Student Trial Exam

The Student Trial Exam (STE) is a standard knowledge level test which assesses students’ contact lens knowledge

Conducting the STE for your students is straightforward and streamlined. The STE is delivered online via IACLETOP.

Exam features

  • A choice between the traditional 100 multiple-choice question (MCQ) exam or a reduced STE with 50 MCQs, providing more flexibility for educators and students
  • Questions and answer options randomized, so each student gets an individual exam
  • The option to complete the STE via a smartphone app as well as on their computer
  • Online feedback for each student, either on the day or when the educator prefers

There are two formats of the STE: 1. STE basic (B-STE) and 2. STE original

1. STE basic (B-STE) – new in 2022!

  • Designed to be used at the start of the student learning experience
  • Designed to assess the basic knowledge for contact lenses and their fitting
  • Consists of 50 multiple choice questions
  • Exam questions drawn randomly from a pool of 200 questions
  • Questions delivered randomly provides each student with an individual exam
  • Exam results including category analysis is available to the member from IACLETOP
  • Can be run as a proctored exam or remotely online

2. STE original

  • Designed for third or fourth year students
  • Consists of either a 50 MCQ exam or a 100 MCQ exam
  • IACLE members running the STE choose the format, date and time that best suits their needs
  • Exam questions drawn randomly from a pool of 200 questions
  • Questions delivered randomly provides each student with an individual exam
  • Exam results including category analysis is available to the member from IACLETOP
  • Can be run as a proctored exam or remotely online

Member testimonies

IACLETOP came to the rescue just in time. The STE is an important element of contact lens teaching as it forms a part of our summative assessment for final-year students. Both I as the educator and my students had a good learning experience with the Online STE.
FIACLE Fakhruddin Barodawala, SEGi University, Malaysia

The STE was a comprehensive examination for my final year student’s contact lens knowledge. The IACLETOP platform is user friendly and IACLE were very helpful guiding me every step of the way. What I loved most about IACLETOP is the analysis of the student’s answers after the exam. The reports generated helped greatly in identifying the gaps in student knowledge and provided me with a clear indication of where revision should be focused to prepare the students for their final assessment. Thank you IACLE for this wonderful opportunity!
FIACLE Dr Elizabeth Chetty, University of Johannesburg, South Africa (pictured above center)

The purpose of this program

The STEs are recommended for entry level and third and fourth year students or newly qualifying graduates. The exam assesses their level of contact lens knowledge and identifies areas where knowledge may be lacking. As a result, students are guided to where further study and practice are required.

We believe that higher levels of knowledge in students will give them the confidence to go out into practice and successfully fit contact lenses and manage their patients.  This confidence contributes to the reduction of contact lens-related complications, consequently leading to fewer patient dropouts.  This will ultimately increase the popularity of, and consumer confidence in, contact lenses as a form of vision correction.

STE format

  • The exam questions are provided as multiple-choice questions and the responses include a correct answer plus three distractors
  • A range of these questions require the student to recognize/identify a certain type of lens fit or eye condition in a colour photograph.
  • STE original: two exam formats are available: 50 MCQs and 100 MCQs and members may choose their preferred format
  • STE basic: consists of 50 multiple choice questions
  • Language formats available: English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Bahasa and French (STE original only)

Categories covered in the STE

1. Anatomy and Physiology of the Anterior Eye
2. Design and Management of Contact Lenses
3. Principles of Contact Lens Fitting
4. Patient Examination and Delivery of Contact Lenses
5. Care and Maintenance of Contact Lenses
6. Ocular Responses to Contact Lenses
7. Complications Resulting from Contact Lens Wear

We provide the exam in the following languages:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Bahasa
  • Korean
  • Chinese {Simplified}
  • French (STE original only)

Who can conduct an STE for their students?

Full Members are eligible and encouraged to conduct this program at the start of the student learning experience (STE basic) and again for their third and fourth year student cohort (STE original).

When can a member conduct an STE?

Full Members can apply to conduct the STE anytime.  See below regarding registration.

How to register for the STE

Full Members register for a ‘Student Area’ on IACLETOP. With the Student Area the STE will be made available, as well as other IACLE resources tailored for teaching purposes. You can find out more about the Student Area on the IACLETOP web page.

Full Members complete and return the Student Area Registration Form to their local IACLE representative.


There is no cost for the STE, however, there is a cost to set up a Student Area within IACLETOP. A Student Area is where the STE is located. Members have access to IACLETOP free of charge; members wanting to set up a Student Area there is a cost per student. IACLE’s price per student is as follow (based on IACLE’s pricing scheme):

PPP1 – $4 per student
PPP2 – $8 per student
PPP3 – $12 per student

  • Student Area fees are valid for the calendar year
  • New institutions who sign up for the Student Area will not be charged fees for their first calendar year

STE set up instructions

IACLE supports members with getting themselves and their students prepared to complete the STE on IACLETOP. Read our step-by-step instructions

Results and reporting

IACLE’s Education Team provide the member with instructions on how to export the exam results to their students. IACLE creates a summary of the results into a report and provides this to the member.

An IACLE STE certificate template is provided to the member, if they choose to, for preparing for each student who received a 50% or higher exam outcome.


Please contact your IACLE representative or contact us at:

Feedback from Full Members & students on the STE

It was a great experience and opportunity to conduct IACLE STE online through IACLETOP. It is a great initiative to set up STE through an online App. Conduction and coordination of examination I found to be very easy and stress free through the Canvas App. Exam questions were well structured in a thought provoking manner and tricky at the same time. It has covered the entire portion of contact lens curriculum, thus it helps the students to know their position and weakness before commencing their year ending examination. STE results were presented with summary of individual questions and their answers attempted by each student,which really helped to know their understanding level and discuss about their struggle.

Educator Nithya Ravindren, Ahalia School of Optometry, India

It is always a team of players who win the game starting with motivated students, then coach and teachers. Thank you IACLE for the STE and supporting the institutes wholeheartedly.

Educator Veshal Madan, D.Y. Patil Institute of Optometry & Visual Sciences, India

The concepts covered have helped me set a standard for evaluating my knowledge in the field. The exam was practically oriented, and is hence poised to provide an effective transition from classroom learning to professional application. The questions were of a challenging level, with several numerical applications. The experience of preparing, learning and testing my skills in this field has helped me challenge myself and my abilities. It has been enlightening to know in detail about the know-how of contact lenses and the technologies associated.

Student Jishna Balakrishnan, Ahalia School of Optometry, India

IACLE’s STE was a very nice experience. Disabling back tracking was a very essential feature helping to think twice before answering. It generated interest in contact lenses, specially IACLE modules to read and practically relating it in case discussions. IACLE TOP is a user friendly platform with mail notifications to directly access it. Thanks educators and IACLE.

Student Aditi Sarkar, Hari Jyot College of Optometry, India

It was a wonderful experience! Questions were very challenging but I really enjoyed it.

Student Jaydeep Jogiya, Hari Jyot College of Optometry, India