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ICO Exams

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Terms & Conditions

ALERT for Egypt Exam Candidates:
Applications to the ICO should be made only throught the ICO Coordinator and NOT via a second party.

Next ICO Examination Dates:

  • Standard Examinations: 30 March 2021 and October 2021
  • Advanced Examination: 30 March 2021 and October 2021
  • Subspecialty Examinations: TBA (October)

The ICO Examinations are the only worldwide medical-specialty examinations. They are independent and free of any outside influence and can be taken in the candidate’s own country. The questions are prepared by an international group of examiners and set at the same standard as the highest board and qualifying examinations anywhere.

Each year, the ICO offers examinations throughout the world to help ophthalmologists evaluate their knowledge in Basic Science and Clinical Sciences related to Ophthalmology. The ICO started to offer examinations (initially called “Assessments”) in 1995. Since then, more than 70,000 candidates have taken the ICO Examinations. In 2019, there were just over 6,500 ICO examinations taken in 137 test centers in 83 countries.

As a special benefit of ICO membership, the ICO offers more favorable registration rates to candidates from countries whose societies are ICO Members.

Standard Examinations
The ICO Standard Examinations are divided into three subject areas: Visual Sciences; Optics & Refraction and Instruments; and Clinical Ophthalmology. The Clinical Ophthalmology examination is offered to ophthalmologists who have passed the first two components, or an examination of a similar standard recognized by the ICO.

Advanced Examination
The Advanced ICO Examination (115) is offered to ophthalmologists who have passed all three parts of the ICO Standard Examination, or an examination of a similar standard. Passing the ICO Advanced Examination, along with a local face-to-face examination, entitles the successful candidate to use the post-nominal acronym FICO (Fellow of the ICO).

The  Advanced ICO Examination (180) is offered to ophthalmologist who hold a certificate for Advanced 115 or MRCSEd with The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinbugh. 

Subspecialty Examinations
The subspecialty examinations are to be held in the following subjects: Cornea & External Eye Disease, Glaucoma, Medical & Surgical Retina, Oculoplatics, Neuro-Ophthalmology, Pediatrics & Strabismus and Uveitis and Cataract examination.  These examinations are offered to ophthalmologists who have had one years experience in their chosen subspecialty.

Foundation Assessment
Available online, the Foundation Assessment is designed for those entering ophthalmology training and first-year ophthalmology residency trainees. Meant as a knowledge assessment and learning tool, the Assessment is accessible worldwide at all times and emphasizes basic and practical ophthalmology learned in the first year of training. ICO Examinations candidates whose societies are ICO Members receive a complimentary Foundation Assessment when applying for any of the ICO Standard Examinations.

Access the Foundation Assessment.

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