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Section 1: General exams FAQs

+ What order should I take the exams in?

What order should I take the exams in?

You must sit the MRCEM exams in this order and cannot move onto the next exam until you have passed the previous:

MRCEM Primary
MRCEM SBA
MRCEM OSCE

Once you have passed all 3 MRCEM exams (or equivalents, of if you passed the FRCEM Intermediate Certificate), you can apply to sit the FRCEM OSCE and FRCEM SBA in either order, so long as you meet the other FRCEM eligibility criteria (see below).

+ How long do I have to pass all MRCEM exams?

How long do I have to pass all MRCEM exams?

A pass in the MRCEM Primary exam will remain current. If at some future date it becomes necessary to replace it, holders of the MRCEM Primary exam will be given at least 24 months’ notice of the date from which it will be time expired.

MRCEM Part A passes from before August 2012 are deemed time expired. If your Part A pass is from before this time, you will be required to pass the MRCEM Primary exam to sit further MRCEM or FRCEM exams.

+ For a candidate with full MRCEM, what is the pathway to getting full FRCEM?

For a candidate with full MRCEM, what is the pathway to getting full FRCEM?

From August 2021, candidates with MRCEM after August 2012, meeting all eligibility criteria, can apply for FRCEM SBA and OSCE to gain FRCEM

+ Where can I sit RCEM exams?

Where can I sit RCEM exams?

As of 2020, all theory exams (MRCEM Primary, MRCEM SBA, FRCEM SBA) are delivered through Pearson VUE computer test centres. Please click here to find your nearest test centre.

In rare cases, candidates with exceptional circumstances may request to take their exam remotely via OnVUE. You will be required to provide supporting documentation of your exceptional circumstances for an OnVUE exam, and this will be reviewed by the RCEM Exams Team.

MRCEM Primary– Pearson VUE test centres

MRCEM SBA – Pearson VUE test centres

MRCEM OSCE – London, centres in India and Malaysia

FRCEM SBA – Pearson VUE test centres

FRCEM OSCE – London

+ What is the structure of the exams?

What is the structure of the exams?

All information regarding the exams can be found here:

MRCEM Exams

FRCEM Exams

+ When and how can I apply to sit an exam?

When and how can I apply to sit an exam?

The exams timetable and fees can be found on our website here. You can only apply to sit an exam when the application window for that exam has opened. The deadline for each exam application window opens at 10:00 UK time on the opening date and closes at 17:00 UK time on the closing date. After the application window has closed, we cannot accept late applications. Use this link to apply to an exam when the application window has opened.

+ What is the expected level of English for RCEM exams?

What is the expected level of English for RCEM exams?

IELTS Level 7 is the advised standard for MRCEM and FRCEM exams.

+ I require Reasonable Adjustments for exams. How do I apply for them?

I require Reasonable Adjustments for exams. How do I apply for them?

The College is committed to supporting candidates by providing fair opportunities
when undertaking examinations. Candidates may submit a request for reasonable
adjustments through the application form and should note that the responsibility for requesting adjustments and providing the necessary supporting documents lies with them. Please see the guidance here.

+ When will my exam results and exam feedback be released?

When will my exam results and exam feedback be released?

The results are made available approximately 6-8 weeks after the date of the examination (the date will be made available here). Exam feedback is usually sent within a week of the results release date.

+ Can I withdraw from an exam, and will I receive a refund?

Can I withdraw from an exam, and will I receive a refund?

If you email the RCEM Exams team (exams@rcem.ac.uk) to request a withdrawal from the exam within the application window, we will withdraw your application and refund you in full. No reason or evidence is required for withdrawals within the application window.

If you request a withdrawal after the application window has closed, you will only be eligible for a refund if your reason for withdrawing is due to extenuating circumstances outside of your control. You must provide supporting documentary evidence that supports the reason for your request if you wish to be considered for a refund. If your reason for withdrawing cannot be supported by documentary evidence, you can instead send a letter from your educational supervisor supporting the reason for your withdrawal request. A lack of preparation or changing your mind about sitting are not considered grounds for a refund.

Withdrawal requests must be submitted prior to/on exam day if you are not able to attend. The deadline for submitting evidence for a refund is 20 working days after the exam. After this time, you will be ineligible for a refund.

+ Can I transfer my application to the next diet/postpone my exam?

Can I transfer my application to the next diet/postpone my exam?

No. We do not offer transfers/postponements of exam applications. If you cannot sit in the diet you have applied for, you should submit a withdrawal request. A refund will only be provided where evidence of extenuating circumstances is provided. Please see the question regarding Withdrawals for more information.

+ If I don’t attend an exam, will it count as an attempt?

If I don’t attend an exam, will it count as an attempt?

No, an attempt is only counted if you take the exam. If you are absent, you will be recorded as such and your fees will be forfeited.

+ How many times can I attempt each exam?

How many times can I attempt each exam?

Attempts at all exam components are limited as follows:

MRCEM Primary – six (6) attempts (attempts at the FRCEM Primary exam after August 2016 will count towards the number of attempts)

MRCEM SBA – six (6) attempts (attempts at the FRCEM Intermediate SAQ exam after August 2016 will count towards the number of attempts)

MRCEM OSCE – six (6) attempts (attempts prior to August 2021 are counted towards the number of available attempts. Attempts at the MRCEM Part C exam prior to August 2016 will not count towards the number of attempts)

FRCEM SBA – four (4) attempts (attempts at the FRCEM Final SAQ exam after August 2016 will count towards the number of attempts)

FRCEM OSCE – four (4) attempts (Attempts at the FRCEM Final SAQ after August 2016 will count towards maximum attempts at the FRCEM SBA. Attempts at the FRCEM Final OSCE after August 2016 will count towards maximum attempts at the FRCEM OSCE)

+ I have exceeded the maximum number of attempts at an exam. How do I request an additional attempt?

I have exceeded the maximum number of attempts at an exam. How do I request an additional attempt?

If you have exceeded the maximum number of attempts for an exam, you either will not be able to apply to the exam, or your application will be rejected, and you’ll be refunded. If you have not already requested an additional attempt, you can email exams@rcem.ac.uk for an additional attempt form. You should do this well in advance of the application window given the amount of time required to process additional attempt requests. Your additional attempt will be sent to the Dean for consideration at their discretion; the Dean’s decision is final.

If your additional attempt request is approved by the Dean, you will be able to apply to the next diet at that exam, so long as the application window has not already closed. If it has closed, you will be eligible to apply to the next exam after that.

+ Can I request a remark of my exam result?

Can I request a remark of my exam result?

No. The College does not offer remarks or recounting of exam results. A number of rigorous checking procedures are in place during results processing to ensure accuracy. We would advise candidates to await detailed exam feedback to understand which areas they performed well and less well in.

+ Can I appeal my exam result?

Can I appeal my exam result?

Candidates may, in the circumstances outlined within the Appeals Procedure, have the right to appeal against the exam outcome. Please read the full details of the Appeals Procedure before contacting exams@rcem.ac.uk regarding an appeal request.

+ What is the College’s Misconduct Policy for exams?

What is the College’s Misconduct Policy for exams?

Misconduct Policy for MRCEM and FRCEM Exams

+ What is the College’s Code of Conduct for exam candidates and applicants?

What is the College’s Code of Conduct for exam candidates and applicants?

RCEM Code of Conduct for Candidates

+ Can I use the MRCEM or FRCEM post-nominal? Will I receive a certificate?

Can I use the MRCEM or FRCEM post-nominal? Will I receive a certificate?

You can only use the MRCEM or FRCEM post-nominal if you have Membership or Fellowship of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine. Candidates with the FRCEM Intermediate Certificate cannot use the MRCEM post-nominal without passing the MRCEM OSCE.

Certificates are only issued for Membership or Fellowship of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.

+ I’m ST1, will the exam format stay the same through my training?

I’m ST1, will the exam format stay the same through my training?

There are no plans for any future changes, but it is a possibility that the exam formats will be developed if necessary.

+ Why do RCEM change the style of exams regularly, compared to other specialties?

Why do RCEM change the style of exams regularly, compared to other specialties?

When reviewing the curriculum to meet the updated GMC standards, we felt it appropriate to review the whole programme of assessment, not just WBA in isolation, to ensure all exams were fit for purpose and reducing the examination burden where possible.

+ Are my exam fees tax deductible?

Are my exam fees tax deductible?

Doctors in in the UK training programme should refer to the advice provided by the Emergency Medicine Trainees’ Association (EMTA) “claiming back the costs of training” which is available on the EMTA website.

+ If I failed my first online exam sitting will it still count towards my maximum attempts?

If I failed my first online exam sitting will it still count towards my maximum attempts?

Where a candidate failed their first attempt at a new online format exam and it was sat between 1 July 2020 and 31 August 2021, this will not be counted towards their total number of attempts at that exam. Please click here for more information.

Section 2: Theory exams FAQS (MRCEM Primary, MRCEM SBA, FRCEM SBA)

+ Am I eligible for the exams?

Am I eligible for the exams?

Eligibility information can be found in the Information packs for all exams:

MRCEM Primary Information pack
MRCEM SBA Information pack
FRCEM SBA Information pack

+ Am I eligible for exemption from MRCEM Primary as I have MRCS?

Am I eligible for exemption from MRCEM Primary as I have MRCS?

Only MRCS candidates who are on the DRE-EM training scheme may be granted exemption from the MRCEM Primary exam. If you are not a DRE-EM trainee, you will be required to pass the MRCEM Primary before applying to the MRCEM SBA.

+ How do Pearson VUE test centre exams work?

How do Pearson VUE test centre exams work?

All information regarding Pearson VUE and test centre exams can be found on the RCEM landing page of the Pearson VUE website here.

+ How do I book a Pearson VUE test centre?

How do I book a Pearson VUE test centre?

Once your application has been approved by the RCEM Exams Team, your details will be sent to Pearson VUE. Once Pearson VUE have received your details, they will contact you to book your test centre. Please be aware that this process can take several weeks so your patience is appreciated.
You will log into your Pearson VUE account with the username and password provided by Pearson VUE and will then be able to search for a seat in a test centre. You will be offered the test centres in order of proximity to your listed ‘preferred’ address on your RCEM account. You can book any available test centre space available; the start times will be between 8am and 12pm in your local time. Once you have completed the booking, Pearson VUE will send you a confirmation email.

+ Do Pearson VUE have test centres in my country?

Do Pearson VUE have test centres in my country?

You can find a test centre here.

+ What is Pearson VUE’s ID policy?

What is Pearson VUE’s ID policy?

At your test centre you must present one form of identification (ID) on the day of your exam. Your ID must contain a clear photograph and a signature. The first name and last name on your Pearson VUE account must exactly match those on your ID. Your middle name is not checked by Pearson VUE. We send Pearson VUE your details as they appear on your RCEM account. Once you have access to your Pearson VUE account, please check that the names match your ID and, if they do not, send exams@rcem.ac.uk an email with your ID to update the name on your Pearson VUE account.

ID documents must be issued from the country you are testing in, otherwise only an international travel passport will be accepted.

Pearson VUE’s full ID policy can be found here.

Pearson VUE restrictions: Candidates from the following countries will be unable to test in their home country due to restrictions implemented by Pearson VUE:

  • Crimea Region
  • Cuba
  • Iran
  • North Korea
  • Sudan*
  • Syria

*The USA has recently lifted sanctions against Sudan and therefore Sudanese candidates will have their valid passport accepted by Pearson as ID at test centres internationally, restrictions are still in place for OnVUE.

Candidates from any of the above countries will be unable to test using passports.  For example, a Cuban passport will not be accepted. If you have a valid ID from the country you are testing in, Pearson VUE will permit you to take your examination and no further action will be required. The restrictions in place do not represent the College values and are in place by Pearson VUE and not the College. The College will continue exploring options and will update candidates affected by Pearson VUE restrictions when further information is available.

+ What comfort aids are permitted in test centres?

What comfort aids are permitted in test centres?

Approved comfort aids (test centres only).

+ Can I do a demo test?

Can I do a demo test?

The Pearson VUE demo test can be found here.

+ What can I expect at a Pearson VUE test centre?

What can I expect at a Pearson VUE test centre?

Click here for information about test centres.

+ Can I sit the exam via OnVUE?

Can I sit the exam via OnVUE?

Pearson VUE test centres are our main delivery method for theory exams. Wherever possible candidates must take the exam in a test centre. We recognise that, in certain exceptional situations, candidates may be unable to travel to a test centre. If this is the case for you and you would like to be considered for an OnVUE exam, you should email exams@rcem.ac.uk detailing the nature of your request and provide supporting evidence for the reason you are unable to sit in a test centre. In countries where there are no Pearson VUE test centres, OnVUE will be considered.

OnVUE exams must start between 07:00 and 12:00 UK time.

+ I have been approved by the RCEM Exams Team to take my exam via OnVUE. How do I check that I have the right technical requirements and testing space for this exam?

I have been approved by the RCEM Exams Team to take my exam via OnVUE. How do I check that I have the right technical requirements and testing space for this exam?

All technical requirements and test-environment requirements can be found on Pearson VUE’s website here. Please ensure you run a system test and exam simulation before exam day to ensure you are fully prepared.

+ Can I take a bathroom break during my exam?

Can I take a bathroom break during my exam?

Test centres: yes, you can use the bathroom during your exam.
OnVUE: no, you cannot leave your desk or the view of your webcam during the exam. If you are sitting the MRCEM SBA or FRCEM SBA, you can leave your desk during the 1-hour break between papers.

+ I usually have reasonable adjustments for exams, how will these be accommodated during my exam?

I usually have reasonable adjustments for exams, how will these be accommodated during my exam?

When your reasonable adjustments are approved for an exam, we will email you to confirm what these adjustments are. If there is anything which cannot be accommodated, we will contact candidates to provide alternative options.

+ What will happen if I’m late to an exam?

What will happen if I’m late to an exam?

To allow time for the check-in procedure in a test centre/via OnVUE, please be ready when the check-in window opens 30 minutes before your exam start time. If you are late to your test centre, you will not be allowed to sit the exam and will forfeit your exam fee.

+ If I experience technical issues on exam day, who should I contact?

If I experience technical issues on exam day, who should I contact?

If you’re sitting the exam in a test centre, all issues should be reported to the Test Administrator, who will log this as a case and provide the necessary technical support.
If you’re taking the exam at home, your proctor will be able to provide support with technical issues. If you need further support, please contact Pearson VUE’s customer service. You can email exams@rcem.ac.uk if technical problems persist. Our Member Services team can also be reached on +44 (0)2074041999.

Section 3: OSCE exams (MRCEM OSCE and FRCEM OSCE)

The FAQs below are also available as a PDF download. MRCEM OSCE FAQs and FRCEM OSCE FAQs.

+ Am I eligible for the exam?

Am I eligible for the exam?

Eligibility information can be found in the Information packs for all exams:

MRCEM OSCE Information pack
FRCEM OSCE Information pack

+ Can a timer be visible to candidates during OSCE stations?

Can a timer be visible to candidates during OSCE stations?

No, candidates are expected to prepare for 8-minute station. Candidates are responsible for their own time management during the station. An analogue clock will be visible in each station should candidates wish to use this for time management.

+ Are the iPads reliable when collating results? What happens if the iPad or software fails?

Are the iPads reliable when collating results? What happens if the iPad or software fails?

The iPads and the software used for marking is a robust and reliable method for marking. All marks are autosaved in real time, this mean that if the Wi-Fi connection was lost, the iPad was to die, etc. no marks will ever be lost. If an iPad was to fail during a station, all examiners are advised to abandon the iPad and to continue marking on the paper marksheets provided. The exams team are on standby throughout the circuit to rectify any technical issues should they arise.

+ Are there any double stations?

Are there any double stations?

There are no double stations in the MRCEM or FRCEM OSCE exams.

+ How many rest stations are there?

How many rest stations are there?

MRCEM OSCE: there are two rest stations.

FRCEM OSCE: there are two rest stations built into the FRCEM OSCE exam. One of these rest stations can also be used as a prep station. Candidates are expected to be familiar with the CLA journal prior to exam so this station is purely to remind and refresh candidates of the content as a copy of the journal will be available in this station.

+ How many resuscitation stations are there in the FRCEM OSCE?

How many resuscitation stations are there in the FRCEM OSCE?

The FRCEM OSCE will include 3 resuscitation stations. Please note, in addition to achieving the pass mark, candidates will be required to pass at least one of the resuscitation stations in order to achieve a pass overall.

+ (FRCEM OSCE only) What do I need to know about the new format with the SLOs?

(FRCEM OSCE only) What do I need to know about the new format with the SLOs?

Detailed information regarding the examination can be found in the FRCEM Final Examinations Regulations and Information Pack from page 9 to 12.

+ Do I need to bring my stethoscope?

Do I need to bring my stethoscope?

You are not required to bring your own stethoscope. If a station requires the use of a stethoscope, then one will be available in that station. If you would like to bring your own stethoscope you are welcome to, but this is not mandatory.

+ Where can I leave my belongings?

Where can I leave my belongings?

Your belongings will be left in one of the College’s meeting rooms. This room will be secured and will be made available to you at the end of your examination session. The examination team will take all communications devices (phones, smart watches, tablets, laptops, etc) during the registration window. These devices will also be held securely.

+ What should I wear to my OSCE exam?

What should I wear to my OSCE exam?

The OSCE is a professional exam and therefore smart professional attire is required. You are welcome to wear scrubs if you prefer. Toilets are available onsite should you need to change prior to your exam.

+ Am I allowed to wear a scrub skirt?

Am I allowed to wear a scrub skirt?

Yes, this would be acceptable.

+ My scrubs have my name on them, is this an issue?

My scrubs have my name on them, is this an issue?

If you can wear plain scrubs this is recommended. However, if you only have scrubs with your name on them, you will still be able to wear these. Candidates can request tape to cover their name / hospital name.

+ Can I wear religious face coverings?

Can I wear religious face coverings?

Clothing which covers the face (veil/niqab) is not permitted during the exam and candidates will be required to remove face coverings when signing in for the exam.

+ When will I get allocated to a session?

When will I get allocated to a session?

If this exam is oversubscribed, we will allocate spaces to candidates using our Oversubscription Criteria. We aim to review all applications and complete our allocation process approximately 3 weeks after the application window has closed.

+ Do I have to pay for my OSCE before I am allocated a space?

Do I have to pay for my OSCE before I am allocated a space?

If you are allocated a space in the upcoming exam, we will email you with instructions on how to pay for your exam and will give you a timeline in which you need to complete your payment. Please note that if your payment is not completed within that timeline, that exam space will be offered to the next candidate in order of the Oversubscription Criteria.

+ Can I request a specific OSCE date?

Can I request a specific OSCE date?

Date requests can only be made in special circumstances with supporting documentation. We cannot guarantee that any request will be facilitated, and allocation will be confirmed as outlined above.

+ Can I apply for both the FRCEM OSCE and FRCEM SBA?

Can I apply for both the FRCEM OSCE and FRCEM SBA?

If eligible, you can apply for both exams simultaneously.

+ Can I apply for the MRCEM OSCE before I receive my MRCEM SBA result?

Can I apply for the MRCEM OSCE before I receive my MRCEM SBA result?

No, you need a pass mark in the MRCEM SBA before you can apply for the MRCEM OSCE.

+ Can RCEM have MRCEM OSCE exam centres in middle east countries such as Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates?

Can RCEM have MRCEM OSCE exam centres in middle east countries such as Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates?

Exam centres are continually under review and plans for new centres had been impacted by COVID.

An OSCE took place in Malaysia in September 2022, and we are looking into adding centres in Oman eventually.

+ Can we apply for the CESR after Aug 2021 with just a pass in the SAQ and OSCE exams?

Can we apply for the CESR after Aug 2021 with just a pass in the SAQ and OSCE exams?

Candidates holding passes in FRCEM Final OSCE and SAQ will be awarded FRCEM in September 2021. A CESR application will still need Research and QI evidence.

+ Am I eligible for the OSCE exams?

Am I eligible for the OSCE exams?

Eligibility criteria for the OSCEs can be found in the Information Packs:

MRCEM OSCE Information Pack

FRCEM OSCE Information Pack

+ I’m an international candidate and my visa hasn’t been issued yet or my visa application has been rejected.

I’m an international candidate and my visa hasn’t been issued yet or my visa application has been rejected.

If your visa application has been declined for an OSCE exam, please contact exams@rcem.ac.uk with proof of this to withdraw from the exam and for consideration of a refund. We cannot transfer your application to a later diet, and you will be required to reapply to the next available diet if you cannot sit.

+ Domain Marking Guidance

Domain Marking Guidance

Please see the document “Domain Based Marking” (PDF download)

+ What are the SLOs for FRCEM OSCE?

What are the SLOs for FRCEM OSCE?

SLO 1 Complex Stable Patient
SLO 7/8 EPIC
SLO 9 Supervise & Teach
SLO 3 Resus
SLO 4 Injured Patient
SLO 5 PEM
SLO 12 Management
SLO 10/12 Management or Research

+ What are the SLOs assessed in the MRCEM OSCE?

What are the SLOs assessed in the MRCEM OSCE?

SLO 1 Complex Stable Patient
SLO 2 Answer Questions
SLO 3 Resus
SLO 4 Injured Patient
SLO 5 PEM
SLO 6 Procedural Skills
SLO 7 Complex Challenging Situations
SLO 9 Supervise & Teach

 

+ Where can I find curriculum information?

Where can I find curriculum information?

https://rcemcurriculum.co.uk


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