The RCOphth’s prestigious FRCOphth qualification is awarded by examination, as well as election. We also offer an undergraduate prize examination and Certificate in Laser and Refractive Surgery. Find out how to book an exam and our advice for candidates preparing to sit our exams.

Exam booking

Please check our Examinations Calendar for dates of all upcoming examinations.

Examinations Calendar

How do I book the exam?

Booking the exam will depend on whether you are already an RCOphth member or previous exam applicant  – or whether you are a first-time exam applicant:

If you have not registered with us previously and are sitting our Part 1 exam for the very first time or are an overseas candidate you MUST use this form:

Online Part 1 Exam Application Form

If you have not registered with us previously and are sitting our Refraction Certificate exam for the very first time or are an overseas candidate you MUST use this form:

Online Refraction Certificate Exam Application Form

Only if you are already an RCOphth member with an online log in or have sat the exam previously, you can book your exam here.

All candidates must hold a medical qualification approved by the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom (GMC) or Ireland (IMC) before registering.

Please note that we do not confirm receipt of individual exam applications and candidates will have their applications confirmed soon after the closing date.**

Please also note that exams close for registration at 5 pm UK time on the closing date and applications received after this time will not be accepted. Candidates are strongly encouraged not to leave an exam application until the closing date itself.

International Examinations

The Part 1 FRCOphth and Part 2 Written exams are now delivered online via remote proctoring which means a candidate in any country can sit these exams without the need to travel.

The Part 2 FRCOphth Oral and Refraction Certificate exams take place every year in India, Trinidad and Tobago, Egypt, Singapore and Malaysia.

Examinations Calendar

New Hybrid Exams from November 2022

The FRCOphth Part 2 Oral and Refraction Certificate Examinations will adopt a new hybrid format beginning from November 2022.

After two years of running specially adapted examinations without real patients due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both the Refraction Certificate and the Part 2 FRCOphth Oral examinations will now adopt a new hybrid format from November 2022.

These new hybrid formats will see the re-introduction of some patients into both exams, utilising a combination of patients alongside the substituted methods of assessment that were introduced in 2020.

For the Refraction Certificate, this will mean that 2 of the 5 OSCE stations will still use the retinoscopy simulators that have been used over the past two years but stations 3-5 will once again use real patients and re-introduce subjective refraction.

For the Part 2 FRCOphth Oral, each of the five OSCE stations will now utilise a combination of real patients alongside the videos that have been used since 2020.

You can view samples of these video excerpts here:

Sample Video Excerpts

The updated information packs for both these new hybrid exams can be found here:

2022 Refraction Certificate Information Pack – New Hybrid Exams

2022 Part 2 FRCOphth Oral Information Pack – New Hybrid Exams

Admission Ceremony

The 2023 Admission Ceremony is scheduled to take place on Friday 8 September 2023 in London. Further details will be sent to those eligible to attend in mid 2023.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The College bears no responsibility for confirming receipt of invitation emails. It is the responsibility of the invitee to check their email junk folders in case their email provider incorrectly identifies the email as junk. We cannot accept late registration requests after the deadline under any circumstances.

Exam Pass Lists

RCOphth Pass Lists are published online after all marks for an exam have been verified by the senior examiner. Click on the individual exam pages to view exam pass lists.

Exam Reports

As per the General Medical Council’s (GMC) Standards for Curricula and Assessment Systems, abridged reports are provided for the Refraction Certificate examinations from 2009 as “the methods used to set standards for the classification of trainees’ performance/competence must be transparent and in the public domain” [Standard 12, Standards for Curricula and Assessment Systems, July 2008]. Click on the individual exam pages to view exam reports.

Examinations Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

You can find a list of commonly asked questions and answers on our RCOphth Exams page.

The Route to Qualification

These are all the FRCOphth exams you will need to sit to become a Fellow of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

Part 1 Fellowship Exam

The first fellowship exam, the Part 1 FRCOphth Written exam, is a theoretical paper based on the learning outcomes of the OST curriculum that are covered in the first two years of training. Trainees must pass this exam by the end of the second year of run-through training under the OST.

Refraction Certificate

This practical exam assesses candidates’ abilities to perform clinical refractions in a clinical setting. Trainees in OST are required to pass this examination before they enter the fourth year of ophthalmic specialist training.

Part 2 Fellowship Written Exam

This examination is open to candidates who have passed the Part 1 FRCOphth and is held twice a year. Please note that as of July 2021, it is no longer a requirement to have also passed the Refraction Certificate before being permitted to sit the Part 2 FRCOphth Written examination. The Refraction Certificate and Part 2 Written exams can be taken in any order but BOTH must be passed in order to sit the final Part 2 Oral examination.

Part 2 Fellowship Oral Exam

The Part 2 FRCOphth Oral exam component is open to candidates who have passed the Part 2 Written Exam. Similarly to the written component, all trainees will need to pass this exam by the end of year seven of their Ophthalmic Specialist Training programme to be awarded the CCT.

Become a College Examiner

College Examiners are a vital part of the RCOphth Examinations team, made up of medical practitioners from a range of backgrounds. As an Examiner you can help the RCOphth ensure high standards of future ophthalmologists. Examiners provide test questions, mark question papers and assess candidates in live examinations. We’re always seeking to expand our pool of examiners, find out more about the role and how you can support us.

Find out more