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.

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.

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

For the CASC exam, we provide a live session with an onboarder to explain the exam environment. We will contact you one month before your exam with details of how to book your onboarding session.  We have also provided a video of a station being conducted using the platform in the CASC training guide.

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

You will be sent your log in details for the CASC exam the day before you are due to sit your exam.

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

Yes, you can make notes on blank paper or a blank notepad. You should destroy any notes at the end of the exam. We reserve the right to ask to see your notes during the exam.

You should have a phone available, but out of your immediate reach, in case we need to contact you during the exam or in case you have an urgent need to contact us. The phone should be set to silent (and not vibrate).

CASC onboarding

Please make sure that you attend your onboarding session from the location where you intend to sit the exam. You should also use the computer that you plan to use for the exam. 
Our webinar includes a CASC station demonstration so you can see an example of the platform from a candidate's perspective.
Important functionality like the resource viewer cannot be accessed without an examiner or invigilator on the platform. Therefore we provide 1-2-1 training/onboarding sessions for candidates to familiarise you with the platform.
Our webinar includes a CASC station demonstration so you can see an example of a full station from a candidate's perspective.
If you do not feel confident using Practique then you may book a second onboarding session in order to familiarise yourself further. 
The exam platform will work on Andriod, Apple and Windows devices. This means PCs and laptops. Most iPads don't meet the minumum screen size of 12.9"/32.8cm. Don't use mobile phones or small tablets for the exam, as you will not be able to participate effectively.
Detailed information about system requirements are included in the CASC online training guide. It is important to read this guide in full before you attend your onboarding session.
The College asks that all participants involved in the exam have headphones with a microphone available to use in case of any sound issues. It is not compulsory to wear headphones but please have a pair of headphones to hand.

External monitors are permitted if they have their own webcams and you are confident in switching between video and audio sources. Be very cautious otherwise, as often the camera is not in the right position for your face to be naturally visible and so the examiner may not be able to see you clearly. 

Please note you are only permitted to use one screen for the exam. So you must not use an external monitor alongside a laptop screen.

There is a mute button, but all participants can only mute themselves, not other participants. As a candidate you should not use the mute button unless instructed to do so by the invigilator, examiner or the IT support team.
Yes, you can increase the size of the video stream and scroll to focus on an individual feed. We will show you how to do this during the onboarding session.  

This may qualify as a rerun which means you will have the oppotunity to re do the station at the end of the exam session. Invigilators have been provided with guidance on when a rerun will be allowed. Reruns will take place immediately after the last station within a circuit. You will be guided back to the station that needs to be rerun.

See CASC Exam day support FAQs for details of the IT Support number.  

Yes, if you need to refer back to the instructions during the consultation you are allowed to do so. The resource viewer within the platform allows you to open the instruction at half screen so that you can still see the active video feeds. Bear in mind that referring to the resources during the consultation will take your attention away from the role player.  
The invigilator will time the exam. They will inform you when to start and end your reading time and when to start the consultation. They will also inform you when there is one minute remaining on the consultation task  You can use your own analogue watch to keep track of time if this concerns you, but you are not allowed to use your own stopwatch.
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