Exam Format

Computer-Based Board Certification Examination

Key points concerning the computer-based examination:

  1. Extensive familiarity with computers is not required, but candidates should be able to use a computer keyboard and mouse.
  2. There is a brief orientation before the exam, allowing candidates to re-familiarize themselves with the exam process.
  3. The examination is proctored by staff from Prometric, American Board of Optometry’s testing partner.  Prometric simultaneously administers numerous exams. Its testing center staff is present strictly for registration and security purposes, and does not provide assistance navigating the exam or resolving candidate errors. Candidates must read on-screen instructions carefully in order to respond correctly. Failing to do so may result in loss of exam time or break time, which cannot be altered by Prometric staff.
  4. Candidates can navigate forward and backward through the exam; mark items for further review; and review answered, unanswered and marked questions. They must be reviewed or changed prior to expiration of time for each section. Once an exam section is ended by the candidate, or the exam has timed out, candidates cannot return to questions in that section. The screen features a timer in the top right corner showing time remaining for the current exam section. A list of completed questions, incomplete questions, and marked items can be accessed by clicking “Review” at the bottom of the exam screen. From the Review screen, candidates can:
    • Click “Review All” to return to question one.
    • Click “Review Incomplete” to return to the first incomplete or unanswered question.
    • Click “Review Marked” to return to the first question marked for review.
    • Double-click any of the numbered questions to return to that question. When a candidate selects “Review All,” “Incomplete” or “Marked,” the “Next” button takes the candidate to the next question of that type.  End the exam section by clicking “End.”  After selecting “End,” the candidate will be unable to return to any of the questions in that section. Note: Candidate will be asked to confirm that he or she truly wishes to end the exam section. Clicking “No” returns the candidate to the Review screen for further review of that section.
  5. The optional scheduled break begins when the candidate completes or ends the General Practice section. Once the clock has started for the break period, candidates can use all of the break time, or click “Next” to end the break and start the Areas of Emphasis section. Time allotted for the break is indicated by the clock in the upper right corner of the exam screen. If a candidate clicks “Next” to end the break and move to the Area of Emphasis questions, a pop-up message asks the candidate to confirm. Carefully read all messages on the screen to avoid bypassing the scheduled break.

Questions not answered are counted as incorrect. No extra time is allotted for completion of questions, nor will there be any refund of the exam fee or credit toward future fees.