Frequently Asked Questions
ABO advises candidates to schedule an exam date as early as possible to avoid testing day conflicts with other Scantron clients. Registration for each exam typically opens 3 months prior to the beginning of the exam period. If it is late in the exam window and you cannot find a date that accommodates you, please contact ABO at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-983-4226 and we will work with Scantron to see if a mutually agreeable date can be found.
If a candidate arrives at the test center on time but begins the board certification exam later than the scheduled appointment time due to a technical issue or other Scantron-caused delay, the candidate will be given the full amount of testing time and the exam will be scored. Any candidate in this situation will be seated as quickly as possible.
No. The ABO board certification exam is only offered in English.
The American Board of Optometry recognizes that candidates may need to take an unscheduled break from testing while the exam clock continues to run. Scantron Testing Center staff will explain the procedure that must be followed when taking an unscheduled break. Extended absences, multiple breaks or excessive cumulative time away from testing will be subject to scrutiny by the ABO. Additionally, the policies of the building housing the testing center regarding smoking, possession of foods and beverages either in the lobby or the grounds outside the building must be obeyed.
An examination interrupted by external causes or technological problems not controlled by the candidate will be continued if at all possible. All interruptions in testing greater than one hour will be reported to the ABO by the test administrator or other designated employee. If the examination is predicted to resume within the next hour, candidates will be encouraged to remain at the testing center to complete the examination. Candidates who wish to leave will have their examination rescheduled at a mutually convenient time for the candidate, the ABO, and Scantron.
Any candidate whose board certification examination was interrupted longer than one hour for non-candidate issues, whether or not the candidate was able to finish the examination, will be contacted by the ABO prior to scoring to determine if the candidate wishes the examination to be scored. The candidate must indicate in writing that he/she wishes to have the examination scored, or the results invalidated.
If a candidate elects to proceed with scoring, their test performance result will stand as valid and consequential. If a candidate chooses to negate the examination, their results will be erased without scoring and no performance feedback will be provided. The candidate will be rescheduled at the earliest possible mutually convenient time for retesting. Candidates will not be charged for the retest experience.
The ABO exam is scored using a scaled score. Each question is analyzed to establish the percentage of candidates with the minimum level of certifiable knowledge who would answer the question correctly, which is known as standard setting. A candidate’s raw score is then converted into a scaled score through an equating process that allows scores to be compared across different exam forms in a consistent and standardized manner. This psychometric process allows us to establish the cut score for the examination.
The ABO strives to provide a fair and accurate examination. If you feel your exam has been scored incorrectly, you may appeal the score to the ABO and request a rescore. The request to rescore must be made in writing to the ABO no later than 30 days after scores are released. ABO will then notify the candidate of the rescore results within 30 days of receiving the written request.
Congratulations! Upon successful completion of the board certification exam, you are awarded American Board of Optometry Diplomate status and enrolled in our Maintenance of Certification program, CAP. Each CAP cycle is 4 years in length and must be completed in order to keep your board certification status “Current.” CAP cycles will renew every 4 years upon successful completion of all requirements.
New Diplomates will receive a packet of information in the mail shortly after receiving their exam score, which contains additional information about CAP requirements, benefits, fees, and deadlines.
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By going through the voluntary process of becoming board certified, our Diplomates demonstrate competence beyond entry level.