Pennsylvania College of Optometry
Doctor of Optometry

Traditional Program

PCO Student Performance:

Examinations Administered by the
National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO)

The National Board of Examiners in Optometry (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 Ultimate National Pass Rate Ultimate PCO Pass Rate
Class of 2007 93.10% 92.50%
Class of 2008 93.90% 93.80%
Class of 2009 90.70% 91.10%
Class of 2010 95.90% 94.10%
Class of 2011 94.40% 95.90%
Class of 2012 92.7% 95.1%