Optometry: Exam and Education Schedule
*Next Exam Scheduled:*
July 29-31, 2016
See the Link "Applications and Forms" for More Information. Call the Board Office at (505)476-4622 for a Packet to be sent to you.
Optometry Licensure Exam
- As of January 15, 1995, all candidates for licensure are required to take the Board's licensing examination. The next board exam will be July 2016; for more information about board exam please contact board office 505-476-4622.
- As of January 15, 1995, all candidates, except those who have met the qualification requirements set forth in Subsections A and B of 126.96.36.199 NMAC and have been approved as candidates for licensure by endorsement, shall be required to pass Part I, Part II, Part III, and the TMOD of the NBEO national standards examination as a prerequisite to sitting for the Board’s licensing examination.
Examination Policy And Procedure
(Policy to be brought by candidate to the Clinical Exam)
Effective January 15, 1995, successful completion of PART I, II, and III, and TMOD of the National Boards is a prerequisite for sitting for the New Mexico Board of Examiners in Optometry state examination, unless specific requirements for licensure by endorsement are met. The National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) must send proof of successful passing of the accepted NBEO exams directly to the Optometry Board. See the NBEO PART Equivalency information and Board Regulations, Parts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, for further information on examination requirements.
The New Mexico Board of Optometry will conduct the state optometry Jurisprudence and Clinical Practicum examinations once a year in July. The 2016 exam is scheduled for July 29-31, 2016. Approved candidates will be notified by mail of their official exam schedule immediately after they complete the application process or within two weeks after the final application deadline. Official notification will be mailed to each approved exam candidate no later than 40 days in advance of the exam, in time for candidates to make travel arrangements.
Travel arrangements should not be made until the candidate has received official written notification that his/her application has been approved and that he/she has been scheduled to sit for the exam.
Prior to the exam deadline candidates MUST provide the Board with a specifically written list of the names of any New Mexico licensed optometrist(s) with whom they are acquainted; with whom they have professional or personal affiliation; or that they would feel uncomfortable being examined by, in the event that one of those optometrists is a Board member or a clinical examiner for the Board. Failure to do so may disqualify the candidate from the exam.
Fee and Refund Policy
Application Fee: $175. Examination Fee: $400 (TOTAL $525) Licensure Fee: $200
By rule: All fees are non-refundable.
The deadline to receive the applicant’s Letter of Intent, Application Form and Application Fee is 65 days in advance of the Board’s exam. Candidates should recognize that arrangements and financial commitment made by the Board to examine the total number of approved candidates are made weeks in advance of the examination. A commitment of the candidates' fees, as well as a substantial amount of the Board's other funds, has already been made at least a month prior to any given exam. Therefore, candidates who cancel after the 40 day notice, or who fail to appear for the scheduled examination, will automatically forfeit any fees paid.
The Jurisprudence Exam is normally scheduled on Friday afternoon, and the Clinical Practicum is administered on Saturday and possibly Sunday. The Board will examine a maximum of twelve candidates a day for the Clinical Practicum. Candidates will be randomly scheduled for the Clinical Practicum.
The Board must receive ALL required documentation and examination fees on or before the deadline date, in order for the application to be considered complete.
Identification And Registration
After the exam schedules have been finalized, each APPROVED candidate will be notified by mail of the exact clinical practicum session that he/she has been scheduled for. However, an exact scenario schedule will be given to each candidate before the candidate leaves the Jurisprudence Exam on Friday afternoon.
- Candidates will NOT be allowed entrance into either the Jurisprudence or the Clinical Practicum exam without the aforesaid notification letter.
- At registration, candidates will be assigned an Identification number on an I.D. card.
- The assigned I.D. number will be the sole means of candidate identification throughout the administration and grading of the exam.
- Candidates must also present picture identification at the time of registration for both the jurisprudence and clinical/practicum exams.
- Candidates should be present thirty (30) minutes prior to their scheduled examination time.
- Candidates should bring their own pens or pencils.
All of the equipment and instruments necessary to take the Clinical Practicum examination will be furnished to the candidate. However, the candidate will be allowed to use personal binocular indirect ophthalmoscope and condensing lenses, provided that the ophthalmoscope is equipped with a teaching mirror.
Candidates will be required to furnish their own patient for the exam.
- The patient must be at least eighteen years of age.
- The candidate will anesthetize and dilate the patient for purposes of the examination in Station A (Next Section).
- The patient may not be a graduate of, or a student enrolled in, a school or college of optometry.
- Both the candidate and patient will be required to execute an affidavit and release form prior to the exam.
- Under no circumstances will anyone be allowed at the site of the examination other than the candidate and the candidate’s patient without the consent of the Board.
Clinical Practicum Content
There will be four examination stations through which the candidates will rotate.
- The maximum time allowed for examination of the candidate at each station is thirty-two (32) minutes.
- There will be a thirteen (13) minute break between sessions in order for the examiners to complete their evaluations, and to allow candidates to move on to the next assignment.
- Candidates will immediately return to and wait in the outer reception area during this period.
- One of the stations (Red) will be dedicated to Procedures. This is where the candidate's patient will be utilized.
- In each Procedures station, the candidate will be allowed a total time of thirty-two (32) minutes to prepare the patient and perform those procedures that are assigned to that station.
- If for some reason a candidate is unable to provide their own patient please notify the Board office ASAP and one will be assigned to them.
Red Station Procedures
The following will be included in the Procedures Section of the Exam. The candidate will be required to perform or to have knowledge of:
Binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy, to include scleral indentation.
Biomicroscopy of the posterior segment
Biomicroscopy of the anterior segment
Flouriscene Angiography (No injections required – just knowledge).
The candidate will be required to demonstrate proficiency in performing binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy to include scleral depression and posterior segment biomicroscopy with various fundus lenses. The candidate will be required to demonstrate proficiency in performing anterior segment biomicroscopy and gonioscopy. The Procedures (four in all) are evaluated separately. That is, the candidate is required to perform each procedure as he or she would in a private office setting on a patient presenting solely for the particular examination (Procedure) that is being evaluated.
Green, Yellow and Blue Station Scenarios
The candidate will be presented with patient Scenarios in the Green, Yellow and Blue Stations. Four Scenarios will be presented at each station for a total of twelve (12) scenarios. The scenarios presented will include patients with ocular disease, ocular degenerations and dystrophies, neuro-ocular disease, ocular manifestations of systemic disease, ocular side effects of systemic medication, systemic manifestations of ocular disease, trauma, post-operative management, and ocular irritations.
As in a real-life setting, the candidate will be expected to work through each case as if the patient were presenting in his or her office. Case presentations and findings will be given in a straightforward manner by the clinical examiners. However, it will be the candidate’s responsibility to ask for necessary or additional information, findings, or clarification (as would occur in a real-life setting) in order to arrive at the proper diagnosis and treatment. The candidate's patient presentation, evaluation, and questions will follow the S.O.A.P. (Subjective, Objective, Assessment, and Plan) format. The candidate’s performance will be evaluated in each part of the S.O.A.P. (Subjective, Objective, Assessment, and Plan).
The candidate should be mindful, however, that there are four (4) Scenarios to be presented within each thirty-two (32) minute time frame, and the exam must move forward as the schedule demands. It is to the candidate's advantage not to linger too long in an area (Scenario) where he/she may be having difficulty. One member of the examiner team will keep track of the time and move the exam forward to the next scenario when each eight minute period is up. When the eight minutes are up for a Scenario, it is the candidate’s responsibility to inform the clinical examiners that he or she is ready to move on to the next question. If time permits, the clinical examiners will allow the candidate to return to any of the candidate's problematic areas in order to allow opportunities for improvement.
Candidate's Exam Records
In each station, the candidate will be furnished with a blank sheet of paper with his or her I.D. Number and the Station name and time printed on each sheet. These sheets are to allow the candidate to take any notes deemed necessary as the clinical examiners “set up” the Scenario or Procedure. These sheets must be left with the examiners before the candidate exits the Station.
NMSA 1978 § 61-2-6.D. (7) states, “The Board shall certify as passing each applicant who obtains a grade of at least a 75% on each subject upon which he is examined.” Subsection D of Part 5 of 188.8.131.52 NMAC (the Board’s Rules and Regulations) states, “A score of seventy-five percent (75%) or better is required on each section of the Board’s exam.” The Board has some discretion as to what it can consider a “subject” or “section” of the Board exam. At its discretion, the Board has determined, for purposes of FINAL scoring, to break down the exam into two subjects: the Jurisprudence Exam and the Clinical Practicum Examination.
The Clinical Practicum examination will be scored based upon an average of the total score for the seven sections:
- The four stand-alone Procedures in the Red Station, and
- The three clinical categories presented in the Green, Yellow, and Blue Stations (consisting of four scenarios each).
- In order to pass the Clinical Practicum examination, an applicant must obtain a minimum overall average of 75% in the Clinical Practicum and a 75% or better in the Jurisprudence.
Provided, however, that any applicant who has received a grade of less than 60% on any part of the Clinical Practicum examination will not be considered eligible for licensure even though the overall Clinical Practicum grade may average 75%.