FAQs about preparing for exams

Here are the answers to the most common questions we receive about preparing for exams.

You can also find answers to commonly asked questions on our other FAQs pages:

Paper A and B preparation

For Papers A and B there's a sample exam that gives you an experience of the real exam interface. Follow the link for the practice exam on the RCPsych Pearson page.

Multiple choice questions make up around two thirds of each paper – these have an independent question stem and five choices from which you must choose one. Extended matching items make up the balance – several questions share a common question stem and you must choose one answer from a much longer list of options.

In Paper A, the online exam is separated into three parts each with approximately 50 questions, so that you have an opportunity to take a break if you so wish.

Paper B has two sections in the exam blueprint. Section A covers critical review and makes up about a third of the paper. Section B covers clinical topics and makes up the other two-thirds of the paper. The Paper B online exam is also separated into three parts, roughly corresponding with how long it might take you to complete each third of the exam. Different numbers of questions will appear in each part depending on the makeup of the paper. The number of questions shown to be completed applies to each part of the exam, not to the overall exam. There are always 150 in total.

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 earlier questions.

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.

Please refer to the online training guides for detailed information on the system requirements.

CASC preparation 

The CASC guide for candidates provides detailed guidance on the structure of the CASC.

Physical health can be tested in any station, including history, examination and management stations. Any aspect of physical health that is relevant to the practice of psychiatry can be tested. The minimum frequency of physical examination stations and physical health history stations is specified in the blueprint. 

You will be sent confirmation of the date seven weeks before your exam.

The dress code for the exam is smart casual. You are aiming for professional but comfortable.

Yes.  You will be provided with a blank notepad and pen to make notes during the exam. This must be handed in at the end of the exam.

No, all clinical equipment will be provided.
Yes. There is no change to the standard required to pass the CASC.
For 2025 it is planned to hold the CASC in Singapore and the Middle East. 
A good example of how formulation can be tested in the CASC is in stations where the task is to explain someone's mental health problems to a patient or a relative.  Formulations should reflect best practice in psychiatry, so for example taking a holistic, biopsychosocial approach to formulation would be appropriate for many cases.
There is a detailed syllabus descriptor in the syllabus for the personalisation and respect skill subdivision.  Typical stations focussing on this might include patients from specific cultural backgrounds, patients with neurodevelopmental conditions, and patients where intersectionality is an issue.
You need to bring valid photo ID e.g. passport, UK photo driving license, or your National Government Photo ID card.
We will make adjustments on an individual basis according to candidate needs and recommendations. Please get in touch with the Exams team to discuss further. 
You can read more about the steps we're currently taking to support the reduction of the attainment gap here.
We are planning to have up to four CASC diets a year in future but only two of these will be located in the UK and while capacity is still limited candidates will only be able to sit the CASC twice in a calendar year. 
Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry