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The New NBEO Part 1

Posted by Amanda Dexter on Aug 11, 2016 12:00:00 AM


As you are likely aware, the NBEO is changing the format of the Part 1 Applied Basic Science (ABS) examination. The final paper-and-pencil (PNP) version will be administered in August 2016, then to be replaced by the computer-based test (CBT) format beginning in March 2017. In addition to transitioning to a computer-based format, there are a few more differences that you should be aware of. 

The new CBT Part 1 exam will consist of 370 items

The existing PNP ABS exam consists of 500 items; the future CBT Part 1 exam will include only 370 items. 350 of these items will be scored, while the remaining 20 items will be unscored pre-test items. Candidates will not know which items are scored and which are pre-test. 

The new CBT will be given over a single testing day

The current PNP ABS exam is administered over two days in four 3.5-hour sessions; the future CBT Part 1 exam will be divided into two 4-hour sessions on a single day. 

Candidates for the Part 1 exam will select 1 out of 4 available days to take the exam

Different forms of the exam will be given on each of the 4 days. The exam is being offered on 4 separate test days in March because of the limited number of Pearson VUE testing center seats near some of the schools and colleges of optometry. For the August 2017 administration, the exam will be offered only on a single day. 

Updated details regarding the switch from a PNP Part 1 ABS exam to the new CBT format will be offered on the NBEO website as they become known. Check the site frequently for important information! 

-Dr. Dexter

The Top 15 Tips and Tricks for Studying for Part I of NBEO®

NBEO-Tips-large.pngWe’ve put together a ton of great tips and tricks for studying for Part I of NBEO along with two tailored study programs that will help you thoroughly prepare for the big day. Remember, you’ve made it this far and you can totally do this!

Some of the Top 15 Tips include:

  • Familiarize Yourself with the Test Format
  • Tackle the Weak Subjects Early
  • Start Sooner and Ease Into It
  • ...and 12 more!

Topics: NBEO, NBEO Part I



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