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Summary of current format of the MRCPsych examination

Author: rcpsych, Posted on Tuesday, October 26 @ 06:40:49 IST by RxPG  

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MRCPsych Part 1

Part I Written examination

The written paper comprises 133 Individual Statement items and 30 Extended Matching Items based upon 10 themes. Information and examples of Individual Statement and Extended Matching Items can be found on the College website.

The examination is of 90 minutes duration. It is recommended that candidates spend approximately 30 minutes answering the Extended Matching Items and 60 minutes answering the Individual Statement items.

The examination carries a total of 223 marks - 133 marks for the Individual Statements and 90 for the Extended matching items. Combined IS and EMI marks will be converted into a closed score between 0 and 10. Candidates are required to achieve a score of 5 or more in order to proceed to the clinical examination (OSCE).

The examination is marked by computer and feedback on performance will be provided to candidates who do not meet the standard required for a Pass.

Part I Objective Structured Clinical examination

The Objective Structured Clinical examination (OSCE) was examined for the first time at the Spring 2003 Examination session. Only candidates who pass the Part I written examination will be eligible for entry to the OSCE.

Full details of the OSCE exam venue location will be supplied to those candidates eligible to sit the exam.

The OSCE comprises 12 stations which are chosen with a view to sample across the range of psychiatric knowledge and skill areas as given in the Curriculum. In addition candidates may be required to complete one or two pilot stations the results from which will not count towards their overall result. Each station will be of 7 minutes duration. Candidates must complete all stations. Where there are no pilot or rest stations, the duration of the OSCE circuit is 1 hour and 36 minutes.

The patient is played by a role player who has been given a detailed brief on which to base their role. The examiner has a checklist of points to consider when marking and marks will be recorded on a marksheet that has been preprinted for each individual candidate. Candidates will be assessed by one examiner in each of the OSCE stations. The examiner will observe the candidate as they complete the station but, except in very exceptional circumstances, will not intervene.

Candidates have one minute before entering each station to read the station instructions which give details of the purpose of the station and basic information about the patient, for example name, age and major symptoms.

Each station has a number of predetermined objectives which candidates do not see but which are set out on the examiner's marksheet. The examiner awards the candidate grade A to E for each objective where
A = excellent, B = good, C = average, D = fail, E = severe fail.

Each objective is worth a percentage of the total mark for the station which is calculated into the candidate's grade for the station overall.

Candidates will need to demonstrate to examiners that they have achieved a satisfactory standard. As guidance to candidates, a minimum of grade C or above for at least 9 of the 12 stations will generally be required to attain a Pass in the OSCE. A Severe Fail ( Grade E ) in any one of the twelve stations will be considered as evidence that the candidate has not reached the required standard.

Information about the structure and content of the OSCE can be found on the College website. This includes training video information about the OSCE and a specimen marksheet.

Part II Written examination

The MCQ component of the examination consists of 165 Individual Statements and 15 Extended Matching Items based upon 5 themes.

The examination is of 90 minutes duration. It is recommended that candidates spend approximately 15 minutes answering the Extended Matching Items and 75 minutes answering the Individual Statement items.

The examination carries a total of 210 marks - 165 marks for the Individual Statements and 45 for the Extended Matching Items. For each of the MCQ papers (Basic Sciences and Clinical Topics) the combined IS and EMI marks will be converted into a closed score between 0 and 10. These closed scores are then combined to give a total closed score for the MCQ component overall

The MCQ papers are marked by computer and feedback on performance will be provided to candidates who do not meet the standard required for a Pass.

The remainder of the written examination comprises a Critical Review Paper (90 minutes) and an Essay Paper (90 minutes).

Part II Clinical examination
The Part II clinical examination comprises
Individual Patient Assessment (IPA)
Patient Management Problems (PMP)

The IPA is of 30 minutes duration.

A revised structure for the Patient Management Problems component of the clinical examination has been introduced.

The PMP examination will be of 30 minutes duration.

Candidates will be presented with 3 vignettes and will be marked by two examiners. All candidates sitting the examination at the same date and time will be examined against the same vignettes.

For each vignette candidates will be assessed on an 11 point scale from ranging from 10 Excellent to 0 Very poor. A grade of 5 or more is required for a Pass in the PMP

Information about the PMP, including sample vignettes can be accessed on the College website



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Recommended Books for MRCPsych Part 1
• Royal College reading list for the MRCPsych basic sciences by rcpsych
• Recommended reading list for MRCPsych Exam by rcpsych

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• Basic Sciences Paper: Individual Statement Sample Questions
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