Information about the Ophthalmic Technician Certification (COT®) Examination

Source: The exam is administered by the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (800-284-3937). Call them for an application to take the exam.

1. For technician level there is a written exam and a skill evaluation. The cost of the exam is $325 for one written exam attempt and one skill evaluation attempt. The written exam must be passed before the skill evaluation can be taken. Exams are taken at a Pearson Vue Test Center. You will apply for the exam through the Joint Commission, not through Pearson. You can look up test centers at (new window).

2. There are between 210 and 225 multiple choice questions and you have 3 hours to complete the test. Some of the questions are under evaluation (10 to 25) and are not scored, but you will not know which ones. Your score is based upon the 200 questions that are scored.

3. You are allowed up to 1/2 hour at the beginning to review a tutorial on the operation of the testing software.

4. The questions are structured as multiple choice, with four choices. Some choices may be partially correct. You are looking for the single best answer.

5. There is a minimum number of questions that must be answered correctly in order the pass, but you are not told what number that is. Examination scores are not released, only pass-fail results.

6. The exam includes questions from every content area, but may not include questions from every sub-content area. The technician level written exam may include questions from assistant level content areas.

7. Upon completion of the exam, it will be scored immediately, and you will know immediately if you passed or failed. Be sure to obtain a copy of your Performance Report, especially if you fail. This report will inform you of the content areas in which you did not meet the minimum standard.

8. An examination report will be mailed to you 2 to 4 weeks after completion. If you pass, a letter, certificate, and card indicating certified status will be included in the mailing.

9. If you fail the written exam, a retest application will be included with the examination report that will be mailed to you. You will have 12 months to take up to two re-tests. After your retest application is processed, you have 90 days to schedule the retest. The cost of the first retest is $275. The cost of a second retest is $150.

Click here for information on the ophthalmic technician skill evaluation.

An Ophthalmic Technician Certification Exam Prep Course is available from