NEW – Eligibility Policy Update for Fall 2021 Candidates

The Policy updates provide candidates with more flexibility regarding challenging the exam, including,

  • the ability for all candidates to choose to write only one or both components at their initial attempt
  • the ability for final year students in ACOE accredited programs or approved bridging/certification programs to challenge the OSCE


Please note that the time limits and numbers of attempts did not change in the updated Policy as follows below:

  • three-year time limits to register for the exam after graduation
  • three-year limit to pass all components
  • number of attempts to pass each component
  • requirements in the Forth and Final Attempt to challenge both the written and OSCE



The OEBC exam is competency-based. OEBC encourages candidates to review the OEBC Exam Study Guide to ensure they are ready to challenge the exam.

About half of the 25 OD programs accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) require a student to challenge/pass a component(s) of a board exam to graduate. ACOE views NBEO and OEBC as “acceptable outcome measures” to meet its Standard. Challenging the written exam is now much easier for students studying in the US or away at a clerkship — OEBC now offers two online testing options.

The OEBC exam satisfies the critical criteria of validity and acceptability necessary for an entry-to-practice exam. The competencies measured, including Canadian culture and systemic approach of the health system, must meet the requirements of the optometric regulatory authorities in Canada, OEBC’s members.

For more information, please refer to the Eligibility and Retake webpage.