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Foundation Assessment


A Foundation Assessment is an interesting way of combining learning and testing yourself at the same time. We have prepared training material for each of the three ICO Examinations: Visual Sciences, Optics, Refraction, and Instruments, and Clinical Ophthalmology. The training contains the same type of questions that you will receive in the examination, plus feedback of your performance, feedback per questions and a certificate for you to download on completion.

If you register for one of the corresponding standard examinations, the resources are offered to you free of charge. If you do not plan to take an examination this year, you can still use the ICO training at a charge of 50 Swiss Francs each (restrictions apply to non-ICO members).

Candidates can access the assessments 24 hours a day, and can have the use of books or a computer to refine their answers. Since a high pass level is expected, candidates will have to have read around the syllabus area before starting the assessment. Candidates may access the assessment as often as they wish but cannot return to a question once it has been started.

The Visual Sciences and Clinical Ophthalmology Assessment consists of 50 questions each and the Optics, Refraction, and Instruments consist of 20 questions. Each assessment contains Single Best Answer questions in English covering the syllabus. Each question has a statement, a scenario, or a scenario with a picture or video. There are four single best answer option. For each question, the candidate must also rate how certain they are on a scale of 1-3 of having given the correct answer. Candidates will mark as follows:

  • if they are not certain that their answer is correct.
  • if they are reasonably certain that their answer is correct.
  • if they are very certain that their answer is correct.

This will not have any impact on the scores awarded for knowledge but will provide candidates with feedback on their performance.

Register now for the Foundation Assessment Now:

Visual Sciences

  • Anatomy of the Eye, Orbit and related structures
  • Embryology and Development
  • Epidemiology and Statistics
  • Genetics
  • Neuro-Anatomy
  • Pathology and Microbiology

Clinical Ophthalmology

  • Community and Public Health
  • General Medicine related to Ophthalmology
  • Glaucoma
  • Intraocular Inflammation and Uveitis
  • Lens and Cataract
  • Neuro-Ophthalmology

Optics, Refraction, and Instruments

  • Optics
  • Refraction
  • Basic Design, Construction and Use of Instruments


Candidates will receive a detailed analysis of their results, along with a grade A*to D. Individual training programme directors may set their own pass grade according to the needs of the training programme.


English Only


Certificates will be produced automatically once the assessment is completed and free to download.

Online Examination

The ICO Assessment is delivered to you by ICO Examinations — ICO Examinations Office, Unit 2, Forest Industrial Park, Forest Road London IG6 3HL England. The International Council of Ophthalmology has its registered offices at: International Council of Ophthalmology, c/o Dr. David Jenny, VISCHER Anwälte und Notare, Schützengasse 1, 8001 Zurich, Switzerland

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