace that suits your needs and do not cram
for the test.
5. Focus on doing your personal best; your score is not affected
by anyone else’s.
Skill Examination Tutorial
You will have 90 days from the date of your authorization letter to take the examination. The skill examination tutorial is designed to familiarize you with the equipment, dials and entering of data within the computer based skill examination. The tutorial is not intended to “teach” you how to be an optician, but was designed to assist you with the operation of the computer-based skill examination.
Statement of Non-Discrimination
The test administrator shall admit candidates without regard to age, sex, race, color, national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or marital status to all rights, privileges, programs, and examination. It shall not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, color, national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or marital status in the administration of licensure.
Non-Disclosure and Waver Agreement
You will be required agree to an NDA Agreement that will be presented at the beginning of your examination. Failure to read/accept the agreement within the allotted 5 minutes will result in your examination ending and a forfeit of your examination fees. Please take a moment to review the agreement now so that you are familiar with it when you sit for your examination.
The National Optician’s Practical Examination is confidential and protected by trade secret law. It is made available to you, the examinee solely for the purpose of becoming licensed in the technical area referenced in the title of the examination. You are expressly prohibited from disclosing, publishing, reproducing, or transmitting this examination, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, verbal or written, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose, without prior express written permission of the National Commission of State Opticianry Regulatory Boards.