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Examinations Information

How to Apply

Applying for ABDO Dispensing Examinations

Winter 2019  examination applications forms are now available for download from the Winter 2019 Exams Application folder below.  Members will need to log in to the Member’s Area to access the form.

The closing date for applications for the Winter 2019 session will be 1 October 2019.

ABDO College overseas students wishing to sit theory exams at an ABDO approved overseas venue should also download the ‘Request for Overseas Theory Venue Form’, complete and submit with the exam application – see section for Overseas Students below.

2008 Syllabus

If you have studied under the 2008 Syllabus (i.e. started your dispensing course prior to September 2015) and are yet to complete your FBDO Qualification, please contact ABDO Examinations and Registration for further information.

Applying for ABDO Contact Lens Examinations

The closing date for applications for the Winter 2019 session will be 1 October 2019.

Reasonable Adjustments

Any student who believes they have particular needs requiring special arrangements (e.g. extra time, larger printing of papers, etc.) and wishes to be considered for additional examination support will be offered the opportunity to sit the theory/practical examinations with those particular requirements in place, (e.g. for those students with dyslexia, visual impairment, speech impairment, a physical disability).

Students should complete a Request for Reasonable Adjustments form, providing supporting evidence, and send it to ABDO Examinations and Registration together with the Exam Application form. Each application will be reviewed by the Head of Examinations and Registration and granted, if justifiable.

The ABDO Dispensing and Contact Lens Practical exams are held at ABDO’s new National Resource Centre in Birmingham:

ABDO National Resource Centre, 4th Floor, Aqueous II, Aston Cross Business Park, Rocky Lane, Aston, Birmingham B6 5RQ

PDF ABDO National Resource Centre, Birmingham – Directions & Accommodation

ABDO Dispensing and Contact Lens Theory Examinations (for ABDO College students only) are either held at ABDO’s new National Resource Centre in Birmingham (see above for address details) or at the following address:

Doug Ellis Sports Centre, Birmingham City University, 150 Wellhead Lane, Birmingham B42 2SY

Please check your individual Exam Acknowledgement letter for confirmation of where your theory exam will be held.

If you have any queries regarding the exam venues, please contact ABDO Examinations and Registration.

Students can pay for their examinations by BACS using the following information:

Account Name: ABDO

Bank: Barclays

Account No: 00972967

Sort Code: 20-03-79

When making payments, please quote your ABDO membership number followed by the word EXAMS. Also, clearly indicate ‘BACS payment’ in the payment section of the exam application form and attach a copy of the payment confirmation from the bank to the application form. Failure to provide complete information may delay the processing of exam application form.

ABDO Examinations and Registration do not send out receipts for any payments made. Receipts will be available to print off under the student’s own log in from the Members Area on the ABDO website usually within 10 days of any fees being processed.

Students who are unable to attend exams should complete a withdrawal form and send to ABDO Examinations and Registration.

PDF Policy for Candidates withdrawing from an ABDO Examination

PDF Withdrawal from Examinations Form

PDF Contact Lens Withdrawal Form

To order past ABDO Examination papers, download the form below.

Past paper payment form.

ABDO Theory Examinations

ABDO College students who reside outside the UK and wish to take ABDO theory examinations may request to sit examinations at their local British Council (excluding Ireland). Please visit the British Council website ( for more information and a list of all British Councils internationally.

Students are advised to contact and make arrangements with their nearest British Council before applying for their ABDO theory examinations. Once arrangements have been made with the venue, students should complete the ABDO examination application, including the separate Request for Overseas Venue Form (see link below), and submit to ABDO Examinations and Registration at least four weeks before the stated closing date. An additional overseas courier charge, as indicated on the Request for Overseas Theory Venue form, must be included with the examination fee paid direct the Association of British Dispensing Opticians.

Further charges (i.e., venue fee, invigilation fees) may be incurred by the venue and must be paid by the student, direct to the venue at least 5 days prior to taking examination. Any local fees not paid will result in the student not being allowed to sit the examination(s).

If a Request for Overseas Theory Venue is not included with the Exam Application Form, students will be entered to attend the theory exams in the UK.

ABDO Practical Examinations

ABDO College students who reside outside of the UK (excluding Malaysia) are advised that all ABDO practical examinations will take place in the UK only.

Students must make provision to visit the UK at least twice throughout their course of study. Once, for the Preliminary Qualifying practical examination and again at the end of their course to complete the Final Qualifying examination. Additional visits to the UK may be required if elements of the practical examination(s) are unsuccessful. Please be aware that the PQE must be successfully completed before attempting FQE practical examination, they cannot be taken together.

Malaysian students are required to take their theory and practical examinations at our approved venue in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysian students residing outside of KL, may opt to take their theory examinations at a British Council near to them, by prior arrangement only.

For further information or enquiries regarding the above, please contact ABDO Examinations and Registration or email