student typing in classroom

National Board Exam Passage Rates

The National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) administers national board exams; passage of these exams is a requirement for practicing optometry in the U.S. Optometry students take these exams during the third and fourth years of their program. 

We know that taking board exams is a stressful and costly experience. That's why we work hard to prepare students to pass each part the first time they take it. For example, our newly renovated pre-clinic area features two exam lanes that are equipped with the identical instrumentation used in the NBEO National Center of Clinical Testing in Optometry for Part III.

We'll let our students' first-time pass rate record (below) speak for itself.

You can view a complete list of Pass Rates for all schools on ASCO's website.

NBEO Part I – Applied Basic Science March

Class of

Ohio State First Time 
Pass Rate

National First Time 
Pass Rate

The Buckeye 
Advantage

2024

95%

67%

+28%

2023

92%

65%

+27%

2022

93%

74%

+19%

2021

89%

78%

+11%

NBEO Part II – Patient Assessment andManagement (PAM) December

Class of

Ohio State First Time 
Pass Rate

National First Time 
Pass Rate

The Buckeye 
Advantage

2023

97%

73%

+24%

2022

97%

85%

+12%

2021

97%

90%

+7%

2020

98%

93%

+5%

NBEO Part III – Clinical Skills Examination (CSE)

Class of

Ohio State First Time 
Pass Rate

National First Time 
Pass Rate

The Buckeye 
Advantage

2022

90%

80%

+10%

2021

97%

92%

+5%

2020

97%

92%

+5%

2019

97%

93%

+4%

Ultimate Pass Rate for All Three Parts

Class of

Ohio State Pass Rate

National Pass Rate

The Buckeye Advantage

2022

96%

88%

+8%

2021

97%

92%

+5%

2020

97%

92%

+5%

2019

97%

93%

+4%

Per accreditation guidelines, below are the first time pass rates by test administration year regardless of graduation year or enrollment status.

Number of 1st Time Takes (Pass Rate)

Year

Part I 
Applied Basic Science (March and August Administrations)

Part II 
Patient Assessment and Management (December and April Administrations)

Part III 
Clinical Skills Examination
July - June Administrations

Ultimate Pass Rate 
Graduation Year (Oct. 1 - Sept. 30)

2022-2023

66 (95%) 

61 (97%)

61 (85%)

TBD

2021-2023

62 (90%)

68 (97%)

68 (90%)

65 (96%)

2020-2021

68 (94%)

66 (98%)

66 (91%)

64 (97%)

2019-2020

66 (89%)

64 (97%)

64 (95%)

61 (97%)