Connecting Ophthalmologists from Around the World to Achieve Eye Health for Everyone

Clinical Ophthalmology



The Clinical Ophthalmology Examination is offered to ophthalmologists who have passed both the ICO Visual Sciences and ICO Optics, Refraction, and Instruments Examinations. This examination is part of the pathway towards Fellow of the International Council of Ophthalmology designation FICO and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow designation FRCS (Ophth) (Glasg).

The Clinical Ophthalmology Examination is designed to assess whether candidates have acquired the breadth and depth of knowledge of the clinical sciences related to ophthalmology to enable them to recognize and treat diseases of the eye which they will come in contact within day-to-day practice. The examination is presented in a booklet and consists of 200 multiple-choice questions over a four-hour period. Each question consists of four options with a single best answer.

The candidates enter their answers on response sheets which are then computer marked. A positive mark is awarded for each correct answer. No mark is given to those questions marked incorrectly or left blank. Answering all the questions accurately is the best way of obtaining a passing grade but, because accuracy is very important and take time, it is still possible to pass the examinations without completing all the questions.


  • General Medicine related to Ophthalmology
  • Community and Public Health
  • Ophthalmic Pathology and Tumours
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
  • Orbit, Eyelids and Lacrimal Disease
  • External Diseases and Cornea
  • Intraocular Inflammation and Uveitis
  • Lens and Cataract
  • Retina and Vitreous


As this is a secure international examination it takes time for all the papers to be returned for scoring. Results are typically mailed to candidates six weeks after taking the examination. By order of the International Council of Ophthalmology, results from other test centers will not be released and will remain confidential.


The examinations are taken in English. Other languages will be considered if there are enough candidates to justify the additional translation of the questions.


Provided candidates have satisfied the regulations regarding the Clinical Ophthalmology  Examination they will be given a certificate signed by the President of the ICO and the Chief Executive Officer. The certificate includes security features and the ICO logo. The certificate can be presented as evidence of achievement of a high standard of knowledge of the clinical science related to ophthalmology. The certificate indicates:

  • passed with Distinction
  • passed with Merit
  • passed
Skip to content