Exam FAQs

What kind of Medical Council registration do I need to enter any MRCPsych examination?

All doctors in the UK must be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) when applying for the MRCPsych Examinations. We’ll verify that registration is valid with the GMC.

Overseas trainees must be registered with their National Body. An original or attested copy of your current registration certificate must be included with an application to sit the examination.

I’m an overseas candidate, can I take the MRCPsych exams?

Yes, trainees from any country in the world can sit the MRCPsych Examinations providing that they meet the eligibility requirements to sit the Examination.

Am I eligible for the exam if I have transferable competencies?

Candidates who have worked in other specialties may count some of their experience (in addition to their psychiatry placements) towards the time eligibility requirements for entry to the examination. Candidates must submit evidence including a job description and weekly timetables and learning objectives and outcomes for the attention of the Chief Examiner. They must meet all other requirements as stipulated in the Eligibility Criteria and Regulations for the MRCPsych Examinations. The Chief Examiner will review and confirm eligibility on a case by case basis. Please note we will only consider ATC as part of the eligibility for Paper B and CASC when ATC has already been approved on entry to psychiatric training. Please also refer to Accreditation of Transferable Competences Frequently Asked Questions.

Can I sit Papers A and B in any order?

Yes, the Written Papers can be taken in any order. However, it’s recommended that you have 12 months experience in Psychiatry before attempting Paper B.

Can I pay the application fees by credit/debit card?

Yes, we accept Visa or MasterCard credit/debit card. The application form includes a section for entering your card details.

When will I receive an acknowledgement of my application?

For the Written and CASC Examinations, candidates use an online application which generates an automated acknowledgement email.

If you have not received this email within 24 hours of submitting your application, please contact the Examinations Unit.

When will I receive my admission documents?

For the written examinations, these are emailed approximately 2 weeks before the date of the examination. For the CASC examination, it’s approximately 3 weeks before the exam. It includes details of the venue and timings of the examination.

Link to venue

If you haven’t received them by then, you should promptly contact the Examinations Unit.

What is my candidate number?

Your candidate number is issued to you at your first sitting of any examination, and stays the same throughout your examination period. It’s quoted in various documents, including your admission document and result letter.

You should refer to this documentation for your number before contacting the Examinations Unit. If you’re a new candidate (i.e. it’s your first examination) you will not have a number.

What if I need a Visa to get to my examination centre?

If you need a visa, you’ll need to apply for the examination at the beginning of the application period, stating clearly that you need a letter for your visa application. If a visa isn’t granted, it doesn’t warrant an automatic refund, as this is at the discretion of the Head of Examinations Operations.

How many attempts do I have at exam component?

You can have six attempts at examination. A six attempt limit was introduced from January 2015 by the GMC. There are transitional arrangements for candidates who attempted any component before this date.

I have a diagnosed medical condition and request special requirements. Will I be allowed more time in the exam?

Possibly, each case is looked at individually. You must provide evidence of your condition / disability in a timely manner before the exam. Extra time may be granted for written papers and extra reading time may be allowed in the clinical exam (CASC). However, the length of time allowed to complete a station task will not be adjusted.

I have 24 months experience in Psychiatry. Does this need to be in certain psychiatric specialties in order to be eligible to sit the clinical exam (CASC)?

There’s no longer any requirement for specific specialties. However, competencies in specialties as defined in the curriculum / equivalent have to be met by the time of sitting the CASC. It’s your sponsor’s role to confirm you have met these competencies in the ARCP process, or equivalent for overseas doctors.

What reading material is recommended as a study guide for the examination?

The College publishes several journals and a wide range of books on mental health. The Psychiatric Trainee Committee recommend books and resources for the exams.

The College recommends you ask your College Tutor for information about the MRCPsych course.

A College resource also available is Trainees Online (TrOn) which is an online learning resource to support trainee psychiatrists in preparing for MRCPsych exams. Any queries regarding TrOn please contact tron@rcpsych.ac.uk

What identification do I have to take with me to the exam?

For all exams you must bring official photo identification (ID): Passport, Driver’s License, and Hospital ID only.

For the CASC, you must also bring two passport photos, so photo cards can be produced and issued on the day of the exam.

Can I use a calculator during an exam?

You can use a basic calculator (non-scientific) during the MRCPsych Paper B exam. Calculators are not allowed for any of the other exams.

I want to withdraw from the examination, what do I do?

Withdrawals must be made in writing to the Head of Examinations Operations stating your reasons. Please refer to the withdrawals section of the Eligibility Criteria and Regulations for MRCPsych Examinations.

Note: You can’t transfer your fee to the next examination.

I felt really ill on the day of the exam but sat it anyway. I failed but I think I would have passed if I hadn’t been feeling ill, will the exam committee take this into account and adjust my result?

You’re responsible for ensuring you’re prepared and fit enough to sit the exam. Once you sit the exam, the committee will consider that you were prepared and fit.

You can withdraw from an exam any time before it starts, and it won’t be counted as an attempt, and you may be eligible for a refund of fees.

Why is there a delay in the results being available after the exam has been taken?

Following any component of the exam there’s statistical analysis of the performance of the exam and also a number of quality assurance procedures which are essential in order to conduct a fair exam.

Was the exam more difficult on this occasion?

No, the exam will have been of similar difficulty to the previous diet. After each written paper a standard setting committee meets to decide the standard (pass mark) for the paper. The committee uses a well recognized method called the Modified Angoff method. The committee consider for each question, what proportion of borderline candidates would select the right answer. The proportions for each question are then summated in order to arrive at the pass mark for the exam.

A significant minority of the questions in the paper will be “Anchor Questions” (questions used in the last exam). Comparing the performance of candidates on anchor questions from one diet to the next helps the committee to set a similar standard.

How do I get a replacement result letter?

From January 2018, all result letters will be emailed. If require a result letter before this time, requests should be made to the Examinations Unit.

My contact details have changed. What should I do?

It’s important to keep your details up to date , please log on to the membership section of website and update them.

Is feedback available once I have sat the examination?

Feedback is available for both the Written Papers, and the CASC examinations. For the Written Papers it is provided with the result letter and for the CASC it is provided 2 weeks after results are published and only for those who have been unsuccessful.

I have re-sat the CASC and one of the stations was the same as in the last diet. I passed it the first time but failed it this time. Did the examiner apply a standard significantly different from the previous examiner?

This is unlikely. You need to remember, this is a skills assessment and the circumstances of your performance will have been different from your first attempt. You may not have asked questions in the same way and the role players responses may have been different (whilst still within their script).

Can I claim tax back on my examinations?

Following a change in the tax case law, trainees who sat the exams should be able to claim tax back.  The College provides a letter of confirmation for rebate purposes.

I’ve received my results but I would like it reviewed?

Results are ratified by the Examinations Sub-Committee before being published and sent to candidates. You can request for a re-mark of you examination script/s or submit an appeal if you feel there are sufficient grounds in which to do so. Details of both procedures can be found in the Re-mark and Appeals section.

How long are my written papers valid for in order for me to sit the clinical exam?

There’s a written paper validity period of 1643 days, which starts on the date results are published for the first exam that you pass.

I believe that I have special circumstances/part time, can I get an extension of my validity period?

Yes. There are circumstances (illness or pregnancy) where an extension may be granted. Your circumstances are considered on an individual basis. If you believe that you have special circumstances, you should contact the examinations department at the earliest opportunity, and certainly before you sit any further components of the exam. You will be asked to provide independent evidence of your circumstances.

If you’re working part time before gaining 24 months experience in Psychiatry then yes, this will be grounds for an extension. Once your whole time equivalent experience equals 24 months, then no further adjustment will be made for part time working.

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