Can you cheat in a sight test?

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I decided to write about this topic after reading a web discussion on whether you can cheat in a sight test by wearing your contact lenses during the test.

The discussion brought to my mind a story of a man with poor vision who passed his driver’s license test by learning the sight test board by heart.

Personally, I don’t think it’s possible to cheat in a sight test conducted by an optician or an eye specialist. Whether you can cheat in a sight test conducted by a general practitioner or nurse, I cannot really tell.

Why would anyone try cheating in a sight test?

People may come up with an idea of cheating in a sight test if they need to have a statement on good vision for example when applying to the police school. You also need a certain visual acuity for flying a plane or driving a truck, for example.

In addition to visual acuity, some occupations have requirements for color vision or field of vision.

To meet the vision requirements, it’s often enough if you get your visual acuity checked instead of a complete sight test.

The differences in checking the vision acuity versus a sight test?

When checking the vision acuity, it is only checked with the eye exam board how small signs a person can see either with or without the glasses. Based on this examination, it is impossible to tell what kind of glasses are needed. If the acuity of vision is lowered, a visit to an optician or an eye specialist is recommended for a complete sight test. Most of acuity of vision tests are conducted by a nurse or a general practitioner, but of course also an optician or an eye specialist can conduct the test.

Acuity of vision is also checked in a sight test. In addition, it is checked whether the person needs glasses and with what kind of prescription. A complete sight test can only be conducted by an optician or an eye specialist. A general practitioner has no rights or training to do this.

Why is it impossible to cheat in a sight test?

It’s no use to learn the letters and numbers of an sight test board by heart in a sight test, as it is not the only thing you need to do. The optician also examines if there’s refractive error in your sight with special devices designed for this.

During the test, the exam pictures are blurred intentionally at some point, so if the customer sees at this point too well, or not well enough, the cheating is revealed. The same issue is tested with other tests also and if there are any contradictory results, it shows that you cheat.

To sum it up, there’s no point in learning the sight test board by heart. There are different kinds of boards, and it is practically impossible to know which board is used.

I don’t think it’s possible to cheat with contact lenses either. I myself look at the eye so closely that I can see if the customer is wearing contact lenses.

Cheating in vision acuity test?

I cannot really tell if general practitioners or nurses check if the person tested is wearing contact lenses. Someone could try learning the boards by heart, but as I stated earlier, there are different boards used.

Is there a lot of cheating?

Personally, I think and believe that it is extremely rare to cheat in sight tests. I hope that everyone would realize that sight requirements for different occupations are there for a reason, not just for annoyance.

I myself haven’t come up with an attempt to cheat in a sight test related to requirements for a certain occupation.

A different story is the people who do not want to wear eye glasses. Every once in a while in a sight test a person tells that he can see the signs perfectly but when asked to name them, none of them is correct.

Usually, the customer in this kind of situation is a child whose parents have made the child come to the test. The same kinds of cases come from occupational health care occasionally. Sometimes it’s hard to be professional when meeting such customers, but luckily I meet them quite rarely.

Please note that the advice and tips given in this blog are based on Finnish regulations and laws. Therefore, you need to verify the regulations and laws in your country from your own optician, optometrist or eye specialist.

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