Do I have to wait until I have finished school to apply to NACOR?

No, we encourage students to apply early to NACOR to ensure they have a spot secured for the exam(s). You do not have to wait until you have graduated or met all the eligibility requirements of your regulatory college.  

I have accommodations at school, can I get accommodations for the examination(s)?

Yes, if you require any accommodations during your examination due to disability or extenuating circumstances, a written letter outlining your requested accommodation must be included when you submit your application. Official documentation confirming your circumstances must also be included with your request, for example, documents outlining what accommodation you received at school.

Are there any safety protocols in place due to COVID-19?

Everyone in attendance at the national examinations is required to wear a mask.  Physical distancing will be enforced whenever possible, all equipment and surfaces will be disinfected between use and hand washing/sanitizing is mandatory.

Can I bring my own tools and equipment to the exams?

Yes, you may bring your own optical equipment to the examination, but you are responsible for the accuracy of the calibration of your equipment. NACOR and the host province assume no responsibility for your equipment.  All candidates are required to bring their own pens, pencils, and a non-programmable calculator and these items must be brought in a clear plastic Zip-loc style bag. Do not bring study notes, backpacks, etc. as they will not be allowed into the examination area.

What should I wear to the exams?

The exam is a professional environment, and you are expected to dress accordingly.  Jeans, sweatpants, and track pants are not accepted and anyone attending the exam who is not dressed professionally could be turned away at registration.

How do I find out what is tested in each section of the exams?

The Candidates Examination Handbook provides a breakdown of each section of the eyeglass and contact lens exams including:

  • the marks for each exam,
  • what is tested,
  • and what materials are supplied to complete each section.

It also outlines:

  • the steps to apply for the exams,
  • eligibility requirements,
  • and exam policies and terms.

All applicants are required to have read the examination handbook.

How long do the exams take?

The Eyeglass examination takes about 5 hours to complete. 

The Contact Lens exam takes about 4 hours to complete. 

Generally, most exam locations will run the eyeglass examination on a Saturday in morning and afternoon blocks, and the contact lens exam on Sunday morning and afternoon.  Sometimes, we will run the theory sections of both exams on the Friday before to save time and run the practical sections for eyeglasses and contact lenses concurrently on Saturday and Sunday.

What do I do if I have any issues during the exam?  Who should I talk to?

The Examiners are there to help you, to answer any questions they can, and to help you understand the task you are to perform.  If you feel you would like further clarification, or do not feel comfortable speaking to an Examiner about a particular issue, there is a Moderator at each exam sitting.  The Moderator is there as a representative of NACOR to ensure the exams run the same way in each location, and they are there to provide support to candidates.  If you have any concerns during the examination, no matter how big or small, you are encouraged to discuss those concerns with the Moderator at the examination sitting as this is when help can be provided.  If you call or email the NACOR office after the exams are over there is nothing that can be done to clarify or help with a situation that came up for you.

Will I be able to familiarize myself with the equipment used in the exam before the exam date?

The examination venues are not open to candidates prior to the scheduled exams.  All candidates are provided with time at the beginning of each section of the eyeglass and contact lens exams to become familiar with the equipment before the timer is started.

What’s the pass mark for each exam?

The pass mark for the eyeglass exam is an overall score (the total marks received in each section) of 144 out of 236 or 61%.

The pass mark for the contact lens exam is an overall score (the total marks received in each section) of 131 out of 193 or 68%.

How long does it take to get my marks?

Exam marks are released within 8 weeks of the examination date.  You will receive an email from NACOR announcing that the marks have been posted on the NACOR website.  You can find your marks posted by your NACOR Candidate ID which is provided to you at the exam and is also on your receipt.

Will I receive a transcript of my marks?

No, the marks are posted on the NACOR website, and a copy of the marks is forwarded to the provincial regulatory office you indicated on your application that you will apply for licensing with.  A Certificate of Completion is mailed to each successful candidate.  Do not wait for the certificate to arrive in the mail before applying for registration with your provincial regulatory office.

I failed my exam by one mark. Can I have my mark reviewed?

An examination review is available to anyone that was not successful.  The purpose of the review is to determine the areas of weakness to help you prepare to retake the exam.  Exams are not re-marked during a review.  All exams that are within five percent of a passing grade are reviewed and confirmed by NACOR prior to the marks being released.

If I fail a section of the exam, do I have to retake the whole exam?

You may still pass the exam even if you did not perform well in one section if the overall pass mark is achieved.  If you do not achieve the overall pass mark in either the eyeglass or contact lens exam, you are required to retake the entire eyeglass or contact lens exam. 

How many times can I take an exam?

Once eligible, you can challenge an exam a maximum of three times.  After the third attempt, and for each subsequent attempt after, you must comply with an approved upgrade plan as determined by your provincial regulatory office before any further attempt at the exam can be made.

Am I licensed after I pass the examination?

Passing the examination(s) does not mean that you are automatically licensed.  After the marks are released, you will need to contact your provincial regulatory office to proceed with registration as an Optician.