Combined Discipline Written Exam Pathway FAQs


How do I know if I am eligible for the combined written exam?

If you have a master’s degree in orthotics and prosthetics from a CAAHEP accredited program, you are eligible.

Do I have to complete an NCOPE residency program to apply for the combined exam?

No. You may apply for the combined written exam immediately after graduation. Check the application deadlines for your desired exam cycle (link). 

Can I take the exam if I am currently enrolled in an NCOPE residency program?

Yes. You just need to have earned a master’s degree in O&P from a CAAHEP accredited program.

Can I take the exam if I have a master’s in O&P AND I’ve also completed my NCOPE residency? 

Yes. If you are ultimately seeking a CPO credential, you can take the combined exam.  

When can I apply for the simulation and CPM exams?

Once you have completed your residency for that discipline. You must apply for eligibility for these exams. Once approved, you will receive a new three-year eligibility period for these exams.​

 Application Process

How do I apply?

You must apply using the online application. Links can be found in the Application tab or the Apply Now button on the right navigation pane.  

If you created a student account, it is recommended that you use that login information. If you are a new applicant, you must create a login using your email address.

What if I missed the application deadline? Can I still apply?

You can apply after the application deadline up to thirty days. You will be required to pay the $75 late fee.

I forgot my login information. How do I obtain it?

You can reset your login information by clicking Forgot your login id? If you need further assistance, contact Heather Harris at (703) 836-7114 ext. 232 or heather@abcop.org.

How do I determine my application status?

We will send via email and mail a notice of your eligibility status within four weeks of receiving your application. Check your application status by logging in to your MY ABC​ account.  ​


Initial Application - CPC​O

What do I submit with my application?

You are required to submit the official master degree transcript from the CAAHEP accredited program.

My education was earned outside of the United States. What do I need to submit?

A credential evaluation from the World Education Service (WES).

How do I submit my transcript?

Transcripts must be provided to ABC within thirty days after the application deadline using one of the following methods:

Transcripts or WES Evaluations:  Can be uploaded directly to your online application dashboard in the “Degree” tab.

Documents can also be emailed to certification@abcop.org​ or mailed directly to the ABC office.

What if I don’t yet have my transcript on the application deadline?

If we don’t receive your transcript in that thirty days, your application will be denied.

Application 2 and Application 3 (CO & CP Applications)

Important Information:  This section is applicable only if you have applied for and/or have taken the Combined O&P Written Examination and have completed an NCOPE residency program.​

 Residency and Application Dates

​My residency end date is after the deadline for my desired exam cycle. Am I still eligible for that cycle? 

No. Your residency end date must be on or before the residency deadline.

How will ABC know when my residency is complete? 

NCOPE will provide confirmation of your residency completion to ABC.

What if I am unable to complete my residency requirements by the residency deadline for my desired exam cycle? 

Your application will be denied for that cycle.  ABC will defer your exam fees to one subsequent cycle.   ​

 Required Fees

What fees do I submit with my application?

Both the initial application fee and exam fee are due with your application. The application fee is non-refundable.  

When you are eligible to sit for the discipline specific written and simulation exams, Application 2 and Application 3 fee(s) and the applicable exam fee(s) will be due at the time of submission.​

 The Exam Process

Once my application is accepted, how do I register for the exam?

We will email you registration information on how to register for a specific time, date and location with our testing provider, Prometric.

If I applied for both disciplines during the same exam cycle, can I take all of my exams during the same day and/or cycle?

Yes, you are able to take more than one exam on the same day, space and time permitting.

What if I can’t find a testing center near me?

Availability at the testing centers is on a first come, first served basis. If you are having difficulty finding a location near you, please contact us at 703-836-7114 ext. 221 or at certification@abcop.org​.

What if I register and then realize I can’t take the exam that day?

You can cancel the exam up to thirty one days prior to the exam date without incurring a penalty. If you cancel in less than thirty days there is a $60 fee.

What if I forgot to register for my exam? 

You will forfeit your exam fee and will be required to reapply for eligibility for the next available session.​

 Exam Content

​​Is the combined exam simply a combination of the current single discipline written exams?

No. It is a new exam with its own test specifications. The single discipline exams are designed for candidates who have completed an NCOPE residency in that discipline. The combined exam is designed for candidates who have just graduated from a CAAHEP accredited master’s program.

Do you provide exam prep materials?

Yes. Practitioner exam prep materials are available to all candidates including a test content outline, practice analysis of the O&P profession, sample exam questions, exam references and a recommended reading list. Information on exam review courses, provided independently of ABC, is also available.​

 After the Exam

​​When will I receive my exam results?

For the written and simulation exams, you will receive a preliminary score on screen when you finish your exam. An email will also be sent to you within 24 hours from Prometric. Your official score report will be sent to you in four weeks.

CPM exam results are available approximately four weeks after the exam.

If I fail my exam, when can I re-take it?

You may immediately register for the next available exam cycle.

What if I take the combined exam and fail it?  Can I take the single discipline written exams in the future?

Yes. Once you have completed your residency, you can apply for the single discipline written exams. Additional application and exam fees will be required.

How many times can I take the exam?

Once your initial application is approved, you are provided with a three-year eligibility window in which you are allowed four attempts at the exam.

What happens if I've failed the exam four times?

If you have failed the exam four times or if your eligibility period has expired, you must reapply for eligibility. 

If I passed all of my exams, when will I receive my certificate?

Certificates are mailed six weeks after the conclusion of the exam cycle.

How do I maintain my certification?

Once you are certified, you have a five-year certification cycle in which you must earn continuing education credits and submit an annual fee. Click here for information on practitioner continuing education credit requirements.

How much is my annual fee and when is it due?

Your annual fee is $275 and is due by December 1st. Your first year fee will be prorated. ​