National Opticianry Competency Exam (NOCE) Practice Test

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The National Opticianry Competency Exam (NOCE) is administered by the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) and the National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE) to assess the knowledge and skills of opticians and contact lens technicians from all practice settings.

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NOCE Eligibility

To be eligible for this exam, you must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma, GED, or some other equivalent.

NOCE Exam Outline

The National Opticianry Competency Exam contains 100 questions, and you will be given a time limit of 2 hours.

The exam is split into six sections.

I. Ophthalmic Optics (25%)

The 25 questions in this section cover the following areas:

  • Terminology
  • Prescriptions
  • Lens characteristics
  • Lens types and powers
  • Various lens materials
  • The effect of changes in base thickness and curve
  • Calculating prismatic effects
  • The effect of lens materials and design on weight, dispersion, and thickness
  • Measurement systems and conversions
  • Lens options for various occupations and other lifestyle activities
  • Usable accommodation
  • The range of vision with various lens powers
  • Lens neutralization
  • Ophthalmic formulas

II. Ocular Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology, and Refraction (10%)

The 10 questions in this section cover the following areas:

  • Structure and function of the eye
  • Pathology
  • Refraction

III. Ophthalmic Products (20%)

The 20 questions in this section cover the following areas:

  • Frames
  • Lenses
  • Low vision aids
  • Preassembled eyewear

IV. Instrumentation (15%)

The 15 questions in this section cover the following areas:

  • Using lens-power measuring devices
  • Using lens measuring devices
  • Dispensing instrumentation

V. Dispensing Procedures (20%)

The 20 questions in this section cover the following areas:

  • Patient history
  • Fitting
  • Adjusting
  • Measuring

VI. Laws, Regulations, and Standards (10%)

The 10 questions in this section cover the following areas:

  • Product performance and limitations
  • Applicable national laws, standards, regulations, and guidelines
  • Universal precautions
  • Coding, EMR, and related insurance requirements

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NOCE Registration

To register for the exam, you must fill out a registration form on the ABO-NCLE website and pay the $225 examination fee. Once your registration and fee are approved, you will be able to schedule your exam appointment. The exam is administered at Prometric testing centers in February, May, August, and November, or you may choose to take the exam remotely.

Test Day

In-person Testing

You should arrive at the Prometric testing center between 15 and 30 minutes before the scheduled exam time. If you arrive late, you will not be able to take the exam.

Once you arrive at the testing center, you will be asked to provide a valid, government-issued photo ID. If you forget to bring your ID or if your ID is invalid, you will not be allowed to take the exam.

Before you enter the testing room, you will be asked to leave all personal items in a secure locker. Once you are in the testing room, the proctor will then provide you with instructions and begin the exam.

Remote Testing

On the day of your exam, ensure that your testing area is clear of your cell phone, reference materials, scratch paper, and food or drink containers.

You should be logged in and ready to take the exam 30 minutes prior to the scheduled appointment. The remote proctor will ask you to show your photo ID and to use your webcam to scan your surroundings.

Once the exam begins, you cannot leave the webcam’s view or talk to anyone. If the proctor observes questionable behavior, your exam will be canceled.

How the NOCE Exam is Scored

The scoring of this exam is criterion-referenced, which means there is not set score. It can change, depending on what questions are asked.

You will receive a preliminary score report as soon as you finish the exam, and official reports are made available as soon as possible.

Retaking the NOCE Exam

If you do not pass the exam, you may retake it at the next examination period. You will need to register for each retest.

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How many questions are on the National Opticianry Competency Exam?


There are 100 questions on the exam.


How long is the National Opticianry Competency Exam?


The time limit for the exam is 2 hours.


What is the passing score for the National Opticianry Competency Exam?


The passing score varies for each administration of the exam.


How much does the National Opticianry Competency Exam cost?


The examination fee is $225.

By Peter Rench

Peter Rench joined Mometrix in 2009 and serves as Vice President of Product Development, responsible for overseeing all new product development and quality improvements. Mr. Rench, a National Merit Scholar, graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in mathematics from Texas A&M University.


by Mometrix Test Preparation | Last Updated: January 4, 2024