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Thread: State Practical Exam

  1. #1
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    State Practical Exam

    Hi my state (Ma.) has just started giving a pratical exam this year and I was wondering what was envolved in taking the exam.
    I thought while I was at it it might be interesting to see what they are like in other states too.
    Thank you for any info you might have,
    Tom

  2. #2
    Master OptiBoarder Joann Raytar's Avatar
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    gebe33:

    In CT you must be a registered apprentice with 8,000 hours experience, ABOC, NCLC and pass a practical for eyeglasses, a written test on State Laws and a practical for contact lenses.

    You are given a test subject to fit. You have to put together a Shuron combination frame and choose the correct bridge, eyesize and temple length. (This is where the paper clip tip comes in handy. Instead of screwing the temples on, you use a paper clip or a safety pin to hold things together while you check to make sure you have the correct length temple after adjusting the for the bend.) You have to assemble and adjust the glasses to the subject. You then have to take PD's, vertex distance and seg heights off the person.

    Next you have to completely neutralize a set of lenses, then mark them up and finally lay them out by hand according to the measurements you took from the subject.

    Next is problem solving. You are given a little bit of information about the Rx and fitting requirements at a number of stations each with a pair of glasses or lenses. You then have to decide whether or not the lenses pass ANSI standards. There is also a section where you have to identify lens materials.

    Lastly, there is a written test on State Laws that covers everything from information about the State Board of Opticianry and Licensing requirements to FDA recommendations on CL wearing schedules.

    For the Contact Lens Exam you must determine if a person is a good candidate for Contacts, use various instruments to fit a person for contact lenses (take K readings, use a slit lamp and know the correct filters and type of light source & etc.) and finally dispense a pair of hard contact lenses and remove them from the person's eyes.

    CT removed the Contact Lens slides a few years ago but they are trying to get them added back on. You are shown picture slides and must identify what you are seeing, GPC for example.

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    Bad address email on file stephanie's Avatar
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    Big Smile

    If it is anything like the one they give in TN it was easy....very easy. We had to take a written test on state laws...then we did the lensometer exam, then lens clock. To think I was actually worried about it...HA!! Wish you the best of luck, I am sure you will do fine.


    Steph

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    Master OptiBoarder MVEYES's Avatar
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    Big Smile Ohio

    only has a written exam for licensure. I sure would like to see a practical nation wide.



    :bbg: Jerry
    The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground

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    Bad address email on file Jackie L's Avatar
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    Virginia

    Virginia's practical exam includes

    Lensometry
    Identifying lenses
    Calculating and ordering
    Hands on adjusting.

    Where is Harry from Cape Cod? He may have a clue. I am also licensed in the great state of Massachusetts, but before the practical was required. Go get 'em. you'll be fine.

  6. #6
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    Massachusetts Practical

    Hi All:

    As many of you know, I developed and now administer the Massachusetts Practical Examination. The following information is public knowledge and is mailed to all applicants before the test. I thought the group would find it interesting.

    The Massachusetts Board of Registration of Dispensing Opticians EYEGLASSES PRACTICAL examination may include but not limited to the following topics:

    finding single-vision and multifocal lens power using a Crossed-Line-Target lensmeter;
    reading lenses in both plus cylinder and minus cylinder form;
    determining add power;
    measuring lens center thickness with lens calipers;
    checking for horizontal and vertical prism;
    calculating prismatic effect and bicentric grinding corrections;
    measuring base curves and seg width;
    measuring distance between centers (measuring "distance PD" and "near PD");
    quote and apply ANSI Z80-a999 standards;
    identify and calculate inset, seg inset, and total inset;
    measure seg height and determine seg drop;
    knowledge of proper frame alignment and conventional frame adjustment tools;
    identify lenses by both product name and manufacturer;
    progressive addition lenses areas include: monocular decentration, distance reference point, prism reference point, fitting cross height, prism thinning, near reference point, manufacturer's hidden identifying logo, hidden reference points, hidden add power engraving, recommended minimum height.

    Appicants for the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Dispensing Opticians EYEGLASSES PRACTICAL examination must bring a lens clock, thickness gauge and flexible millimeter ruler to the test. Equipment sharing will not be allowed. A lensmeter, water soluble felt tip marker, Optical Laboratories Association Progressive Identifier, PAL-ID unit, Gaugemaster calibration device, scratch paper and pencils will be supplied on-site; however, applicants may supply their own non-automated lensmeter if desired. Marco Lensmeters or B & L style Vertometers will be utilized in the test. Test positions will be randomly assigned and those not supplying their own lensmeter cannot be guatanteed a specific lensmeter type. Applicants are responsible for verify ing the accuracy of test equipment used during the examination.

    Roy R. Ferguson

  7. #7
    Master OptiBoarder MVEYES's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Roy

    Thanks for that information. I want to bring it to our state association board to try and institute it in Ohio.


    :D :bbg: :cheers: Jerry
    The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground

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    In New York...

    It used to be that you had to complete a Slab-Off and Vertex Distance problem as part of the exam. Additionally, we had to check distance V/A. Since adopting the ABO/NCLE those portions have been eliminated. However, licensed opticians are still licensed to check V/A's. If they don't check V/A's during a practical, how can they issue a license for that?

    In any event, New York requires the following during a practical:

    - Read a pair of glasses from a lensometer, noting all frame and lens information/measurements.
    - Suggest frames and lenses from a prescirption.
    - Bench Align and Adjust glasses after the examiner takes them out of "bench alignment". Followed by fitting and adjustment properly on another candidate.
    - Identify and catagorize 10 lenses (material, type, base curve)

    My suggestion to the schools would be to add 25 written questions to the current practical exam. Seeing how the schools mandate the exam, this would weed out the optician wanna be's. Funny, but they just don't want to do it.

  9. #9
    OptiBoard Professional Excel-Lentes's Avatar
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    Hi,

    You could contact Anthony Sbalbi, program director at Holyoke Community College optical program, and he may be able to give you some pointers.

  10. #10
    OptiBoard Professional Excel-Lentes's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, the phone number to HCC is 413-552-2474.

    -duh- sorry!

  11. #11
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Check your laws...

    MV,

    I have no financial interest in any practical exam or company that produces same.I do, however, have a professional interest.

    Most of the original legislation creating registration for opticians had provisions for both written and practical exams. Many states dropped the practical exam with the institution of the ABO test which was supposed to be designed to objectively test practical knowledge along with everything else.Somehow over the years that was factored out and ABO certification was producing opticians who lacked any practical experience requiring them to be taught by either an employer or an unsuspecting public, how to read a lensometer and adjust a pair of glasses.

    In addition, the subjective nature of most practical exams (requiring an opinion of the examiner), made the licensing boards liable in the case of a lawsuit.At that time (late 70's) most boards were not indemnified against lawsuits and were personally liable.This precluded reintroducing a practical.

    In Massachusetts board members are now indemnified from lawsuits and the opportunity presented itself to bring back a practical.Once the decision was made we began a search for an objective exam.Russ Tolar(NC) was instrumental in putting us in touch with Roy Ferguson (above in this thread) who put together a practical similar to that of North Carolina.He designed a test which is fair, objective, and most importantly,validated by second year opticianry students

    I am sure Roy would be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

    Best wishes from harry j
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  12. #12
    Master OptiBoarder MVEYES's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Harry

    Thanks for the information. I will keep in touch with Roy and take this information to our state association as a legislative objective.



    :D :cheers: Jerry
    The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground

  13. #13
    OptiBoard Professional Excel-Lentes's Avatar
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    Out of curiosity,

    Where will the MA practical exam be administered? Does anyone think that there could ever be a standardized practical exam like the one described by Roy used by groups of states or even all licensed states?

    To me this seems like common sense. It would allow an optician to transfer to different states without having to sit for another exam. Also it would set a standard for opticians; everone would be at the same minimum competence. Is this feasable and how could it be applied?

  14. #14
    Master OptiBoarder MVEYES's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Excel-Lentes

    Sounds like an idea our National Associations should be working to legislate. A strong unified National organization could set up a blueprint to go state to state (with assistance) to enact this kind of practical.


    Jerry:cheers:
    The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground

  15. #15
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    Massachusetts Practical

    Hi All:

    The Massachusetts Practical will be administered at Holyoke Community College, Holyoke, Massachusetts on 4 May 2002. As an aside, this test format is being used in North Carolina and is being considered for Alaska.

    Roy R. Ferguson

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    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    It is interesting to note.......

    It is interesting to note that the need for a standard practical exam was universally noted at the National Assn of Registration Boards at the annual OAA meeting in Anaheim last June.I felt that there was some real progress about to be made.

    Roy made what I think was an eloquent case in his presentation, and I had the feeling it really had a chance.All of a sudden, Virginia said that their requirements were "different and more stringent" than other states.I'll leave it to Roy to explain why because my notes of the meeting have been lost however I do remember asking what was different about neutralizing a lens in Virginia than it was in Massachusetts.I am sorely afraid that the "egos" involved will never allow a single exam, at least in my career.

    Its an excercise in frustration but no reason to stop trying. hj
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  17. #17
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    addendum:

    As an addendum, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will recognise any comparable practical exam conducted by any other state or licensing authority as a qualification for licensure without having to take the MA exam.
    "Always laugh when you can. It is a cheap medicine"
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  18. #18
    Master OptiBoarder MVEYES's Avatar
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    Lightbulb hj

    You said:
    I am sorely afraid that the "egos" involved will never allow a single exam
    You have pinpointed one of our major problems. Why can't we start out with a standardized practical and if one of the states wants to add to the base practical they could add it as a separate part of their overall testing process.


    :cheers: Jerry
    The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground

  19. #19
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Once you make an exception to the rule....

    Dear Jerry,

    When I was in " management" I used to quote a favorite tennent of mine a lot.Simply stated it was: Once you create an exception to the rule....the exception BECOMES the rule. A standardized test MUST be standard.There cannot be any exception to a standard practical.

    The ABO test has become a standard.Nothing can change that, nor should it.Its unfortunate that it has not been upgraded in the way "they" promised it would when "they" got everone to accept it as a "standard", but the fact remains it is accepted as a standard.Lets get over that and talk about a universal Practical.

    I am of the opinion that Roy has it.I know not what NY or any other state has adopted but I took Roy's test and fortunately passed it...(self graded but with impartiality)I would not be telling you this if it were otherwise:D :D .A standard Practical test is not ROCKET SCIENCE, as Dr Ferguson will be the first to tell anyone.It is a test of practical knowledge!Either you have it or you don't.If you do, you're in, if you don't you'd better get it!
    Its so simple, but the wanna be rocket scientists say if you can't be better than I am....you can't be....

    Good luck! Massachusetts did it, your state can too!
    hj
    "Always laugh when you can. It is a cheap medicine"
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  20. #20
    Master OptiBoarder MVEYES's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Harry

    Again right on. In this case your points are well taken. Standardized tests should be standard across the states. Now to convince all states to move toward the light.


    :D :D :bbg: :cheers: Jerry
    The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground

  21. #21
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    You could start by....

    You could start by telling all the members of the National assn of Registration Boards, that we're all Bozo's on the same bus.No one is better than anyone else,That the basic level of competency acceptable to one state is acceptable to all.There are basic things opticians should know in order to be able to work on their own....in their name or in the name of their employer, and I mean without supervision.They are after all, opticians....aren't they?Any student of opticianry weather from academia or an apprenticeship program should be ashamed not to be able to pass a basic practical competency test.And yes, if anyone was curious, I approached Dr Ferguson's test with some apprehension due to the fact my apprenticeship expired in 1964.I wasn't quite sure I'd be up to snuff with the second year students of today.Lord only knows how many times I am reminded on this board alone, that which I do not know, or have long since forgotten.Fortunately my mentors on this board are more than willing to teach rather than ridicule....(although all's fair....etc)

    Contact the Nat'l assn with your thoughts, maybe by this June they'll have seen the light!
    hj
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  22. #22
    Master OptiBoarder MVEYES's Avatar
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    Question Harry

    You said:
    You could start by telling all the members of the National assn of Registration Boards, that we're all Bozo's on the same bus
    How can I reach the National assn of Registration Boards ?

    PS Our strengths come from individuals like you who have learned the craft and have become a professional over the years of practice. The individual who tells me they are all knowing in this profession be they university educated or 50 years in the business needs to wake up. We all learn as we go. I too feel that one of the great rewards from this board is the information I obtain from the individuals like you who I consider a mentor. You and others who share important ideas and experiences build a foundation that will make the future better for our profession.


    :cheers: Jerry
    The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground

  23. #23
    Forever Liz's Dad Steve Machol's Avatar
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    Big Smile Re: You could start by....

    hcjilson said:
    ...we're all Bozo's on the same bus.
    Ahhh, someone else who remembers Firesign Theatre!


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  24. #24
    Master OptiBoarder MVEYES's Avatar
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    Big Smile Steve

    You're not that old are you? :D
    Did'nt Bozo just pass away recently?

    :) Jerry
    The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground

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    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Info you wanted-

    Dear Jerry,
    The official name of the committee is
    National Committee of State Opticianry Regulatory Boards -NCSORB for short.
    In June, Jon Bright from Virginia was elected chairman. You may reach him by phone if you can find it in one of his posts.:)


    I have in front of me, as I type this, a paper entitled

    Here and There A look at the possibility of a multistate/National Optician's Practical Exam. co authored by Shelby Powers and Jon D.Bright, both of the Virginia Board.
    It is a summary of the history of the quest for a national practical since 1998.I think it was presented for discussion in New Orleans a year and a half ago.This paper makes the following list, and I quote it here.

    "THERE: OUR COMMON GOALS
    1. A standardized practical examination that is current, valid, reliable, objective and defensable.

    2. Professional mobility and removal of unnecessary regulatory barriers on trade.

    3. Uniform standards/scope of practice issues.

    4. Difined qualifications for candidates to sit for examination.

    5.A state specific jurisprudence module.

    6. Examination vendor who administers, owns(?),reports, updates and defends the examination.

    7. Assuring to the public quality care from competent professionals.

    It was unfortunate that one of the authors of those apparently did not take them to heart, because last June many of the players were at the meeting and substanitive progress could have been made.In as much as Virginia was spearheading the drive for standardization I wonder what they is using for a practical exam at this time.


    The representative from Rhode Island sat next to me at the meeting.I wonder how far they have gotten in their search for a practical? Incidently I am sending this page to her in hopes she will feel free to join in this dialog.Shes an Optiboarder too!
    sorry to be so long winded.
    best from harry j
    Last edited by hcjilson; 04-08-2002 at 01:32 PM.
    "Always laugh when you can. It is a cheap medicine"
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