Exams success

The RCPsych’s Chief Examiner praised the College’s exams staff and team of examiners this week after they helped to deliver the best online CASC exams to date.

An amazing 99.5% of candidates successfully completed the exam remotely over a two week period in January, the best completion rate of three CASCs the College has run in lockdown.

The success happened at a time when the College’s pool of examiners was stretched, making the achievement all the more impressive.

Those who could not be given a place in the over-subscribed January diet will sit over the next few months on dates agreed to ensure that they are still able to meet national recruitment deadlines.

Dr Ian Hall, Chief Examiner, said:

“With every sitting of the CASC, more and more candidates are able to complete the exam successfully.
“This is testament to the hard work of the examinations team, and our examiners giving their time in the face of many competing priorities. A heartfelt thank you to all involved.”

The back story

Over the past five months, RCPsych has run three diets of online CASC exams (as well as moving our theory papers to an online format).

In a race against time, examiners, invigilators and role players learned how to use the Practique platform ahead of the first online CASC exams which ran in September.

Despite teething issues on Day 1, College staff successfully ran 16 standardisation meetings a day, in Zoom. These meetings enable examiners to agree exactly how they will mark the stations and ensure role players deliver their role consistently across circuits.

A massive behind the scenes operation coordinated multiple circuits, resolving issues with logging in and connections and ensuring that all stations within each circuit rotated simultaneously. Members of the CASC panel and senior examiners provided guidance and support.

A 97.54% success rate saw 476 candidates complete their examination, with pass rates in line with previous September diets.

By using feedback from candidates, and surveying examiners, role players and invigilators, we were able to refine and improve our processes and practice, allowing us to reduce the length of the day for the October diet. A further 194 candidates sat their exams - a success rate of 97.49%. 

Bringing things up to date

In the midst of a global pandemic, in five months – and taking the January exams into account - 1,033 trainees have been able to sit the CASC exam, and so had the chance to progress in their careers.

If you’d like to be an examiner

We’re recruiting CASC examiners at the moment. It offers members an excellent opportunity to contribute to standard setting in psychiatry and further develop your teaching and training skills. The deadline for applications is 8 February 2021.

Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry