Ophthalmologist/Trainee refraction and retinoscopy

Optom Academy are available to provide one to one or one to two courses for trainee ophthalmologists to make them competent for their exams on refraction and retinoscopy. The cost per day is £350, and the patients and practice is provided by us. If you would like any courses tailor made please do not hesitate to contact us.

The course includes access to videos for free as well as notes. Please register on our online portal to access these. 

For those only wanting to access the notes and videos the cost is just £25.00 for 3 months.

The course covers:

Retinoscopy on a variety of patients with different prescriptions (hyperope, myope, oblique cyls, child cyclo and non-cyclo)

Subjective refraction, both spherical refinement as well as cross – cyl

Binocular balance using Humphriss, +1.00 blur 

Focimeter – with and without prism, and hand neutralisation

Mock OSCE stations provided


Notes/handouts provided by us. Tips from optometrists that do this day in and day out is invaluable!

 Naeem Iqbal – Birmingham 2024

 I sat the refraction exam in my first year of ophthalmic speciality training and found it to be quite a daunting experience as this is not a subject covered in day-to-day practise and there are no real central resources to give a comprehensive overview to this subject. As such, I am extremely glad to have come across Shamina’s course which I think represents the best value for money of any course on the market and in my experience the most exam-orientated. By way of context, I also attended another course and discussed various other courses that colleague’s had attended. 


By the end of the day with Shamina, I honestly felt that had I taken the exam right away, I would likely have passed and when I did indeed sit the examination a fortnight later, I was very pleased to have received a very comfortable pass !


I wholeheartedly recommend Shamina’s course to any trainee sitting the refraction certificate. I would strongly recommend reading the notes and viewing the videos several times that Shamina sends across prior to attending the course to extract the most value from Shamina’s expert knowledge.


Sagnik Sen – London 2024

I hadn’t practised formal refraction for ages. So I was quite scared of the whole exam. I’d done the whole day training session with Shamina 1.5 months before the exam. She gave some brilliant tips which she made me write down for revision. Also the videos were really helpful to revise from before the exam. The practice OSCEs at the end of the training day for focimeter and Model eye were spot on and I noted the examples down for future reference. Subjective correction which is the difficult part, was taught by Shamina very meticulously. I practised on my own with some optomterists at my hospital, remembering the steps taught at Optom Academy. On the final day, the exam felt like a cake walk, as the steps were all memorised due to the very good training I received from her. I would highly recommend Shamina’s course to anyone who wants to take the RCOphth refraction certificate exam. 

Aleem – Birmingham 2024

“Shamina was very welcoming and able to guide me through the different stations and what needs to be done to pass. She picked up my errors and I was able to correct them for my ongoing practice. Her notes were also super useful and the day was well organised with lots of time for practice. Would highly recommend!”

Ipsita Konar – 2024 

I passed the exam. Thank you so much . You and the course was wonderful. Thank you for explaining how the exam pattern is, giving study materials to prepare from , videos to keep going back to and revising . Best part was , you were always available to respond to emails with doubts that came on later days. Practising under your supervision made me feel so much more prepared and your tips and tricks are superb. Thank you once again. 

Sarah Kate Powell – Ireland 2023

I would highly recommend this refraction certificate course. I did the course around a month before my exam, with very little refraction / retinoscopy experience. Shamina provides excellent notes and teaching/ practical tips. The course is very well tailored towards the examination itself and the marking scheme. You leave the one day practical session knowing exactly what and how you need to practise in order to pass the exam. Thank you! 

Kusy Suleiman – Bham 2023

I signed up for this course after hearing about it from friends and colleagues who have previously attended and had very positive experiences. I am extremely glad I made the right choice by signing up, as the refraction certificate was a very daunting experience to prepare for in my eyes and the eyes of many ophthalmology trainees due to the lack of exposure in day-to-day practice. 

I was lucky enough to have enrolled with OptomAcademy, and Shamina was a phenomenal tutor. The 1-to-1 nature of this course allowed me to have a full day of coaching, mentoring, and learning. This was my first real exposure to refraction, having only watched the videos and read the notes from the OptomAcademy website prior to attending. I attended my first attempt for this exam less than 2 months after attending a full day course with Shamina, and had focused my revision on principles and tips/ tricks I was taught during that day. I managed to both passed on first attempt and was fortunate enough to achieve 141 out of the possible 150 marks.  

I am super grateful to Shamina and her team, having already advised colleagues considering the exam to attend this course, and would recommend this course as a ‘must-attend’ course if you want to attend the exam with a high degree of confidence. If I were to advise myself looking back, I would play my cards the same exact way with the course! 

Feedback from Bummi – 2023

I was introduced to the OA by my colleague after I had failed the exams a couple of times.

The format of the one on one training is identical to the hybrid format now adopted by the royal college. The tips I got – in terms of key words to say during the stations  with patients, reflect the marking scheme for the exam. 

Shamina was very supportive and positive because I was quite overwhelmed at the prospect of the hybrid exam.

I would definitely recommend the course to future candidates.

Thank you

Rachana – 2023

I highly highly recommend Shamina’s refraction course! She made all my concepts crystal clear. Her techniques have not just helped me clear the exam in the very first attempt but also helped me refract my own patients accurately. She is a perfectionist and tries to inculcate perfection in her students as well! I was facing difficulty with binocular balance and now I am thorough after taking her course. I am glad I let her at the right time

Feedback from Ahsan Mahmood 2023 Dudley

I recently sat in refraction certificate exam Birmingham 2023, and passed. I took a face to face refraction course with Shamina and cannot emphasise enough how it helped me to pass the exam. She also conducted mock exam and shared tips and tricks for exam.

Highly recommended 

Feedback from INEGBEDION Ehinomen 2023

I signed up for this course after hearing positive feedback from a few of my senior colleagues.  I really appreciated the one-to-one tutoring as this enabled me to ask as many questions as I needed and the practice was tailored to my weaknesses.  Having had no prior practical experience to retinoscopy, this course was very clear in terms of the theory and this was further reiterated in the written materials provided.  Overall, I would definitely recommend this course to aid preparation for the refraction exam.

Feedback from Rana – London 2022


I did this course a week before my exam, and I am so glad I did! Over the course of one day, Shamina provided exactly the kind of personalised and hands on experience that is essential to passing this exam. It was a great avenue to ask all the silly questions I had, practice my skills in a safe environment, make mistakes, and have a confident teacher correct those mistakes on the spot so I never made them again. This is a phenomenal and valuable course that everyone could benefit from, even if you’re already confident in your practical refraction skills. The notes provided by Shamina and the patients provided to practice on were a great addition too. Highly highly recommend! Thank you for helping me pass first time Optom Academy!

Salim Khan ST3 2021

The course was very helpful. Individualized attention was invaluable. Separate instructors for retinoscopy and focimetry.

Relaxed atmosphere. The focimetry model was different in the exam. So practice on different models. Highly recommend this course.

Michelle Dowell ST3 2021

To Optom Academy:

Thank you so much for being so accommodating and helpful on my journey to passing my Refraction certificate examination.

I found this course very useful. Both Shamina and Reena were great tutors and were excellent at clearing up any doubts and giving me the confidence I needed to pass my exam and to pass it well at that. They went through important concepts and practice followed by timed OSCE style stations which made the day’s course very efficient and useful. I strongly recommend this course if you need to improve your technique and do well in this exam. Thanks again to the team!

Feedback from Zaria Ali – Manchester 2020

I passed! Thank you do much for all your help and for fitting me in so early! It meant I could crack on and practice. It also took away a lot of the fear because I didn’t have to try figure things out from a book and could practice what you taught me immediately during that afternoon on your friends.

Really appreciate it and I hope everything is going well at the practice. I also hope you’ve been able to set up your academy upstairs, you’re a great teacher 🙂

Feedback from TS ST2 – Leicester 2020

Shamina and her team were brilliant at delivering focussed one-to-one training for the refraction exam in a really relaxed environment. She focussed the teaching on your strengths/weaknesses and was so approachable. Everything was thought through and exam-focussed with flexibility to practice what you needed to work on. Shamina herself is really friendly and a clear teacher. I would happily recommend the course ???? -TS

Feeback from Joe – Sheffield ST1 2020

“An excellent course, very well geared to the refraction certificate, and really well led by Shamina. I felt the day greatly enhanced my knowledge and refraction skills in a relaxed environment and would happily recommend to anyone preparing for the exam – Joe ST1”

Feedback from Mohammed Raza Cheema ST3 Newcastle – 2019

”Shamina’s course has been instrumental in helping me not only understand the principles of practical refraction but also to pass my refraction certificate exam. Being this my 2nd attempt, I was very apprehensive about the whole process of refraction but she made it really easy and helped me practice each step in detail and made sure I understood the practicalities of each step. She gives very individual teaching and tries to focus on your weaknesses from the start. 
I would definitely recommend this course to everyone. Good luck.’

Ammar Yusuf 2020 ST3

I thoroughly enjoyed the learning I received from the Optom Academy. Shamina and her team were excellent and made me feel at ease with the complex aspects of retinoscopy and refraction. I would highly recommend this course for all ophthalmology trainees who wish to excel in the refraction exam.

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