The Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program (OKAP®) and the written qualifying exam (boards) are 250-item multiple-choice tests administered to ophthalmology residents or residency graduates to measure basic science and clinical knowledge. The OKAP can be considered a resident proxy for the written boards and developing your study habits for this test should help for the written qualifying exam. To help ensure that you perform your best, here are several print and online resources.
1. Basic and Clinical Science Course (BCSC)
Apart from the reading material itself, review the pictures, pathology slides and illustrations throughout all the books in the weeks leading up to the written examination. The questions at the end of each book are also a helpful way to gauge your understanding of the material. Available in print or e-book.
This online question bank offers thousands of quality test questions spanning all subspecialties. Its strengths include its ever-growing library, the ability to monitor your performance by subspecialty independently and against your peers and its flexibility. You can utilize a tutor-mode, sit for a full-length mock exam, or anything in between. A number of residency programs have started offering subscriptions for trainees, at least for a portion of the year.
3. The Ophthalmic News and Education (ONE®) Network
The Academy’s ONE® Network has a vast wealth of information, including videos, courses and cases. In particular, the self-assessment quizzes, with more than 1,000 questions, can augment your OKAP preparation. There are also more than 200 “Diagnose This” quizzes, which are quick and engaging and provide discussions. The new residents’ area in the ONE Network provides resources which may help you with topics you need to brush up on.
4. ProVision: Preferred Responses in Ophthalmology, Series 5
Brand new set of 550 multiple-choice questions, with thorough discussions of the preferred responses, numerous images and suggested resources for further study. The question-and-answer format is ideal for an interactive activity that quickly identifies strengths or areas for improvement. The content is heavily illustrated and covers all 11 subspecialties, with 50 questions per subspecialty. The interactive e-book version is new this spring.
5. Review of Ophthalmology
William Trattler, MD; Peter K. Kaiser, MD; and Neil Friedman, MD
This is an excellent resource to use in preparation for the standardized written exam. It is well organized and packed with information, illustrations and review questions.
6. Ophthalmology Review Manual
Kenneth C. Chern, MD
This is another outstanding resource to use during written exam preparation. The information presented may be slightly less detailed than the review book here. Take a peek inside on everyone’s favorite online bookstore to see which format you prefer!
7. Review Questions in Ophthalmology: A Question and Answer Book
Kenneth C. Chern, MD, and Kenneth W. Wright, MD
This question book provides a nice complement to Dr. Chern’s review manual above. The questions are not as rigorous overall as those in some of the other books, but they still serve as another high-quality resource.
8. The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Review Manual for Ophthalmology
Veeral S. Sheth, MD; Marcus M. Marcet, MD; Paulpoj Chiranand, MD; and Harit K. Bhatt, MD
Online reviews suggest this recently released version is vastly different from the former one, which is a great question book in itself. The biggest source of help may be from the many high-quality pictures and photos.
9. Last-Minute Optics: A Concise Review of Optics, Refraction, and Contact Lenses
David G. Hunter, MD, PhD, and Constance E. West, MD
This is a fantastic short book to read and re-read during the last few weeks, especially if you consider optics a potential weakness. It covers the gamut of clinical (e.g., Why is the sky blue? Why does Ms. Goldbags not like her current glasses?) and “mathematical” optics (e.g., prisms, lenses and mirrors).
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About the author: James G. Chelnis, MD, is currently the oculoplastics fellow at Vanderbilt University and in his first year of the Tennessee American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery program. He has been a member of the YO Info editorial board for over three years and is also engaged in EyeWiki.org as an editor for the oculoplastics section. Dr. Chelnis is a contributor to the ASOPRS Oncology Database and has a strong interest in clinical and translational research.