Exam FAQs during the pandemic

Applying for the exams

The default option for sitting Papers A and B is at a test centre.  As was the case pre-pandemic, some travel may be required.  Please contact the examinations unit should you have significant difficulties in accessing a slot for this (examinations@rcpsych.ac.uk).

For Papers A and B, it is highly unlikely that we will be going back to their written form.

CASC will remain online for the immediate future.  Prospective candidates are advised to plan accordingly.  Any changes to this will be announced on the website as soon as they are confirmed.

Not wanting to take the exam online will not be considered a valid reason for extending the validity period as the exam is available to take.

In most circumstances, yes.  Please contact the examinations unit at examinations@rcpsych.ac.uk to apply.

Preparing for the exams

For Papers A and B a sample exam that gives you an experience of the real exam environment.

For the CASC exam, we provide a live session with an onboarder to explain the exam environment. We have also provided a video of a station being conducted in the platform.

 

The CASC Panel is currently looking into the stations that are going to be used during the online exam to make sure that all the cases used will be suitable for a video consultation. The blueprint of the exam remains the same, and we will ensure that the exam covers it. 

Yes, within each section. Once you finish a section and take a comfort break that section will be locked and will not allow you to return to prior questions. 

 

There are examples of each platform in the Online exams section of the main exams page of the website. 
No. We are currently considering how we might be able to offer example videos or demonstrations of stations on our website.  We suggest running mock CASCs using videoconferencing software.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Eleventh Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) has now come into effect (since 11th February 2022). Knowledge about ICD-11 may be examined in the MRCPsych Examination from the second diets in 2022 onwards. ICD-10 may also be examined while it remains in common usage.

On the day

Yes, Papers A and B will be split into sections to allow for regular toilet breaks. For CASC, there is a ten-minute comfort break in each exam session, after round 4. 

Every exam will have a human proctor available to speak to you should any issues occur. In the case of the CASC we request you only flag such things to the proctor and not the examiner or role player. 

Pearson Vue's AI system will only be used to alert the human proctor so the proctor will check immediately and if they have any concerns, they will make a note and query with you what is happening. 

In the CASC exam there is a live invigilator present in the round with you at all times, and they are trained to report on any perceived problems. 

If you sit the exam in a test centre, a white board or paper will be provided that will be handed back to test centre staff and wiped clean or destroyed before you leave the exam. This will be available to all candidates in all test centres. You are not allowed calculators; one is provided on screen along with the on screen scratch pad.

Candidates sitting Papers A and B online may only use the on-screen scratch pad to make notes.

We have detailed incident management guidelines and will apply these fairly to all candidates. If there is a serious technical failure of the platform we will reschedule you for the next possible exam sitting, without charge. 

Candidates are responsible for ensuring they have a good internet connection and adequate equipment to take the exam, you can find more detail on this in our guidelines:

We have detailed incident management guidelines and will apply these fairly to all candidates.

You may call us on 0208 618 4266 if you have any problems logging on to the CASC exam or if you have technical difficulties during the exam. We will do all we can to support you to be able to complete your exam. 

 

Please arrive a bit before the test centre opening time, ensure you have all your documents ready for the checks. As soon as the doors open the test centre staff will prioritise getting the ID checks completed for your sitting and get the exam started as soon as possible.

You need two forms of ID. The primary ID needs to be a passport, driving license or a nationality card with a photo, your name as it appears on your government documents and in date. No expired documents will be accepted on the exam date unless otherwise approved by the examinations team.

The second ID that needs to be provided needs to have the exact same name as the primary ID and a signature.

Please email examinations@rcpsych.ac.uk within three days of the exam with details of your complaint, we will then investigate the matter and discuss any issues with the Examinations Sub Committee.

If you experience technical difficulties either sitting online or in a test centre we will conduct a full investigation to establish the cause of the issue.

If it is established that you are not responsible for the issue and if deemed appropriate you will be able to sit the exam at the next available opportunity.

We encourage all candidates to sit the exam at a test centre, wherever possible to reduce the likelihood of any technical issues.

We encourage all candidates to sit their exams in test centres. This reduces the likelihood of any technical issues and it avoids candidates having their exam annulled as a result of not adhering to the strict invigilation rules in place for online exams.

The strict invigilation rules also mean that candidates cannot use a pen and paper to make notes and can only use the onscreen scratch pad and calculator. In exceptional circumstances candidates may be permitted to sit the exam online. For example those who are unable to sit the exam due to government guidelines regarding the pandemic or accessibility issues in test centres.

Please be aware that if you request an online slot availability is limited and you may not be allocated an online slot for the diet you have applied for.

Please contact the examinations teams via examinations@rcpsych.ac.uk.

Assessment and results

All pass marks will be calculated using the same methods as in previous examinations. The only thing that has changed is the delivery process.

See

We have maintained the format of our examinations and the methods of assessment remain the same. Please familiarise yourself with the following sections of the website:

 

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