Passing the new Exam

Passing the written exam

Each item on the written the exam is worth 1 mark. The candidate’s total score is a sum of the number of correct items.

The number of correct items necessary to pass the component has been determined by a representative panel of optometrists using a well-recognized standard-setting or pass score setting process.  This process results in establishing a minimum performance level for the component. The candidate’s total score must meet this minimum performance level to pass the component.

The foundation of setting a fair and defensible pass score for the written exam begins with an item validation process that ensures the relevancy and accuracy of the selected correct response.

Setting a fair and defensible pass score for the written exam involves a process that ensures the correct best answer for each item. The process is:

  1. Item Writing: the writer determines the best answer for the item and demonstrates this by including an appropriate reference.
  2. Peer review: a group of writers re-confirms the best answer for the item
  3. Validation: a panel of optometrists who did not write or peer review the question validates the best answer for the item
  4. Standard setting: a panel of optometrists who did not participate in the previous steps and whose responsibility it is to set the pass score for the exam using the recognized standard setting method further validates the best answer for the item. In doing so, these optometrists have an appreciation for the level of difficulty of the items.

 

Passing the OSCE

The OSCE examination is composed of both interactive (stations that include a standardized patient) and non-interactive stations. For interactive stations, candidate performances are rated by examiners who have been trained in the use of the standardized checklist criteria for the station. The examiners rate candidate performance on domains of Outcome, Performance, and Communication. For non-interactive stations, candidate responses are computer marked and ratings are generated for the Outcome and Performance domains. Possible ratings for each domain, in each station, range from 1 to 4.

The OSCE examination is based upon a fully compensatory model and, therefore, a candidate’s total raw score is calculated by the addition of all domain ratings across all stations. The score necessary to pass the OSCE examination has been determined by a representative panel of optometrists using a well-recognized standard-setting or pass score setting process.  This process establishes a minimum performance level for the OSCE examination. The candidate’s total score must meet this minimum performance level to pass the OSCE examination.

Note: Both the Written and OSCE examinations are criterion-referenced assessments which focus on whether candidates meet the required performance level for entry-level candidates. Candidates are not compared to each other and there are not any predetermined pass rates. It is possible for all candidates to be successful on the examination.