Papers A and B marking scheme

Both question papers consist of multiple choice questions (MCQs) and extended matching items (EMIs). The balance of the two types of questions will vary but will be approximately two-thirds MCQs and one third EMIs.

MCQs are one of five, single best answer type. This type of MCQ comprises a question stem, which is usually one or two sentences long but may be longer. The question stem is followed by a list of five options. Candidates should choose the single best option that fits the question stem. One mark is given for the correct answer.

In the EMIs, candidates will be orientated by being given a theme for each set of EMIs. This is followed by an option list, set out in a logical order, followed by a lead-in statement explaining what the candidate is being asked to do. Finally, the vignettes are given and the candidate asked to choose one or more best options from the option list. One mark is given for each correct answer.

Candidates are advised to attempt all questions. No marks are deducted for incorrect answers. 

Standardisation

A standard is set for each paper using an absolute criteria. This means that there is no pre-determined number of candidates who pass or fail. Instead, candidates pass or fail according to their own performance and not on how well they perform in relation to the other candidates.

Currently the Modified Angoff method is used to set the pass marks for Papers A & B.

In this procedure, the Standard Setting Panel which is made up of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), i.e. trainers who are familiar with psychiatric training, for example college tutors, educational supervisors, and recently appointed ST 4 trainees, are appointed by the Examinations Sub-Committee (ESC). They first have a group discussion about the characteristics of a borderline candidate, i.e. a candidate who is minimally competent in the required standards, and then individually evaluate each question and estimate the proportion of these minimally competent candidates that would answer the question correctly.

For each question, the SMEs' assessments are averaged. Another round of estimates is made, allowing each SME to revise their scores on the basis of actual candidate performance statistics. This safeguards against large deviations in pass rates whilst maintaining the defensibility of criterion referencing. Criterion referencing means that every candidate who reaches a required standard will pass, rather than being relative to other candidates' performance. The pass mark is calculated as the average of all question level scores.

Finally, Standard Error of Measurement (SEM) is applied to this score to account for error around the cut point, increasing confidence that the candidate has reached the required standard. SEM is calculated using the number of items within each paper and the standard deviation of candidates' scores for that paper. It is therefore different for each paper. The final pass mark is calculated as the Angoff derived pass mark plus 2 x SEM, and approved by ESC.

As previously notified, for an interim period, whilst transitionary candidates still have passes in the old papers (1, 2 or 3), Paper A will be held in two halves of 100 marks each; Paper A(i) and Paper A(ii). Separate pass marks will be calculated for Papers A(i), A(ii) and the whole Paper A, based on the Angoff rating for the items in that paper plus 2 x SEM. The pass marks for A(i), A(ii) and the complete Paper A will be different due to the different questions as well as different SEMs.


Dr P Bowie

Chief Examiner

5 August 2015

 

The online form will only be available during the published application dates and must be submitted by the closing date. Applications will not be accepted after the published closing date.

All applications for entry should be made using the online form.  Please note only card payments can be made using the online application.

The College does not accept responsibility for delays or computer failures and no allowances will be made for this.

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted under any circumstances.

Notes on completing the online application form

New candidates will need to register first for a college web login. Follow the relevant links on the form before completing the Online Candidate Application.

Section A – Personal Details

Contact details

This address will be used to post your results to. If you are already registered with the College, only your contact details that you previously requested for mailing will show. You are able to update your details by clicking the ‘Update my contact details’ button.

Disability and Special Requirements

Please indicate if you have a disability and/or special requirements that may require reasonable adjustment.

Candidates who have any special requirements (in the form of disability or illness) that may affect their performance in the examination are advised to inform the College at the earliest possible opportunity in order that they may be assisted where possible.

A medical certificate is often required in support of such claims and will be considered in accordance with the College’s policy. Candidates with dyslexia are required to submit a report from an Educational Psychologist with their completed application.

Please send this to the Examinations Unit at the following address:

Examinations Unit
Royal College of Psychiatrists
21 Prescot Street
London E1 8BB

Section B – Primary Medical Qualifications and Registration

If your name appears on either the UK list of the current edition of the Medical Register of the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom (GMC) or the Irish list of the equivalent Medical Council in Ireland, you do not have to provide documentary evidence.

New entrants outside of the UK and Ireland are required to submit documentary evidence of their Primary Medical Qualification and Registration on entering the examination for the first time. For those who need to submit documentary evidence, an original or attested copy of your medical qualification and registration certificate is required.

Photocopies will only be accepted if officially stamped by either the issuing university/medical school/medical body or a practicing solicitor/attorney to declare it as a true copy of the original.

Documents only need to be submitted with your first application.  For new candidates submitting original documentation, all documents will be returned to you at your contact address.

Please ensure you submit all documentary evidence BEFORE the closing date, otherwise you will not be permitted to sit the exam. 

Please send documents to the Examinations Unit at the following address:

Examinations Unit
Royal College of Psychiatrists
21 Prescot Street
London E1 8BB

Section C – Training

All applicants are requested to give details of all previous psychiatric posts in chronological order, starting with the current/most recent. If you have made an application before, your previous training posts will be displayed.

Note:

It is important that you do not enter an end date for your current post.

You must click 'Save' after entering in post(s) before pressing 'Continue'.

Section D – Written Paper Selection

UK candidates requesting extra time due to special requirements or disability must choose either the London or Edinburgh Extra Time centre as these are the only centres where extra time candidates can be accommodated.          

Results displayed on website

Trainees have requested that the examination pass list should appear on the College's website.

Under data protection legislation, we have an obligation to ensure that any personal information given by examination candidates is only published on the website with their explicit consent.

You should be aware that information that appears on the website is accessible to members of the public worldwide, including individual patients.

Pass list inclusion/exclusion will not be amended after the closing date.

Section E – Summary and Declaration

The relevant examination fee will be automatically generated for you based on whether you are a PMPT/Affiliate or a non-PMPT/non-Affiliate.

All candidates must agree to the MRCPsych Examinations and Eligibility Criteria and the Data Protection Statement before making a payment.

Further information can be found on our Data Protection pages.

Payment

You will be redirected to a secure Netbanx payment screen where you can pay by credit or debit card.

Please ensure you check the email address in the relevant field. Once you have completed payment click ‘Return to Merchant’.

Confirmation

You will receive two confirmation emails:

Please ensure you check your junk email folders. If you do not receive both confirmation emails within 24 hours of submitting your application, please contact the Examinations Unit examinations@rcpsych.ac.uk

The online form will only be available during the published application dates and must be submitted by the closing date.

Applications will not be accepted after the published closing date.

All applications for entry should be made using the online form.  Please note only credit or debit card payments can be made using the online application.

The College does not accept responsibility for delays or computer failures and no allowances will be made for this.

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted under any circumstances.

Notes on completing the online application form

You will require a college web login to access the form.  If you do not have a login, you will need to register first for a college web login by following the relevant links.

Section A – Personal Details

Contact details

This address will be used to post your results to. If you are already registered with the College, only your contact details that you previously requested for mailing will show. You are able to update your details by clicking the ‘Update my contact details’ button.

Disability and Special Requirements

Please indicate if you have a disability and/or special requirements that may require reasonable adjustment.

Candidates who have any special requirements (in the form of disability or illness) that may affect their performance in the examination are advised to inform the College at the earliest possible opportunity in order that they may be assisted where possible.

A medical certificate is often required in support of such claims and will be considered in accordance with the College’s policy. Candidates with dyslexia are required to submit a report from an Educational Psychologist with their completed application.

Please complete the special requirements form (docx) and return to the College by the close of the application period at the following address:

Dr P. Bowie, Chief Examiner
CASC Exam
Examinations Unit
Royal College of Psychiatrists
21 Prescot Street
London E1 8BB

Section B – Primary Medical Qualifications and Registration

You must provide up to date details of your registration.

Section C – Training

All applicants must select their status – Either UK Trainee, UK Non-Trainee or Overseas.

All applicants are requested to give details of current and all previous psychiatric posts in chronological order, starting with the current/most recent.

If you have made an application before, your previous training posts will be displayed.

You must complete details of your current training post including your status as a UK Trainee, UK Non-Trainee or Overseas candidate.

Failure to do this will mean your sponsor will be unable to access the sponsorship page and your application will not be completed. You would then need to contact the Examinations department to re-set your application.

Note: You must click 'Save' after entering in post(s) before pressing 'Continue' otherwise your information will not be stored.

Section D – CASC Examination Selection

Your validity period will be displayed as well as the number of your previous attempts.  If your validity period has expired you will not be permitted to continue with the form and must contact examinations@rcpsych.ac.uk

Results displayed on website

Trainees have requested that the examination pass list should appear on the College's website.

Under data protection legislation, we have an obligation to ensure that any personal information given by examination candidates is only published on the website with their explicit consent.

You should be aware that information that appears on the website is accessible to members of the public worldwide, including individual patients.

Pass list inclusion/exclusion will not be amended after the closing date.

MRCPsych Courses

If you have attended a non-commercial MRCPsych Course attached to your Trust, Deanery or University, please select the relevant course from the drop down list provided. If the course is not listed then please select "Other/Unspecified". If you have not attended a course then there please select "None".

Section E – Sponsorship

You will need to enter your sponsor’s Title, Forename, Surname and Email address. Valid sponsors include College Tutors, Educational Supervisors, Clinical Supervisor, Director of Medical Education, Head of Department, Head of School, or if overseas someone responsible for your appraisal.

Sponsorship must be up to and including the dates of the CASC. Withdrawal of sponsorship prior to the CASC will deem the applicant ineligible.

The College reserves the right to verify the details of the applicant’s sponsor. If confirmation of sponsorship is not verified, the application will be rejected and the College reserves the right to take appropriate action.

Once your sponsor has authorised your application, you will receive a confirmation email from examinations@rcpsych.ac.uk and you will be asked to complete your application and proceed to payment. 

If you do not receive a confirmation email, please follow this up with your sponsor.  You MUST complete your application and payment by the closing date of the application period.

If your sponsor does not complete the authorisation and you do not complete your application and payment within the application period then you will not be entered into the CASC examination.

Please note, if you fail the CASC examination having passed four or less stations and/or receive two or more severe fails across stations, a copy of your results letter will be sent to your CASC sponsor/supervisor.

The Examinations Sub- Committee strongly recommend candidates discuss results with their sponsor/supervisor and relate it to their development and training in identified areas.

Section F – Summary and Declaration

The relevant examination fee will be automatically generated for you based on whether you are a PMPT/Affiliate or a non-PMPT/non-Affiliate.

All candidates must agree to the MRCPsych Examinations and Eligibility Criteria and the Data Protection Statement before making a payment.

Further information regarding the college policy on Data Protection is available.

Payment

You will be redirected to a secure Netbanx payment screen where you can pay by credit or debit card.  Please ensure you check the email address in the relevant field. Once you have completed payment click ‘Return to Merchant’

Confirmation

You will receive two confirmation emails:

Please ensure you check your junk email folders. If you do not receive both confirmation emails within 24 hours of submitting your application, please contact the Examinations Unit examinations@rcpsych.ac.uk

This page contains information about the fees to apply for RCPsych exams.

Pre-Membership Psychiatric Trainees (PMPT) and affiliates of the college taking exams in the UK and Ireland are entitled to a discount.

What fee do I pay for 2019 Examinations?

Candidate

Paper A

Paper B

CASC

PMPT Trainees and Affiliates (UK & Ireland Centres)

£467

£420

£965

Non-PMPT Trainees and Affiliates (UK & Ireland Centres)

£518

£466

£1,072

Hong Kong, China

£661

£661

£1,462

Singapore

£661

£661

£1,462

Chennai, India

£661

£661

N/A

Muscat, Oman

£661

£661

N/A

Malta

£661

£661

N/A

How to pay

You can pay by Visa or MasterCard credit/debit card.

The application form includes a section for entering your card details.

How do I request a receipt?

You will receive an automatic NetBanx receipt and an acknowledgment email after your application is completed.

If you require another receipt then please email examinations@rcpsych.ac.uk.

The below tables provide information relating to our MRCPsych exam venues and timings.

Please note that venues and timings are subject to change. It is the your responsibility to check your admission document, which will be sent to you before the examination to confirm final details.

We won't take responsibility for candidates going to the wrong venues.

Where can I sit the Written Examinations?

Centre

Address

Exam times

Paper
London

Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall
Hornton Street, London, W8 7NX

10:00–13:00

Paper A [Dec]

Paper B [April]

Paper B [Oct]

London Extra Time The Royal College of Psychiatrists

21 Prescot Street, London, E1 8BB

This venue is only for candidates
who have been granted extra time/
special arrangements.

10:00–13:00/
13:45

Paper A [June]

Paper B [April]

Paper A [Dec]

Paper B [Oct]

Birmingham

H Suite Edgbaston
100 Icknield Port Road, Edgbaston
Birmingham, B16 0AA

10:00–13:00

Paper A [June]

Paper B [April]

Paper A [Dec]

Birmingham

Fazeley Studios
191 Fazeley Street
Digbeth
Birmingham
B5 5SE

10:00–13:00 Paper B [Oct]
Manchester

Kings House Conference Centre
Kings Church, Manchester, M1 7HB

10:00–13:00

Paper A [June]

Paper B [April]

Paper A [Dec]

Paper B [Oct]

Edinburgh

Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
9 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JQ

10:00–13:00

Paper A [June]

Paper B [April]

Paper A [Dec]

Edinburgh

Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DW

10:00–13:00 Paper B [Oct]
Dublin

Griffith College Conference Centre
Griffith College, South Circular Road,
Dublin 8, Ireland

10:00–13:00

Paper A [June]

Paper A [Dec]

Paper B [Oct]

 

Overseas centres

Please note the overseas venues are booked only a few week in advance after candidate numbers have been confirmed. All times are local.

Centre

Address

Exam Times

Paper

Hong Kong, China

TBC

17:00–20:00

Paper A

Paper B

Singapore

TBC

17:00–20:00

Paper A

Paper B

Chennai, India

TBC

14:30–17:30

Paper A

Paper B

Muscat, Oman

TBC

13:00–16:00

Paper A

Paper B

Malta

TBC

11:00–14:00

Paper A

Paper B

Where can I sit the CASC Examination?

*Please check admission documents for registration times.

Centre

Address

Times

Diet

Sheffield, UK

English Institute of Sport
Coleridge Road, Sheffield
S9 5DA

9:40–17:17*

CASC January

CASC September

Hong Kong

TBC

9:20–17:00*

CASC 2019-1

Singapore

TBC TBC

CASC 2019-1

*Please check admission documents for registration times.

Paper A

Diet Date of Examination Application Period Publication of Results
2 3 December 2019 7 - 25 October 2019 TBC
1 16 June 2020 27 April - 15 May 2020 16 July 2020
2 1 December 2020 12 - 30 October 2020 TBC

Paper B

Diet Date of Examination Application Period Publication of Results
2 8 October 2019 29 July - 16 August 2019 8 November 2019
1 31 March 2020 10 - 28 February 2020 7 May 2020
2 6 October 2020 27 July - 14 August 2020 10 November 2020

CASC - UK & Ireland

Diet Date of Examination Application Period Publication of Results
2 10 - 13 September 2019 10 - 28 June 2019 4 October 2019
1 21 - 24 January 2020 28 October - 15 November 2019 14 February 2020
2 8 - 11 September 2020 8 - 26 June 2020 2 October 2020

CASC - Hong Kong/Singapore

Centre Date of Examination Application Period Publication of Results
Singapore 15 -17 May 2019 11- 22 March 2019 07 June 2019
Hong Kong 16 - 18 October 2019 10 - 28 June 2019 TBC

How long have I got to complete my exams?

Once you've passed your first written paper – whether that is Paper A or B – you have 1,643 days from the date the results are published to complete all remaining parts of MRCPsych.

If you haven't completed all parts within the 1,643 days, you'll need to re-sit all parts to pass. 

Special circumstances

There are various circumstances under which you may be granted an extension, for instance if you took maternity leave, or worked part-time.

Detailed information on these rules, and how to apply for an extension and make an appeal, is provided in section 1:6 of the exams eligibility criteria and regulations (PDF).

To apply for an extension you must use the following form (docx).

You have 1,643 days from the date the result their first written exam was published, to sit the clinical exam.

The table below shows what these time limits mean for you. 

First Written Paper Passed Results Published 1643 days from Date of Publication
Paper 1 Diet 1 2014 01 August 2014 30 January 2019
Paper 1 Diet 2 2014 13 February 2015 14 August 2019
Paper 2 Diet 2 2014 07 November 2014 08 May 2019
Paper 3 Diet 2 2014 07 November 2014 08 May 2019
Paper A Diet 1 2015 07 August 2015 05 February 2020
Paper B Diet 1 2015 18 May 2015 16 November 2019
Paper A Diet 2 2015 19 February 2016 19 August 2020
Paper B Diet 2 2015 06 November 2015 06 May 2020
Paper A Diet 1 2016 19 July 2016 17 January 2021
Paper B Diet 1 2016 13 May 2016 11 November 2020
Paper A Diet 2 2016 17 February 2017 18 August 2021
Paper B Diet 2 2016 04 November 2016 05 May 2021
Paper A Diet 1 2017 18 July 2017 16 January 2022
Paper B Diet 1 2017 05 May 2017 03 November 2021
Paper A Diet 2 2017 16 February 2018 17 August 2022
Paper B Diet 2 2017 03 November 2017 04 May 2022
Paper A Diet 1 2018 17 July 2018 15 January 2023
Paper B Diet 1 2018 08 May 2018 06 November 2022
Paper A Diet 2 2018 15 February 2019 16 August 2023
Paper B Diet 2 2018 09 November 2018 10 May 2023
Paper A Diet 1 2019 16 July 2019 13 January 2024
Paper B Diet 1 2019 09 May 2019 06 November 2023
Paper A Diet 2 2019 17 February 2020 16 August 2024
Paper B Diet 2 2019 08 November 2019 07 May 2024
Get in contact to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry