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The California Optometry State Board Law Exam: Everything You Need to Know

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9 tips of advice to help you ace the The California Optometry State Board Law Exam. This exam is not easy and you will need all the help you can get. The California Optometry State Board Law Exam: Everything You Need to Know.

The California Optometry State Board Law Exam: Everything You Need to Know
Graduation was phenomenal; we threw our hats in the area, celebrated with family and friends and immediately broke out study notes for the California Optometry State Board Exam.
I bet you are in this exact situation right? Well I am here to ease your worries and give you some tools and advice to do well.
I personally really enjoyed studying for the California Optometry State Board Exam. It made me really confident about my future as a California O.D. My biggest tip is study this stuff from the standpoint of “this is going to make me better” and have a true interest in it.

9 things you must know about the exam

  1. It’s Not Easy: It isn’t easy; this is something you must study for. I thought I studied thoroughly yet I still sweat a little bit during the exam and said “damn this was harder then I thought!”
  2. Time is of the essence: There are 50 questions and you only have 60 minuets to take the test. I had about 10 min left to go back to tricky questions.
  3. How much to study?: I studied about 14 days before the exam. The first 7 days was about 2 hours a day maximum. The next 4 days was about 4 hours per day. The last 3 days was about 7 hour days.
  4. Things get vague: Questions on the test are not black and white, there is always some sort of grey area. This occurs because questions are worded is if it was a scenario that would actually happen in real life. In other words, it is not straight from the textbook, it is applied. So when you study, ask yourself questions in an applied fashion!
  5. Know some stuff COLD: The topics you must know COLD are the following
    1. When to refer / consult / monitor
    2. What medications you are allowed to prescribe and for how long can a patient stay on a medication before you must take action
    3. What your staff is allowed to do
    4. Know about your rights to have multiple offices
    5. The difference between – Misdemeanor/felony/Un-professional conduct
  6. Process of Elimination: There is lots of info on this test and it is often grouped into categories. Therefore I would suggest using the study skill of “process of elimination”. For example, when considering the topics of unlawful conduct, misdemeanor and felony – the “felony” category has the shortest list and unprofessional conduct has the longest list. I personally memorized the misdemeanor and felony list and only vaguely knew the unprofessional conduct list. This meant that when something came up that I knew 100% was not a felony or misdemeanor, I knew it must be unprofessional conduct. This helps you learn it for the test, but more importantly for when you are in practice.
  7. Study the long CBO law book: Lots of study materials are floating around and I am sure you can just ask some classmates for their study sheets. I would use any study materials you get as a guide and reference the main CBO Law Book at all times. Yes it is long, but it thoroughly explains things. Also, it is good to practice your “law language” and become familiar with contracts and laws.
  8. Use your iPad to study: My method was this – I would go through questions and study materials from classmates, and whenever I came to a new topic, I would do a search for the reference law number, for example “655”. This would take me to the section I needed, and I would read the entire section in full. I used an app called “GoodReader”. It is like file cabinet + PDF reader on your iPad and has a search feature. It also lets you bookmark pages, highlight and the search by keyword. It will save the file forever on you iPad so if you ever need to refer to in during practice you know where to find it!
  9. Dress Accordingly: Avoid problems by not brining ANYTHING into the room except ONE FORM OF IDENTIFICATION. Don’t bring your phone, wallet, tissues, water, or anything like that. Also don’t wear any jackets or hooded clothing, they will ask you to remove it. They do have lockers for your stuff, but why bother? Keep it slim, ID only. Do you really need water, tissues and all that stuff? Ok I am being a little harsh, but they are strict so I say don’t bring it unless you 100% beyond a shadow of a doubt, need it.
Those are my number one tips for the exam. Keep in mind, if you do not pass you cannot take it again for 6 months. So you have every motivation in the world to study until you have severe dry eye. You will ace the California Optometry State Board Exam, just work hard!
I hope this was helpful, but comment below and I will answer any questions you might have! In order to comment, you must login or create a profile.

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Matt Geller, OD
About Matt Geller, OD

Matt Geller, OD is the co-founder and CEO of Eyes On Eyecare—the #1 provider of clinical and career education for the next generation of optometrists and ophthalmologists through our all-in-one digital content platform.

Matt Geller, OD
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