Next steps - if you did not pass the OSCE

Information on how to apply for an OSCE resit and your most common questions answered.

Your results

Your results are available in the My College area.

You need to complete the Scheme within two years and three months of enrolling (plus any extensions granted), or have passed by your fourth attempt at OSCE, whichever happens first.

Frequently asked questions

If you took your OSCE on the 26 September, you need to pass 8 out of the 12 stations following the decision of the Final Assessment Panel to remove two stations from the examination. Both the overall pass mark, and number of stations required to pass have been adjusted accordingly. This does not affect the difficulty of the examination, and has been done to ensure that no trainee is disadvantaged. 

A detailed breakdown of your marks for each station is available in your My College area. If you cannot see this, please email exams@college-optometrists.org.

Candidates may request copies of their mark sheets. There is a £10 administration fee for this service. Please look at the sample mark sheet on our website before requesting copies of your mark sheets. The mark sheets do not contain any feedback or details of the objectives for the station. If you would like to request your marksheets, contact Adam Shonk at education.help@college-optometrists.org or on 020 7766 4361. 

The objectives are the steps you should take to perform the task. If we release the objectives we will be telling you the answers. We re-use OSCE stations several times during the year. It is possible that candidates may be examined on the same station in their re-sit exam. If we released details of the station objectives this would give re-sit candidates an unfair advantage over first time candidates. 

Examiners are not asked to provide written feedback on individual candidates. They have 60 seconds between candidates to complete the mark sheets and this time is only used to give a considered mark. For this reason we cannot give detailed feedback on exam performance.

The only record we have of a candidate's performance in an OSCE is the mark sheet completed by the examiner. For this reason we cannot re-mark the exam. Each sheet is scanned by a computer and carefully checked by eye to make sure our records are correct.

Although disappointing for candidates, we do not change exam marks. 

We use the borderline regression method of calculating results. Each station has between three and six objectives which candidates are marked against. The examiner will give each candidate a mark between 0 and 4 for each objective. In addition to this the examiner will give a mark between 0 and 5 for the candidate’s overall performance.

The total possible mark for a station is 400. Objectives do not contribute equally to this score: some are more important than others. Each objective is given a percentage weighting depending on how important it is to the task the candidate is trying to complete. For example, a communication station might have four objectives: making a diagnosis, explaining the diagnosis to the patient, choosing an appropriate management plan for that patient and communicating the plan in a professional manner. Because the station focuses on communication the explaining and communicating objectives both contribute 40% of the mark, while the diagnosis and management objectives only contribute 10% each.

The examiner does not know the weightings for the objectives. This compensates for any conscious or unconscious bias the examiner may have.

When the results are processed we multiply the score the examiner gave by the weighting for that objective. So in the example above, if the candidate scored 3 on every objective, the weighted score would be 120 for each of the communication objectives and 30 for the other objectives. This gives a total score of 300 out of 400.

To calculate the pass mark for the station we look at the scores for every candidate who has ever taken that station. We compare the mean station score with the midpoint of the overall grade (0-5) given by the examiners. Plotted on a graph it would look like this:

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The point where the two lines meet is the pass mark for the station. This means that the pass mark is set using the average ability of entry-level optometrists as well as examiner judgment.

Borderline regression is a method of standard setting that is used by medical professionals all over the world. It is considered to be the most objective way of setting the standard for practical exams such as OSCEs and is recognised internationally. 

No. You must complete the OSCE application form in the My College area. You must also pay for your resit, please see our Fees section for current costs. You must pay for the resit when you apply. We will not release your timetable until the fee has been paid.  

The number of resits you have remaining will be stated in the My College area. 

Visit the Preparing for the OSCE page for useful tips on revising for the examination.