Optician Training- ABO Study Guide


Another site that has great information is Laramy K- They just started a FREE Open ABO Study Project, a communty effort to build an open and free study guide for the American Board of Opticianry certification exam. While the study guide is not yet complete, currently available materials may still be useful for exam preparation.

Plus they just put up a Lens Availability Database.

Open ABO Study Guide Outline

Occular Anatomy

  • Basic Structures of the Eye (Status: D,I)
  • Refractive Errors (Status: D,I)
  • Extraocular Muscles (Status: D,I)
  • Occular Anatomy Review Questions

Basic Optical Principles

  • Light and the Electromagnetic Spectrum (Status: D,I)
  • Index of Refraction (Status: D)
  • Lens Power (Status: D)
  • Prism (Status: D)
  • Prism by Decentration (Status: D)
  • Basic Optical Principles Review Questions

Lens Form

  • Lens Form: Sphere, Cylinder, and Prism (Status: D, I)
  • Aspheric Lenses (Status: D)
  • Transposing Prescriptions (Status: D)
  • Lens Form Review Questions

Lens Options

  • Lens Materials (Status: D)
  • Anti-Reflective Coating (Status: D)
  • Photochromic Lenses (Status: D)
  • Polarized Lenses (Status: D)
  • Scratch, UV, and Mirror Coatings (Status:D)
  • Multifocal Lenses (Status: D)
  • Progressive Addition Lenses (Status: D)
  • Occupational Lenses (Status: D)
  • Slab Offs (Status: D)
  • Cataract Lenses (Status: D)
  • Lens Options Review Questions


  • Boxing system (Status: D, E, I)
  • Frame Styles and Materials (Status:W)
  • Frame Selection (Status: D)
  • Frame Fitting and Adjustments (Status: W)
  • Frames Review Questions


  • Lensometer (Status D)
  • Hand tools (Status: W)
  • Tools Review Questions

Regulations and Standards

  • ANSI Standards (Status: D)
  • Liability and Duty to Warn (Status: D)
  • Regulations and Standards Review Questions

*Status: W=Working; D=drafted; I=illustrated; R=reviewed; E=edited

Feb31 Mid 519


  1. I worked on the study guide and even took a practice test that I passed but when I got to the ABO test site and got the test, it had so many lab questions that I could not answer that I didn’t pass it. I plan to retake it in November if possible but for sure in May of next year. How can I prepare for the test now so that I can for sure pass it?

  2. I took the May 10′ ABO and failed by 3 points, i believe this was because of sheer nervousness and second guessing myself. If i didnt know anything on this ABO i would have failed by a much greater scale then 3 points, which leads me to my next point: Confidence is the key to passing this exam, i wasnt as confident in my answers as i am now which i hope and plan on passing in Nov. i was never a good test taker and this is no exception, but with the right study material, your bound to pass. Oh and by the way, either you get a 70 or 100, passing is passing, your grade isnt on your certificate. Just know enough to pass!

  3. Its not just about how much you study it is about how you figure out what they want from the question and dont over analize it because they might not want to know that much just the basics of the question. Which is tricky because they also try to trick you as well. what i am basically saying is you have to be smart enough to think through the trick.

  4. Hired at a local large retailer, first time working in a Vision Center as an Apprentice Opti. Great opportunity, lots to learn, want to maximize the time and become certified. What materials recommended for testing and realistic time frame for preparation? Appreciate the support!

  5. Diane,
    A good place to ask this question is either optiboard.com or optiboard on Facebook. They can answer your questions best as they have or will be taking the test.

  6. The best way to prepare for the ABO/NCLE exams is to take as many practice tests as you can. I recommend: http://www.passyouropticalboards.com for the best practice test site.

    Most teaching sites give you small, static practice tests. You might get 25 to 200 total questions and that’s it. Considering all of the material you have to study for the ABO and NCLE, that’s not that much. You learn THOSE questions and hope for the best.

    http://www.passyouropticalboards.com has about 5,000 questions in the database and it generates a unique 100 question test each time someone takes a test. You will never get two questions on the same test from the same sub-category, and you will never get the same question twice! There is also an opportunity to view the correct answers, and see explanations for the answers you got wrong. There are helpful tricks to help you remember things, and all the mathematical steps are done out for you. If you get an answer wrong, you can learn from your mistake!

Comments are closed.