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MRCEM Exams

MRCEM Exams

Information covering MRCEM Primary, MRCEM Intermediate SBA & MRCEM OSCE exams.

MRCEM Primary

The MRCEM Primary examination is a theoretical exam mapped to the Emergency Medicine 2021 Curriculum with more detailed information provided in the RCEM Basic Sciences Curriculum (June 2010) which is available on the RCEM website. All applicants for the MRCEM Primary examination are strongly advised to familiarise themselves with the Basic Sciences Curriculum in preparation for sitting the MRCEM Primary examination. The MRCEM Primary exam was previously called the FRCEM Primary from August 2016 – July 2021.

+ Who can sit the exam?

No previous experience in Emergency Medicine is required for the MRCEM Primary exam.
A candidate will be eligible to enter the MRCEM Primary examination provided they hold a medical qualification approved by the General Medical Council (GMC) for the purposes of registration.

The examination is conducted in English and candidates are advised that IELTS Level 7 is the expected standard for completion of MRCEM and FRCEM examinations.

+ When does the exam take place?

Please see the Exam Calendar

+ How do I book the exam?

Candidates must apply for the exam online, during the published application window.

Applications will open at 10.00am on the morning of the application opening date listed on the Exam Calendar and close automatically at 5.00pm (UK time) on the listed closing date. Applications must be completed before 5.00pm on the closing date, late applications will not be accepted.
See Applications page

+ How much does it cost?

Please refer to the list of examination fees.

+ Where does the exam take place?

RCEM delivers its written examinations worldwide via computer-based testing company, Pearson VUE. You can search for a test centre near you on the Pearson VUE website.

+ What is the structure of the exam?

The MRCEM Primary examination consists of a 3-hour, multiple choice question (MCQ) paper of 180, single best answer questions (SBAQ).

The exam blueprint and sample questions are available in the MRCEM Primary information pack.

Guidance for Candidates with Additional Requirements

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

+ How is the exam marked and standard set?

The MRCEM Primary is machine marked, a correct answer is awarded 1 mark and an incorrect answer is awarded 0, negative marking does not apply. The pass mark for the exam is determined using the Angoff method.

Further Information on the Angoff method.

+ When will my result be available?

Results will be published on a pre-advised day by 17:00, approximately five weeks after the date of the examination. Results will be released to candidates’ College website accounts where results letters can be downloaded on demand. Examination results will not be issued or confirmed by telephone or email.

MRCEM Intermediate SBA

The MRCEM Intermediate SBA is a theoretical exam assessing understanding of the full range of conditions and presentation that may be encountered in the ED. Candidates should familiarise themselves with the Year 1-3 SLOs in preparation for sitting the examination. The MRCEM Intermediate SBA examination replaced the FRCEM Intermediate SAQ from August 2021.

+ Who can sit the exam?

The MRCEM Intermediate SBA is the second exam required for MRCEM and is open to candidates who have passed the MRCEM Primary (or equivalent) exam.  There is no eligibility requirement for experience in EM but candidates will find this beneficial. Applicants are required to hold a medical qualification approved by the General Medical Council (GMC) for the purposes of registration and are required to have completed the UK training programme or equivalent (and submit electronic evidence at the point of application.)

The examination is conducted in English and candidates are advised that IELTS Level 7 is the expected standard for completion of MRCEM and FRCEM examinations.

+ When does the exam take place?

Please see the Exam Calendar

+ How do I book the exam?

Candidates must apply for the exam online, during the published application window.

Applications will open at 10.00am on the morning of the application opening date listed on the Exam Calendar and close automatically at 5.00pm (UK time) on the listed closing date. Applications must be completed before 5.00pm on the closing date, late applications will not be accepted.
See Applications page

+ How much does it cost?

Please refer to the list of examination fees.

+ Where does the exam take place?

RCEM delivers its written examinations worldwide via computer-based testing company, Pearson VUE. You can search for a test centre near you on the Pearson VUE website.

+ What is the structure of the exam?

The MRCEM Intermediate SBA examination consists of 180 SBA questions presented across two papers each lasting two hours. An hour’s break is provided in the middle of the exam.

The exam blueprint and sample questions are available in the MRCEM Intermediate SBA information pack. The sample questions can also be found here – MRCEM SBA sample questions.

Guidance for Candidates with Additional Requirements

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

+ How is the exam marked and standard set?

The MRCEM SBA is machine marked, a correct answer is awarded 1 mark and an incorrect answer is awarded 0, negative marking does not apply.  The cut score for the exam is determined using the Angoff method, +1 Standard Error Measurement is added to create the pass mark.

Further Information on the Angoff method.

+ When will my result be available?

Results will be published on a pre-advised day by 17:00, approximately five weeks after the date of the examination. Results will be released to candidates’ College website accounts where results letters can be downloaded on demand. Examination results will not be issued or confirmed by telephone or email.

MRCEM OSCE

The MRCEM OSCE is the third exam required for Membership of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and assesses the clinical and communication skills of trainees and ensures that they are those of someone ready for higher training. The Royal College of Emergency Medicine has gained approval from the GMC to change the MRCEM OSCE mark scheme from checklist marking to domain-based marking (in line with the current FRCEM OSCE examination). This change will commence from September 2022 in all UK and International exams. This change is based on successful MRCEM OSCE Piloting, as well as existing FRCEM OSCE data which showed superior station discrimination and increased reliability for the examination when replacing checklist mark schemes with a domain-based mark scheme for OSCE Stations.

+ Who can sit the exam?

The MRCEM OSCE is open to candidates who have passed the Primary and MRCEM Intermediate SBA (or equivalent).  Candidates are also required to have at least 24 months experience post qualification and at least six months experience in EM (post FY1/intern level).

The examination is conducted in English and candidates are advised that IELTS Level 7 is the expected standard for completion of MRCEM and FRCEM examinations.

+ When does the exam take place?

Please see the Exam Calendar

+ How do I book the exam?

Candidates must apply for the exam online, during the published application window.

Applications will open at 10.00am on the morning of the application opening date listed on the Exam Calendar and close automatically at 5.00pm (UK time) on the listed closing date. Applications must be completed before 5.00pm on the closing date, late applications will not be accepted.

See Applications page

+ How much does it cost?

Please refer to the list of examination fees.

+ Where does the exam take place?

The MRCEM OSCE is delivered in London (UK), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Kochi (India).

+ What is the structure of the exam?

The MRCEM OSCE consists of 18 7-minute stations, with one minute reading time between stations. There are also two rest stations in the exam.

The exam blueprint and sample questions are available in the MRCEM OSCE information pack.

Guidance for Candidates with Additional Requirements

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

+ How is the exam marked and standard set?

The MRCEM OSCE is marked according to a checklist. As each station checklist has a different number of marks available, the marks are converted to a score out of 10 (weighted score) so that all stations are equally weighted.

The cut score for this exam is determined using the borderline regression method, +1 Standard Error Measurement is added to create the pass mark.

+ When will my result be available?

Results will be published on a pre-advised day by 17:00, approximately five weeks after the date of the examination. Results will be released to candidates’ College website accounts where results letters can be downloaded on demand. Examination results will not be issued or confirmed by telephone or email.

MRCEM OSCE FAQs

Please see the MRCEM OSCE FAQs below, issued August 2022. If these FAQs do not answer your question, please contact the exams team via email: exams@rcem.ac.uk

+ These FAQs are available as a pdf

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

If these FAQs do not answer your question, please contact the exams team via email: exams@rcem.ac.uk

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

No, candidates are expected to prepare for 7-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?

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?

There are no double stations in the MRCEM OSCE examination.

+ How many rest stations are there?

There are two rest stations included in the MRCEM OSCE

+ 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?

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 examination?

The MRCEM OSCE is a professional examination 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 examination.

+ Am I allow to wear a scrub skirt?

Yes this would be acceptable.

+ 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?

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

+ When will I get allocated to a session?

You will receive your allocation approximately two weeks after the application closing date. We will always endeavour to have this information to candidates as soon as possible but in the instance that a delay to the allocation was to occur, all candidates would be notified via email.

+ My visa hasn’t arrived, can I change the date I sit my examination?

No, examinations do not allow for candidates to move dates once allocated.

+ Can I transfer to the next diet?

No, the College does not facilitate transfers. You will need to withdraw from the examination and reapply for the next diet. Please be sure to note the cancellation policy when applying for any examination.

+ 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.

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