The National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) (www.optometry.org) administers three examinations that students need to successfully pass to be eligible for state licensure and utilize the Doctor of Optometry degree earned from the College:

Part I   – Applied Basic Science (ABS)
Part II  – Patient Assessment and Management (PAM)
Part III – Clinical Skills Examination (CSE)

Historically, a student's individual cumulative GPA at PCO has been a strong predictor of first time NBEO test-taking success. The better a student's performance is in his/her optometry studies, the better he or she performs on the NBEO examinations. 

More specifically, our analysis of the data indicates that students with a cumulative PCO GPA of between 2.0 and 2.3 have a greater level of difficulty in passing the NBEO Part I – Applied Basic Science examination on the first attempt, compared to other students.

The data in the table below indicate the Ultimate (Overall) Pass Rates, in other words, the percentage of students who have passed all three parts of the NBEO examinations at the time of graduation from a school or college of optometry.



Year of Graduation

NBEO Part 1 - Basic Science - March

First Time National

Pass Rate



Ultimate PCO

Pass Rate

Class of 2017 78% 100%
Class of 2018 73% 100%


Year of Graduation

NBEO Part 2 - Clinical Science - December

First Time National

Pass Rate



Ultimate PCO

Pass Rate

Class of 2017 88% 100%


Year of Graduation

NBEO Part 3 - Patient Care

First Time National

Pass Rate



Ultimate PCO

Pass Rate

Class of 2017 81% 89%


Year of Graduation

Pass Rate for All Three Parts of NBEO at Graduation

Ultimate National

Pass Rate



Ultimate PCO

Pass Rate

Class of 2017 84% 100%