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Part 1 Fellowship


The examination comprises of theoretical papers based on learning outcomes of the OST curriculum appropriate to the first two years of training as follows:

  • A 3 hour Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) paper of 120 questions consisting of one best answer out of four options
  • A 2 hour Constructed Response Question (CRQ) Paper, consisting of 12 questions.

From 1 August 2013, candidates are permitted a maximum of six attempts in which to pass this examination.  Examination attempts prior to August 2013 do not count towards the number of attempts available.

Candidates sitting this examination before commencing OST should note that a pass in this examination will not count towards CCT if taken out of training unless the candidate enters or re-enters the training programme within 7 years of passing.

Candidates who have entered Ophthalmic Specialist Training (OST) must have passed this examination by the end of the second year of run-through training.

Examination Venue

The Part 1 FRCOphth Written examination is taken at a choice of 8 worldwide locations, which are:

London, Sheffield, Glasgow, Dublin, Cairo, Chennai, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur.

Both Paper 1 (MCQ) and Paper 2 (CRQ) will take place on the same day with a one-hour lunch break in-between.

Full details can be found in the Information Pack below.

Pass Mark Setting

The MCQ paper is pass mark set in advance using the Ebel method.  The CRQ is pass mark set using the borderline candidate method.  All questions are reviewed in the light of performance and modified accordingly. All examinations are pass mark set. The pass mark setting methods quoted are subject to change at any time at the discretion of the College.

Overall Result

To pass the Part 1 FRCOphth examination, candidates are required to pass both components (MCQ and CRQ) although some degree of cross compensation is permitted as outlined below.  If awarded a fail, candidates must re-sit the entire examination, even if a pass was previously achieved in any component

Cross Compensation

If a candidate marginally fails one written paper (within one standard error of measurement of the pass mark), their total marks for both papers will be added together.  If this mark exceeds the combined pass marks for both papers, they will be allowed to pass the examination.


Results will be released approximately four – five weeks after the examination, once verified by the Senior Examiner.  Candidates are not permitted to telephone the College for examination results.  All results will be sent to candidates by first class post and the pass list will be displayed on the College website.

Further Information
For further information, please see the Part 1 FRCOphth Information Pack:
2019 Part 1 FRCOphth Information Pack
Policy on Allegations of Cheating and Misconduct 2018

To apply please click the purple box, on the right-hand side, above.