Certified Ophthalmic Technician Exam - COT® Study Guide

If you are a certified ophthalmic assistant, then you are likely eligible to take the ophthalmic technician (COT®) certification exam. The only other way to COT® exam eligibility is to graduate from an accredited training program. If you unfamiliar with the profession and you need some introductory information, go here. 

The basic eligibility requirements for the COT® exam are as follows: You must pass a written certification examination and a computerized skills examination. To be eligible for examination, you must work for at least one full year as a COA® and you must have 12 group A CE credits within the past 12 months.

Once you are ready to sign up for the exam, you will have some questions about what and how to study. That is what this COT® exam study guide is about:

What do I need to study for the COT® certification exam?

The Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology publishes a PDF guide called the "Criteria for Certification and Recertification". This guide lists the "content areas" and "sub-content areas", or subject matter, that will be included on the exam. You can get your own copy by going to the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology website. Here is an example of a content area and the sub-content areas:


Sub-content areas:

IOL power calculation
Low vision
A/C depth
Tear Tests
♦ Schirmer
♦ Rose Bengal
♦ Biometry instruments
♦ Topography unit
Anterior chamber depth
Glare testing
Color vision testing
Contact and Immersion A-Scan
Laser interferometry (IOL Master)
Wavefront diagnostics
Corneal sensitivity testing

There are 19 of these content areas, and over 100 sub-content areas on the COT® exam. Now all you have to do is figure out where you can get study material that will cover all of this content. Something else to think about, since the field is constantly changing, The Joint Commission makes fairly frequent changes to the content areas, so make sure those resources are all up-to-date. Fortunately, there is help available with the eyetec.net COT® exam prep course.

I have been working as an ophthalmic assistant for many years. Don't I have enough knowledge to pass the COT® exam without having to study?

I have heard of people who have claimed that they passed the COA® certification exam without studying, but I have never heard anyone claim to pass the COT exam without studying. This exam costs $325 to take. I don't think I would take that chance, especially since a quality study resource is available.

I have a list of study resources from my co-workers. How do I know that everything I need to know is covered in these materials?

You don't really know, unless you take the time to cross-reference your study material with the exam content areas. This has already been done for you with the eyetec.net certified ophthalmic technician exam prep course.

If I pass the written exam, there the skill evaluation that I will need to pass. Where can I find study material for the skill evaluation?

After you pass the written exam, you will need to pass a performance test before becoming certified. The skill areas that will be tested on the COT® exam performance test are: lensometry, visual fields, ocular motility, keratometry, retinoscopy, refinement, and tonometry. It is likely that you use these skills in your everyday work environment, and it is not hard to find resources to describe these skills. The eyetec.net COT® exam prep course includes instructions for these skills. Keep in mind that the performance test is a computer simulation. The Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology has a "learning systems" CD that it sells that is based on the same software. This CD can used to practice for the skill evaluation. You can also purchase access to individual sections of the CD content on the Joint Commission website. Eyetec.net has added a course that takes you through the software process step-by-step, and it is less expensive than the CD and less expensive than the Joint Commission website tutorials. Click here for more information on the eyetec.net "How to Pass the COT® Skill Exam" course.

Get more information about the eyetec.net certified ophthalmic technician (COT®) exam prep course.