OpenOptix ABO Study Guide

Welcome to the project page for the OpenOptix ABO Certification Study Guide. The OpenOptix ABO Study Guide is the product of the OpenOptix initiative, a communty effort desinged to produce free and open optical knowledge content and improve optical care worldwide.

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Download latest version of the OpenOptix ABO Study Guide v1.3and ABO Study Guide Review Questions v1.3 in PDF format OR test you knowledge online with our online ABO Review Quizzes .

If you would like to participate or contribute to the project please, logon to the Open ABO Study Project forum or contact Keith Benjamin.

Open ABO Certification Study Guide Outline

Occular Anatomy

  • Basic Structures of the Eye
  • Refractive Errors
  • Extraocular Muscles
  • Occular Anatomy Review Questions

Basic Optical Principles

  • Light and the Electromagnetic Spectrum
  • Index of Refraction
  • Lens Power
  • Prism
  • Prism by Decentration
  • Basic Optical Principles Review Questions

Lens Form

  • Lens Form: Sphere, Cylinder, and Prism
  • Aspheric Lenses
  • Transposing Prescriptions
  • Lens Form Review Questions

Lens Options

  • Lens Materials
  • Anti-Reflective Coating
  • Photochromic Lenses
  • Polarized Lenses
  • Scratch, UV, and Mirror Coatings
  • Multifocal Lenses
  • Progressive Addition Lenses
  • Occupational Lenses
  • Slab Offs
  • Cataract Lenses
  • Lens Options Review Questions


  • Boxing system
  • Frame Styles and Materials
  • Frame Selection
  • Frame Fitting and Adjustments
  • Frames Review Questions


  • Lensometer
  • Hand tools
  • Tools Review Questions

Regulations and Standards

  • ANSI Standards
  • Liability and Duty to Warn
  • Regulations and Standards Review Questions


  1. I took the ABO test but didn’t pass it. I spent a lot of time with this study guide but there were a lot of lab questions and I didn’t recognize them. I also could not remember formulas. How can I remember them? Is there a way to remember which formula is for which question? I didn’t do as bad as others I new but I still didn’t pass and that was disappointing to me. Any suggestions are welcome.

    • hi angel
      actually IM taking optical dispensing technician program at a school. it best if you attend a school or try to find the formula but I recommended you go to a school that they will show you and teach you the formulas. there is more than one formula. there is transposing diopter and so on but I also want to prepare myself for the oba. I have not taken. I will be done pretty soon with this program. hope you will find a solution passing the exam.

  2. Hi Angel,
    I think the only way we can remember the formulas is to apply to the exercises (just like in math & physic). Unfortunately, this study guide doesn’t have that.

  3. I took the abo test in nov. 2010 and I passed the test . I have only ben in this line of work for one year now but I spent a lot of time studing and looking thing up on line and that’s how I found this web sight and the test that you have I took a long with my fellow works that took the test .thank you for your help

  4. Angel, Are you talking about the transposing formulas? Are there more formulas that I have not found yet?

  5. Many Thanks for writing OpenOptix ABO Study Guide | Laramy-K Optical,
    I actually had been seeking for something related and was
    thankful to discover the information as a result of this specific posting.

  6. where can I study optician in KL or other place in malaysia?

  7. do anyone know if this is up to date or knows of a book that i could buy

  8. Also looking for a book or flash cards for the ABO, the study guide other says 2009, does anyone know if that’s the latest updated one.

  9. Hello anyone out there? Does anyone know if this is still updated and really works for the ABO 2013? Please someone give feedback I am ready to start studying.

    • Hi Jay, the guide was written to cover basic optical principles which haven’t changed since 2009. That being said, we still get feedback from people that have passed the exam using the guide to study. Best of luck and if you have any feedback or think there is anything that could be improved, please let us know.


  10. I studied this and passed in only 5 months of joining optics, than i took a year and studied for the ncle I love this site for studing but would suggest using at least 5 resources, just as you wouldnt do an assignment for school using only resource and each resource sometimes has a different way of phrasing the same things which i found some of the terminology was more medical than in this test, so its very helpful to use other resources like optical training institute 714-551-5455 worth the buy and bernie stewart wow ANY OF HIS CLASSES or materials definatly worth it. also the abo and ncle websites have suggestions.

  11. Jay hi I feel the same way I am hoping this site study guide helps me out on the ABO. I live in C.A and feel little lost and scarred, would not want to study from now till nov with wrong info. Mary hi ur comment sure makes me feel better and not as lost. I was thinking on buying the flash cards from national academy of opticianry, what do you think should be the main focus when studying for the ABO???

  12. I took the abo exam last may 2013 and did not make it,i hope this abo quiz will help me a lot during my review,do you have the latest anzi standard guidline,pls just e mail mo for more information….thanks a lot!

  13. Thank you Mary for your other type of ABO study guide book ideas. I take this class in February and am really nervous due to the amount of people who take it 2 or even more times and fail.

  14. Has anyone taken the Washington State Disp Optician test? Taking it next month and I’m nervous.

  15. Hi I was wondering if the ABO test is hard. And the hardest things on there. I’m preparing for it

  16. I am looking for study material for ABO and NCLE for state of TN

  17. Taking my ABO in Nov. Very nervous but I’ve been doing this for 8 years so it’s now or never.

    • Good luck! Let us know how you do!

  18. I am taking ABO in a week, i hope this would help, i just found out about this study guide last night. Good luck to everybody that will take the exam this November :) Thanks you for this helpful review material:)

  19. need all the help I could get thanks

  20. I’m nervous about taking the ABO exam. New to this field. Any advice?

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