How to Tell Which Eye is Your Dominant One

Anthony Cote
Written by
Last update:

Eye Dominance Tests

Which eye is your dominant eye? You can easily find out with these tests.

Wrapping Your Finger around Your Pencil

This test is the easiest way to determine your eye dominance. Set the pencil horizontally on a flat surface and use a pen or your finger to wrap around the pencil. Next, without changing the position of the pencil, slowly draw your finger or pen away from the table. After making a full circle around the pencil, notice which eye has made more marks on the paper.

Looking down the Middle of Your Pencil

Set your pencil upright on a flat surface. Using a ruler or other 0-inch measuring tool, at the tip of your pencil make a small mark, align the ruler with the tip of the pencil. Without changing the position of the pencil, look straight down the ruler to find the mark you previously made. Next, find the mark with your eyes alone. The eye that saw the mark first is your dominant eye.

Looking at a Light Source

Select a light source such as your compact fluorescent light bulb, and place the light at the center of your room. Next, sit straight-up with your back touching the back of the chair. Then hold your pencil at the tip and balance your pencil on the tip of your finger. Without moving your pencil, look around the room to find the light source. With practice, you'll begin to see the source of light.

The Instinctive Test

If you are not sure which eye is your dominant eye, there is a very simple test.

Cover your left eye and hold a pen in your right hand. Close your right eye and open your left eye. Look at the tip of the pen. Now close your left eye and open your right eye. Look at the tip of the pen. The tip will now be mostly to the left or mostly to the right. This is the eye you should be looking straight ahead, with when shooting.

Obvious exception to this is when right handed shooters shoot left eye dominant.

Miles Test

You may have heard of the "table test" or "tea test" to find the dominant eye. There are simple instructions for this test online. For example, to do the tea test:

Hold a cup of tea out in front of you

{1}. Close one eye and bring the cup and your finger to that eye.
{2}. While bringing the cup close to your eye, rotate it in a circle.
{3}. If the cup "moves" in a circle as well it means that eye is your dominant one.

And there are other directions for the "plate test" or "table test," etc. Often, it is recommended to do this test several times. It may take several times to get a reliable result.

But remember, the table test is not 100% accurate. There are so many instances where this test comes out wrong, because you may have almost equal strength in your eyes?

Porta Test

The Porta Test is named after Steven M. Porta, who first introduced it. It is used to determine which eye is dominant.

The steps for the Porta test are as follows:

{1}. Adjust the lighting until it is perfectly even all around you.
{2}. Use your right eye to read the bottom line of the visual acuity chart.
{3}. Then switch to your left eye, and read the bottom line.
{4}. If your left eye is your dominant one, you will be able to read the bottom line of the chart. The bottom line will be blurry if your right eye is your dominant one.

No Dominant Eye

No Problem

It’s actually pretty easy to figure out which eye is your dominant one. To find out which eye is your dominant one, you just need to follow these directions:

Step 1: Stand or sit in front of a blank white wall with your chin tilted a bit down.

Step 2: Close your left eye.

Step 3: Take a look at your nose in the mirror. If the right eye is closed and you see your nose, then you are right-eyed. If the left eye is closed and you see your nose, then you are left-eyed.

If you are unable to do the nose test with your eyes closed, then you are likely not even-eyed.