CASC success

Through a remarkable collective effort, over 97.5% of the nearly 500 trainees who registered to take our first ever online CASC in September completed the exam. Below we look at what went on behind the scenes, and look forward to the second online CASC in October.

Since the last President’s newsletter, much developmental work was undertaken with the software company providing the platform adopted for the MRCPsych CASC (including no fewer than six pilots), along with training for candidates, examiners, role players and invigilators.

The piloting and preparatory work lead the key internal stakeholders on the digitalisation project to conclude that the daily maximum candidate capacity on the CASC (128) was operationally untenable.

The difficult decision was thus taken to halve this capacity and double the September diet in length to ensure those trainees registered could sit (provided half of those allocated to dates in the first week agreed to move to the second newly-created week – we remain grateful to those who rearranged their diaries to make this move).

Through a remarkable collective effort, 97.54% of the 488 trainees registered for the September CASC were able to complete their sitting in full. The 2.46% who did not complete their CASC sitting were unable to do so due to IT failures. They have been welcomed on to either the October run of CASC days or January based on availability and their request.

The College’s psychometrician completed the usual thorough performance analysis of the September diet in time for the Exams Sub-Committee to scrutinise it on Monday 28 September.

The principal headline from this is the overall pass rate of 67.7% (up from 63.4% on the same diet in 2019).

The second phase of this Autumnal run of CASC days (split in two due to exceptionally high demand) will take place over five days in the week commencing Monday 19 October and host just over 200 trainees.

By the time you read this, Paper B will have been sat online for the first time in the College’s history by over 500 candidates (as planned, on Wednesday 7 October) and nearly 600 candidates on Thursday 19 November (a single diet also split in two due to exceptionally high demand following the cancellation of the March 2020 Paper B diet ­– a consequence of the pandemic outbreak). A sample exam and further preparation materials have been organised for written paper candidates and made available on the exams pages of the College’s website.

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