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Thread: Just finished the Abo Avanced test...PASSED!

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    OptiBoard Apprentice rmnrdi's Avatar
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    Post Just finished the ABO Avanced test...PASSED!

    I would love to say that I went in and demolished the test, but I can't. It was pretty difficult. I'm going to outline what you need to know and some helpful hints to prepare you for the test.

    The Test Itself :
    • When we look through optician related/created material, it's usually in a nice clean format with OD and OS parameters on separate lines. This is NOT how your test is formatted! It's all on one line, and it looks like crap. So be ready for that.
    • Be sure to know how to navigate ALL types of notation. If your office/lab uses one type of Rx notation, start using another in your own time to get used to reading it. This applies to frames, lenses and patient measurements.
    • If you're using a TI -Anything calculator, stop doing that. Go buy the cheapest calculator with trig functionality and then throw it out of the window of a fast moving car. That was the calculator I was provided. The screen had a dent in it directly over the first character position. Actually, the first calculator she wanted to give me had no trig functionality and she had to dig through her drawer to find that piece of (place poop emoji here). I'm not saying this will happen to you, but be prepared for it.
    • The pencils they gave me didn't erase, but they did spread pencil lead all over my scratch paper in a fantastically nasty way.


    Basically, just be prepared for the worst test set up possible and you'll be ok. The only way it could have been worse is if they released rabbid skunks into the testing area to battle off as you're doing slab-off calculations.

    Test Content:
    Obviously, I can't give you actual test questions, but I can tell you the material you need to study.

    You could get by with the following items, but always go to multiple sources.
    Essential Items:

    • Advanced Opticians Tutorial (NAO)
      • Many of the non-math questions are directly from this book, so get it.

    • Optical Formulas Tutorial (NAO) *You can get it elsewhere, but why not support a great organization while your purchasing it.

    Know the following chapters from Optical Formulas Tutorial:

    • III -Lenses
    • IV -Prism
    • V -Surfacing and Finishing
    • VI -Advanced Lens Formulas

    If you can answer all the exercise and the review questions (including master level question with an *) at the end of each chapter, you'll be fine. If you only use the Advanced Optician Tutorial...you will not do well on this test. For some reason, the AOT has insufficient math review and the ABOAC test has a LOT of math questions.

    • System for Ophthalmic Dispensing (Amazon). It's kind of the bible for our industry anyway, so just buy it already. If for anything, it's an amazing reference.


    That's about it really. If anyone has questions, feel free to ask. Again, I'll be kind of limited to how I can answer for obvious ethical reasons.

    -Robert Minardi ABO-AC <=====
    Last edited by rmnrdi; 08-17-2017 at 02:28 PM.
    Robert Minardi ABO-AC
    https://robertminardi.com/

    "If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done."
    -Thomas Jefferson

  2. #2
    Ghost in the OptiMachine OptiBoard Silver Supporter Quince's Avatar
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    Congrats! And thanks for the pointers. I have three years to prepare for rabid skunk battling so I'll be sure to brush up on my technique!
    Have I told you today how much I hate poly?

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Well you've convinced me I should buy the NAO books. I have the brooks and boorish and its great but i was wondering if the specific books were worth it.

    Congratulations and I hope to join you there soon

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    Master OptiBoarder optical24/7's Avatar
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    Congrats and great review Rob. I have no idea if the pass rate has changed, but there was a time it was 3-5%. So it is a high accomplishment. I also don't know if they have different versions for the AC like they do for the basic, or have changed it. Mine was heavy on path and prism. The quantity of path is what surprised me, for an optician's test.

    Highly recommend all the study books, we all should own them for reference. And final advice..Practice with an alabragic calculator. That's the type they'll give you. There's also Reverse Polish, don't practice with those. ( IMHO they suck, they're non-intuitive.)

    The great thing about taking the test is not just putting a measuring stick to your knowledge base the day of the test, but the best thing is the knowledge you gain from the pursuit. I promise, you'll learn more in that study period than you ever have in your career. More so pursuing your M. Enjoy the journey, all that go for it! You won't regret it...

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    OptiBoard Apprentice rmnrdi's Avatar
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    Mine was heavy in math and math. Very little pathology.

    I wouldn't bet on a good algebraic calculator from the testing center.

    Here's a picture of what they gave me. If you can imagine the model before it though, with loose keys and a damaged screen.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's the one she tried to give me at first:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I said "Yeah, I'm gonna need one with trig functions." So she scraped around in her drawer and gave me the other one. The one that was sent back in time from a post apocalyptic future wasteland and was then run over by a truck.
    Robert Minardi ABO-AC
    https://robertminardi.com/

    "If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done."
    -Thomas Jefferson

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    Forever Liz's Dad Steve Machol's Avatar
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    Congratulations Robert!


    OptiBoard Administrator
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    OptiBoard has been proudly serving the Eyecare Community since 1995.

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    OptiBoard Apprentice rmnrdi's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone for the congratulations!

    No time to rest on laurels though, there's more to be done.

    One of the things I took away from the test, was my weaknesses. The questions that I couldn't immediately recognize and act on.

    For anyone teetering on the decision to take it, go for it. Never be afraid of failure...or losing $225.

    There is no such thing as failure. There are only results.
    -Tony Robbin
    Robert Minardi ABO-AC
    https://robertminardi.com/

    "If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done."
    -Thomas Jefferson

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    Congrats on passing the ABO-AC and thanks for the tips. I am taking the test at OptiCon this October and have been only using the ABO Advanced Tutorial.

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    OptiBoard Apprentice rmnrdi's Avatar
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    That will get you part of the way there. The AOT is great for stuff like anatomy, pathology, medications and the stuff that's more memorization.

    The only place it's weak is in the math. There are hardly any math examples in AOT that represent actual test questions, and there's a lot of math in the advanced test. The formulas in the back of AOT are really all you'll need for the test, but you should practice with a book like Optical Formulas Tutorial. That's far more representative of the level of math on the advanced test.

    Know the following backwards and forwards:
    Prism in all it's forms.
    Slab-Off
    Lens Layout
    Minimum Blank Size
    The power cross
    Lens neutralization
    ANSI standards

    Pretty much everything that was on the basic just more...advanced.

    Be ready to combine these topics as well. They'll usually only give you an rx, frame and patient measurements. You have to take it from there.

    Also, I can't stress enough that you need to be prepared for how this test is going to be formatted. That's what threw me off my game right away.

    You'll get questions that look like this:

    Given the rx OD -2.00 -0.50x90 OS +1.50-1.00x180 +2.50 Add ou reading depth 8mm PD 61/64 frame 58 19. What is the vertical imbalance? <= Not an actual question.

    It may be in your best interest to copy some of the more difficult questions into a readable format before you start them. Also, if your going to be given it at Opticon, try to find out what calculator you'll be using and get one to practice with.

    I think they can give you that info.

    Anyway, study hard, know your math, and you'll be fine.
    Robert Minardi ABO-AC
    https://robertminardi.com/

    "If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done."
    -Thomas Jefferson

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    Robert, I was wondering if I need to memorize all of the formulas (Seems like tons) or do the provide a list of formulas?
    Thanks.

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    OptiBoard Apprentice rmnrdi's Avatar
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    They don't provide formulas.

    I will say this. At Opticon 2014, a group of us were told by one of the tests creators to focus on the ophthalmic optics formulas in the Advanced Opticians Tutorial. They said the physics formulas are there for completeness, but they want the test to focus on things an optician would actually use. This specificity in the new test is also the reason they got rid of the management portion that was in the old ABO-Advanced test.

    After taking the test, I can say they were correct.

    Study for this test like your life depended on it and you'll do fine.
    Robert Minardi ABO-AC
    https://robertminardi.com/

    "If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done."
    -Thomas Jefferson

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    Thanks Robert, I appreciate your input.

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    OptiBoard Professional Randle Tibbs, ABOM's Avatar
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    Robert,
    Congratulations, I took the test in 1996 and surprisingly passed it. At the time it was known as the Masters exam so i was required to write a research paper which again, surprisingly was accepted the first time. I say this to say, don't stop with the AC, go the extra step and work towards your Masters certification.

    Randle

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    Thank you for the info. This is something I have been putting off.

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    OptiBoard Apprentice rmnrdi's Avatar
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    Thanks Mr. Tibbs.


    The goal is to move onto the ABOM certification.


    In case you're curious, the new requirements are:


    * Passing the ABO Master in Ophthalmic Optics examination, (I don't even know if they've made this test yet)


    or


    * Have written two published ABO-approved Advanced Level III articles (Probably the direction I'm going to go)


    AND


    Approval by the ABO Masters committee


    Also, they now require another 3 year wait between advanced and master level, but I believe I can work on the two level III articles in this time frame.


    This is assuming that the requirements don't change yet again. I think in the last year I've seen two additional changes to the requirements.
    Robert Minardi ABO-AC
    https://robertminardi.com/

    "If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done."
    -Thomas Jefferson

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    One eye sees, the other feels. OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Robert,

    Nice going on the ABO-AC.

    https://www.optiboard.com/forums/sho...-a-Master-Exam

    Hope this helps,

    Robert Martellaro
    Roberts Optical Ltd.
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    www.roberts-optical.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. - Richard P. Feynman

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    OptiBoard Apprentice rmnrdi's Avatar
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    Thanks Robert!

    It's funny, because I used that Master exam to study for the advanced. I figured if I could do those problems, I'd be prepared for the advanced exam.
    Robert Minardi ABO-AC
    https://robertminardi.com/

    "If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done."
    -Thomas Jefferson

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    Robert, thank you for your very helpful suggestions on the ABO Advance Test. I believe that the Optical Formulas Tutorial saved my life. You were absolutely right, the extra math practice was extremely helpful, as was bringing my own pre-approved calculator that I was comfortable with. I passed, and like you I am looking forward to obtaining my Master certification.

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    OptiBoard Apprentice rmnrdi's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=jasons;541127]Robert, thank you for your very helpful suggestions on the ABO Advance Test. I believe that the Optical Formulas Tutorial saved my life. You were absolutely right, the extra math practice was extremely helpful, as was bringing my own pre-approved calculator that I was comfortable with. I passed, and like you I am looking forward to obtaining my Master certification.[/QUOTE

    Congratulations!!

    I'm glad they let you use a decent calculator and not something found in a ditch somewhere.

    Let me ask your opinion. Did the question formatting throw you off?

    I was so used to optician questions looking like something an optician would write, I just wasn't prepared for the run-on sentence style prevalent on the exam.

    It really messed with my head.
    Robert Minardi ABO-AC
    https://robertminardi.com/

    "If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done."
    -Thomas Jefferson

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    [QUOTE=rmnrdi;541128]
    Quote Originally Posted by jasons View Post
    Robert, thank you for your very helpful suggestions on the ABO Advance Test. I believe that the Optical Formulas Tutorial saved my life. You were absolutely right, the extra math practice was extremely helpful, as was bringing my own pre-approved calculator that I was comfortable with. I passed, and like you I am looking forward to obtaining my Master certification.[/QUOTE

    Congratulations!!

    I'm glad they let you use a decent calculator and not something found in a ditch somewhere.

    Let me ask your opinion. Did the question formatting throw you off?

    I was so used to optician questions looking like something an optician would write, I just wasn't prepared for the run-on sentence style prevalent on the exam.

    It really messed with my head.
    I wouldn't say it threw me, but it did make my head feel a little funny. Making a stressful situation a little more stressful. Your warning probably prepared me mentally for what was coming. It made me extra careful when I was putting the numbers in the calculator. What got my head spinning was not the slab off, but the bi-centric grinding questions. I was like what the heck?!?!?. I didn't remember studying bi-centric grinding. So I decided to treat it as slab off, and of course when I looked it up after I got home (DUH) they were the same thing. The scariest moment was when I pressed the "yes" button to the question. "Are you sure you want to score your exam." I am really glad I decided to go for my advanced certification. I definitely learned some things that will help me be a better optician during my studies. It also awakened something in me that wants to help further the field of opticianry. I have been kind of sitting back on my smug little laurels with the mind set that I didn't have much growth left in me since I have been doing this so long. Thanks again for the help, it made a big difference.

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    Hi, I just joined the board today, but I used the information in this thread in preparation for the ABO-AC, which I passed today. Thank you for your information!

    My test experience was slightly different. I had access to an online scientific calculator, my "scratch paper" was laminated sheets that I was given dry-erase markers to write on (but no erasing per the testers...they weren't truly "dry-erase", apparently). I felt my exam was very balanced...it wasn't particularly heavy in any one area.

    Is it true that the pass rate is single digits?

    I am thinking of going for ABOM next.

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    OptiBoard Apprentice rmnrdi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peacebug View Post
    Hi, I just joined the board today, but I used the information in this thread in preparation for the ABO-AC, which I passed today. Thank you for your information!

    My test experience was slightly different. I had access to an online scientific calculator, my "scratch paper" was laminated sheets that I was given dry-erase markers to write on (but no erasing per the testers...they weren't truly "dry-erase", apparently). I felt my exam was very balanced...it wasn't particularly heavy in any one area.

    Is it true that the pass rate is single digits?

    I am thinking of going for ABOM next.
    That's great! You put the work in and it payed off!

    I'm glad you had a better testing experience than I did.

    I've heard it's a low pass rate, but I don't know. I know it's a pretty rare level of certification in general. With less than 300 nation wide. <- Don't quote me on that number.

    Also, why not go for the ABOM? Go to ABO-NCLE and check out what's necessary and start working towards it. That's what I'm doing too.

    -Rob
    Robert Minardi ABO-AC
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    "If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done."
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmnrdi View Post
    That's great! You put the work in and it payed off!

    I'm glad you had a better testing experience than I did.

    I've heard it's a low pass rate, but I don't know. I know it's a pretty rare level of certification in general. With less than 300 nation wide. <- Don't quote me on that number.

    Also, why not go for the ABOM? Go to ABO-NCLE and check out what's necessary and start working towards it. That's what I'm doing too.

    -Rob
    It was an interesting test experience for sure! I am lucky because I was a COT in a previous life so I had an easy time with patient assessment, anatomy, physiology, pathology, etc. I’ve been in the field for 29 years and thanks to your tips I brushed up on things like calculating resultant prism and slab off.

    I may may just go for ABOM, but I’m old. 😊 If you have tips on getting level III articles published, I’m all ears. I may try NCLC-AC for the heck of it. I think I might be slightly out of my mind. 🤣

    Kim
    LDO, ABOC-AC (!!), NCLC

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    Congratulations peacebug. Way to go! When I was at Opticon and talking to some of the people who were involved with making the test, they said the pass rate had increased to about 25%. But I looked up your state and you are 1 of only 3 AC certified opticians in Massachusets. And there are only 9 ABOM's. There are also 216 Active ABO-AC opticians in the United states right now. I am with you, and would rather find the path to ABOM through articles rather than another test. Good luck in your future endeavors.

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    Congratulations. You guys inspire me Im ordering study materials tomorrow.

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