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Thread: Just took my ABO. Here’s what to expect

  1. #1
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    Just took my ABO. Heres what to expect

    For anybody curious about taking the ABO, Im going to give you details about it.


    First off, about me: Ive been in the industry for ten years in a state that does not require licensing or certification. I would consider myself a solid optician. With some studying I believe I could pass an advanced test.


    About the test: its two parts. Written (well, typed into a computer, but you get what Im saying), and practical (also now on a computer). Written is 125 questions and practical is 30. Written is 2 hour time limit and practical has 45 minutes I think.


    Written test: whats on it?

    • Tons of prism stuff. Like literally tons.
    • Some regulatory questions.
    • A few tricky tolerance questions.
    • Maybe one compensated Rx (spherical only)
    • One power cross question
    • A few anatomy questions
    • Like two or three astigmatism type questions (compound, simple, mixed)
    • A bunch of easy questions that just seem like padding.
    • Some lens questions (definition, abbe value, best lens for particular use case)
    • Maybe two focal length/power questions
    • Some adjustment questions which are easy



    Stuff that I was surprised was NOT on the test (at least for me)



    • Power in meridian formula questions
    • Displacement/prism questions
    • Dont really recal any occular health or condition problems( I sucked at anatomy up until taking this test and stuff like this worried me)
    • Age old questions I was expecting like ptosis crutch or speed of light.
    • Nothing about virtual or real images.



    Overall, I got about a 90% and did not encounter anything that I had never heard of before.


    Practical test: whats on it?



    • Questions with a virtual lensometer where you need to check tolerances.
    • Questions with a virtual Pupilometer
    • Questions where you pick the correct tool from a picture of about 15
    • Videos where a person describes a problem and you have to answer how to resolve it.
    • Questions where you need to measure PD and figure out if they pass or not



    I HATED this part. Which is funny because I thought it would be the easier part. The virtual lensometer is absolute garbage. Things that I do everyday and know intuitively were just way too hard to replicate with this thing. In the handbook to prep for this they say theres nothing tricky about this test. Well, this felt pretty tricky. Having an unclear image with a janky fake lensometer while trying to answer a question that depends on something being at or beyond a 8th diopter is kind of unfair and crummy. Also, every time I had to use a virtual ruler, the mm markings were NOT clear. In fact, all of the images were quite blurry.


    I passed this section as well, but just barely. I wholly blame the format. If theres an ABO employee out there, please fix this.


    Lastly, I got my results in about five minutes. One thing that I despise is that you are not given the specific answers that you got incorrect. For the amount of money that you pay, you should get this. Again, anybody from ABO out there? Please fix this.


    I guess I can call myself an optician now.
    Last edited by Prentice Pro 9000; 06-06-2022 at 05:13 PM.

  2. #2
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    First of all, congratulations on your success - and yes, take the advanced just for fun.

    Second, I'm one of those people who nitpick about grammar and misused apostrophes, and 12th diopters when they are 8th diopters. One half of a quarter is an eighth, not a twelfth; sorry to dwell on the little things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by finefocus View Post
    First of all, congratulations on your success - and yes, take the advanced just for fun.

    Second, I'm one of those people who nitpick about grammar and misused apostrophes, and 12th diopters when they are 8th diopters. One half of a quarter is an eighth, not a twelfth; sorry to dwell on the little things.
    ahhhh yes you are correct. As far as grammar, I wrote this quickly so I could remember everything.

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    Master OptiBoarder optical24/7's Avatar
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    Congrats JT! Onward to ac and m!

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    Congrats on passing!

    Thank you for sharing your insight!

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    OptiBoardaholic KrystleClear's Avatar
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    Congrats! I am studying for the ABO. I've worked in eyecare since 2011 but not all of that time was in optical and I am self-taught, so I am very intimidated by the ABO, especially the math related things. I'm mathematically deficient. I am worried that I won't be able to memorize all the formulas and math-y stuff and then also be able to use said formulas correctly. I just want to make sure I am as prepared as I can possibly be because if I fail, that's a lot of money to throw down the drain. Even the practice tests are expensive. My state also does not require certification or licensure, but I would like to have the piece of paper anyway. Thanks for the breakdown!
    Krystle

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    Master OptiBoarder optical24/7's Avatar
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    Don’t worry too much about the math Krystle. There’s nothing you can’t do in your head on the standard test. Kinda funny, way back when I took the AC, I was in the same room (separate table) as those taking the standard test. The proctor gave me a calculator. One of the other test takers said, “ Hey! Why does he get a calculator and we don’t?” The proctor said, “ Because he’s taking the AC and you’re not.”

    The math you’ll need to know is Prentice Rule, meridian power and induced prism and direction. ( surprisingly, these are 3 of the most missed questions on the math sections).

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    Master OptiBoarder optical24/7's Avatar
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    Oh, and you work for an OMD, right? Hit him up for paying the test fee. (And later for any CE and renewal costs.) I’m not saying that many OD’s don’t pay for employees advancement, but almost every Ophthalmologists I’ve ran across will.

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    Quote Originally Posted by optical24/7 View Post
    Dont worry too much about the math Krystle. Theres nothing you cant do in your head on the standard test. Kinda funny, way back when I took the AC, I was in the same room (separate table) as those taking the standard test. The proctor gave me a calculator. One of the other test takers said, Hey! Why does he get a calculator and we dont? The proctor said, Because hes taking the AC and youre not.

    The math youll need to know is Prentice Rule, meridian power and induced prism and direction. ( surprisingly, these are 3 of the most missed questions on the math sections).
    maybe not even power in meridian formula. It was not on mine at all. I didnt even touch the scientific calculator

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    Master OptiBoarder optical24/7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prentice Pro 9000 View Post
    maybe not even power in meridian formula. It was not on mine at all. I didn’t even touch the scientific calculator
    They let you use a calculator now on the basic ABO test? That’s different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KrystleClear View Post
    Congrats! I am studying for the ABO. I've worked in eyecare since 2011 but not all of that time was in optical and I am self-taught, so I am very intimidated by the ABO, especially the math related things. I'm mathematically deficient. I am worried that I won't be able to memorize all the formulas and math-y stuff and then also be able to use said formulas correctly. I just want to make sure I am as prepared as I can possibly be because if I fail, that's a lot of money to throw down the drain. Even the practice tests are expensive. My state also does not require certification or licensure, but I would like to have the piece of paper anyway. Thanks for the breakdown!
    Prentice rule made easy: power x how much moved x 0.10. The big problem is which base direction to put down. My rule for the test is: if you move plus power, you write down the same base direction as you moved it in. If its a minus lens, then you write down the opposite.

    example: a +5.00 lens is decentered inwards 5mm, how much prism is induced?

    so we have 5x5x0.10= 2.5 and since its a plus we match the direction it moved so final answer is 2.5 base in.

    another example: -7.00 lens is decentered out 3mm, how much prism is induced?

    7x3x0.10 = 2.10 and we mark the base direction as opposite the direction moved since its minus. Final answer
    2.10 base in

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    Quote Originally Posted by optical24/7 View Post
    They let you use a calculator now on the basic ABO test? That’s different.
    I mean.. you'd need it for power in merdian for sure

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prentice Pro 9000 View Post
    I mean.. you'd need it for power in merdian for sure
    You can use the 1/3rd, 1/2, 2/3rds and whole formula to get close enough. The basic wouldn’t have anything other than 1/2 ( 45 degree) or whole (90 degree). Once again, unless it’s changed, the basic exam won’t have a question the requires a calculator.

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    Quote Originally Posted by optical24/7 View Post
    You can use the 1/3rd, 1/2, 2/3rds and whole formula to get close enough. The basic wouldn’t have anything other than 1/2 ( 45 degree) or whole (90 degree). Once again, unless it’s changed, the basic exam won’t have a question the requires a calculator.
    ah yes you're correct. I do recall a question about how much power there was in a certain meridian (90 degrees away from what was shown).

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    OptiBoardaholic KrystleClear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by optical24/7 View Post
    Oh, and you work for an OMD, right? Hit him up for paying the test fee. (And later for any CE and renewal costs.) I’m not saying that many OD’s don’t pay for employees advancement, but almost every Ophthalmologists I’ve ran across will.
    They do pay for it IF we pass. Haha. Well, it's good to know it won't be like an algebra test. I'm a little dissapointed the speed of light stuff isn't on there! 186,000 miles per second is burned into my memory. The speed of light in crown glass is 122,127 miles per second. I can remember that crap but not the important stuff.
    Krystle

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    OptiBoardaholic KrystleClear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prentice Pro 9000 View Post
    Prentice rule made easy: power x how much moved x 0.10. The big problem is which base direction to put down. My rule for the test is: if you move plus power, you write down the same base direction as you moved it in. If it’s a minus lens, then you write down the opposite.

    example: a +5.00 lens is decentered inwards 5mm, how much prism is induced?

    so we have 5x5x0.10= 2.5 and since it’s a plus we match the direction it moved so final answer is 2.5 base in.

    another example: -7.00 lens is decentered out 3mm, how much prism is induced?

    7x3x0.10 = 2.10 and we mark the base direction as opposite the direction moved since it’s minus. Final answer
    2.10 base in

    Thank you! Wrote that all down in my study notes. What a fitting username, too.
    Krystle

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    Quote Originally Posted by KrystleClear View Post
    Thank you! Wrote that all down in my study notes. What a fitting username, too.
    Happy to help. Btw, Im not sure if its obvious, but you can multiply the power, the 0.10, and the amount moved in any order and it will come out the same.

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