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Advanced Examination


The Advanced (FICO) ICO examination is designed for candidates who have already passed the Visual Sciences, Optics, Refraction and Instruments, and Clinical Ophthalmology Examinations.

The examination will test up-to-date knowledge and a high level of common sense, decision making, but cannot be used as an assessment of competence or technical ability. It does not verify training, test practical competence or reflect the needs and variation of diseases found in different countries. Passing it will, along with a local face-to-face examination, will entitle the successful candidate to use the post-nominal acronym (PNA) FICO.

The examination takes three hours and is presented in a booklet and will focus on elements of Clinical Ophthalmology. The Examination will comprise 10 Extended matching-type of questions and 75 context setting description (written, visual or graphical) each with 4 associated statements which require a single best answer response.

The candidates enter their answers on response sheets which are computer marked. A positive mark is awarded for each correct answer. No mark is given to those questions marked incorrectly or left blank. The computerized results are then analyzed by the Examinations Committee.


  • Extended matching questions.
  • Lens and Cataract.
  • Cornea and External Diseases/Refractive Surgery.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Neuro-ophthalmology.
  • Ophthalmic Pathology.
  • Oculoplastic Surgery and Orbit.
  • Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.
  • Vitreo-retinal Diseases.
  • Uveitis Ocular Inflammation.
  • Ocular Oncology.
  • Low Vision Rehabilitation.
  • Ethics and Professionalism in Ophthalmology.
  • Community Eye Health.


As this is a secure International Examination it takes time for all the papers to be returned for scoring. For this reason, the results are not produced immediately.

Results of the ICO Advanced Examination will be mailed to candidates in December.

For candidates who enroll directly with the Examination Office, detailed results are sent by airmail to their home addresses, as given on the application forms.

For candidates who are part of a group booking from a coordinator, the result envelopes are sent by courier direct to the Co-ordinator for distribution.


The Examination will be conducted in English only.


A successful candidate will be given a certificate signed by the President of the ICO and the Director of the examinations committee. This certificate will include a security strip, watermark, photograph and it will be embossed with the ICO logo.

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