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.
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.
Setting a pass score
For both the Written and OSCE exams the pass score is determined by following a multi-stage process designed to ensure that the pass score is both fair and defensible. The process is as follows: