Summary: The construction of a class of three-point methods for solving nonlinear equations of the eighth order is presented. These methods are developed by combining fourth order methods from the class of optimal two-point methods and a modified Newton’s method in the third step, obtained by a suitable approximation of the first derivative based on interpolation by a nonlinear fraction. It is proved that the new three-step methods reach the eighth order of convergence using only four function evaluations, which supports the conjecture of H. T. Kung
and J. F. Traub
[J. Assoc. Comput. Mach. 21, 643–651 (1974; Zbl 0289.65023
)] on the optimal order of convergence. Numerical examples for the selected special cases of two-step methods are given to demonstrate very fast convergence and a high computational efficiency of the proposed multipoint methods. Some computational aspects and the comparison with existing methods are also included.