Preparing for the Exam

Candidate Information

The Candidate Instructions & Exam Guide divided into four categories below sets out the examination administration policy and procedures, and provides detailed instructions for both the Written Exam and OSCE.

(updated 2024)

The OEBC Exam Study Guide  provides insights that may help you prepare for the next administration of the OEBC exam, and become a better optometrist overall.

(updated 2022)

Exam Overview

The Canadian provincial optometry regulatory bodies established OEBC to develop and administer a national entry-to-practice (ETP) examination for optometrists in the public interest, and fosters accountability among practitioners. A competency-based ETP examination is the gold standard, as it measures entry-to-practice competence relevant to professional practice.

The Exam has two components:

  • Written Exam — a case-based assessment delivered via computer using remote proctoring, consisting of multiple-choice questions based on different case scenarios
  • OSCE — an objective structured clinical evaluation presenting realistic scenarios in a clinical setting, where a candidate constructs the appropriate response.

Optometrists develop the content for OEBC exam components, and psychometricians ensure each test item’s validity. The examiners for the OSCE are volunteer optometrists.

To set standards for its Written Exam, OEBC uses the Angoff method, the best practice for static assessments.  For its OSCE, OEBC uses borderline regression, the best method to set the standards for dynamic exams.

OSCE Video Examples

Many Canadian examining boards for regulated health professions use an OSCE format for entry-to-practice exams. Candidates may wish to review the following OEBC videos as a source of information. 

The videos describe the OEBC OSCE administration process as well as the format of an OSCE station. Note: The videos are meant only to provide an impression of the OSCE exam format. The OEBC OSCE administration process and exam design are outlined in the materials on this website, such as the Candidate Guide and Exam Blueprint.

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