MRCP Preparation

The Scope of MRCP after MBBS 2023

November 28, 2022
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The Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP) is a postgraduate diploma in internal medicine in the United Kingdom. It’s a valuable qualification as it’s an internationally recognized diploma and is the shortest route to a career in medicine around the world. The exam tests students on their knowledge of basic medical sciences as well as the clinical skills required for the diagnosis and management of diseases. The MRCP is recognized in countries around the world, and valued especially in the UK, the UAE, Singapore, and Ireland. The MRCP is also recognised by UAE’s board and opens up opportunities to practice in the Middle East as well.

The MRCP is challenging and preparing for it takes months, since students usually take it while pursuing their post-graduation, but the advantages of obtaining a MRCP degree makes the pressure worthwhile. You cannot sit the MRCP exam without having completed 12 months of medical experience by the date of the examination, as the MRCP focuses on the real world applications of medical knowledge, measuring not just your theoretical knowledge, but your practical skills as well. It is designed to test your competence in medicine overall.

Once you have the certification, you can work as a consultant physician in a private hospital in India. However, another advantage of passing the MRCP medical exam is its recognition abroad.

All you need to know about MRCP Examination & MRCP Full Form

MRCP is the Membership of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom. The exam is conducted for doctors who are interested in receiving higher specialty training from the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, and the Royal College of Physicians of London. It is a set of three exams designed to test the knowledge, skills, and behavior of clinicians in training.

MRCP(UK) is conducted in three parts:

  • MRCP Part 1 (Written Examination)
  • MRCP Part 2 (Written Examination)
  • MRCP Part 2 Clinical Examination (PACES)

MRCP (UK) studies play an important role in the overall educational experience and continuing professional development of doctors in the UK and internationally. An MRCP (UK) Diploma is required for doctors who wish to undergo training in the medical specialty in the United Kingdom. The MRCP exam is a globally recognized qualification that is seen as an excellent benchmark against which doctors are judged on their competence and suitability for specialist training.

How to apply for the MRCP exam 2023?

  1. Register online through My MRCP (UK) official website.
  2. Make sure to recheck all the details you have mentioned.
  3. At this point, you will be required to submit evidence of primary medical qualification (PMQ).
  4. After the basic registration, go to the Upcoming exams section and apply for the respective exam type you want to appear for (Part 1/2/PACES).
  5. Mention the details if you are training in UK or not.
  6. Choose a country and city as your examination center.
  7. Fill out the details in the special arrangement section if required.
  8. Pay the applicable examination fee.
  9. Your application is confirmed via an automatically generated email.
  10. Candidates who have limitations in their practice should fill out an online declaration form with the application itself.

Mode of MRCP Exam

The exam is conducted in two modes:

  • Online mode: The exam is conducted in online mode using an online proctored system for candidates within the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The students appearing for the online exam will have to fulfill all the criteria as per the organization and read the guidelines including the online exam procedure, IT setup, important points to know before and after the exam, and other exam regulations and codes of conduct.
  • Offline mode: The rest of the candidates from different countries including India will have to give the exam in the offline mode. Offline exams are conducted at exam centers in various countries. However, the exam center is different for the MRCP Exam part 1 & 2 and PACES.

The content and format of the exam are the same for both modes so the preparation should be done in the same way.

Read out further to get the complete information about all the three parts of the MRCP exam.

MRCP Part 1

Aim of MRCP Exam Part 1

  • It is an entry-level exam.
  • The purpose of the MRCP Part 1 is to test the understanding of basic clinical sciences that a medical graduate is expected to comprehend.
  • Part 1 exam is designed to assess students’ knowledge of clinical science and prevalent and significant illnesses as described in the UK curriculum.
  • Additionally, you’re tested on the most important and commonly encountered diseases from several specialties.

MRCP Exam Eligibility

Medicos from any part of the world can give the exam. Candidates with a medical degree from an institute recognized by GMC (General Medicine Council), followed by 12 months of medical employment after your graduation are eligible to apply for the exam.

Candidates are required to send proof/evidence of completion of their medical degree along with at least 12 months of medical employment.

MRCP Part 1 Exam Dates

MRCP 1 is conducted 4 times a year. The 2022/4 exam will be held on 30th Nov 2022 and the result will be declared on 11th January 2023.

Exam Schedule for MRCP Part 1 Exam 2023

2023 Session Application Period Exam Date Result Date
1st
(2023/1)
7 Nov 2022 – 14 Nov 2022 25 Jan 2023 8 Mar 2023
2nd
(2023/2)
13 Feb 2023 – 20 Feb 2023 19 Apr 2023 31 May 2023
3rd
(2023/3)
29 May 2023 – 5 Jun 2023 9 Aug 2023 13 Sep 2023
4th
(2023/4)
14 Aug 2023 – 21 Aug 2023 18 Oct 2023 29 Nov 2023

MRCP Part 1 Exam fees

  • For part 1, the examination fee is £460 for UK students.
  • For international students including India, the exam fee is £616, which approximately amounts to 59,904.20 Indian Rupee. The amount in INR can vary depending on the currency difference.

MRCP Part 1 Exam Pattern

  • It is a single-day examination.
  • It consists of two papers of 3 hours duration each.
  • Each paper has 100 questions.
  • MCQ pattern with the ‘best of five options’ type questions.
  • There is no negative marking.
  • There are no image-based questions.

Subject weightage in MRCP Part 1

The exam comprises questions from the various specialties:

Specialty Number of questions
Cardiology 14
Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics 15
Clinical Sciences 25
Dermatology 8
Endocrinology, diabetes and metabolic medicine 14
Gastroenterology and Hepatology 14
Geriatric medicine 8
Hematology 10
Infectious diseases 14
Neurology 14
Oncology 5
Medical ophthalmology 4
Palliative medicine and end of lifecare 4
Psychiatry 9
Renal medicine 14
Respiratory medicine 14
Rheumatology 14
TOTAL – 200

The Clinical Sciences portion will include questions from the following specialties:

Specialty Number of questions
Cell, molecular, and membrane biology 2
Clinical anatomy 3
Clinical biochemistry and metabolism 4
Clinical physiology 4
Genetics 3
Immunology 4
Statistics, epidemiology, and evidence-based medicine 5

Marking System for Part 1 and Part 2 Written Examination

An “Equating method” is used for calculating a candidate’s overall score. This procedure is statistically based on item response theory and utilized to guarantee equivalent outcomes for candidates in the test for equivalent performance on various diets.

All candidates are given an “overall scaled score” instead of an overall percentage score. The grade is calculated based on the number of questions answered correctly in the two test papers of the exam and takes into account the relative difficulty of the exam.

Note:

  • For every correct response, a +1 mark is awarded.
  • There is no negative marking in the MRCP written exam.
  • If a candidate opts for more than one correct response or the answer is not correctly marked, then the marks awarded to the candidate are zero.

Passing Marks

As per the last academic session, the qualifying score for MRCP Part 1 exam is 540 marks. You need to get at least these many marks to qualify for MRCP Part 1 and become eligible for the MRCP part 2 written exam.

MRCP Part 2

Aim of MRCP Exam Part 2

In this exam, the capacity of the doctors to use clinical knowledge, form clinical judgments, and assume accountability will be evaluated.

Factors evaluated in MRCP Part 2:

  • Putting issue or diagnostic lists to prepare an investigation
  • Choosing a strategy for emergency management
  • Choosing a long-term management strategy
  • Determining prognosis

MRCP Part 2 Eligibility

To be eligible for Part 2, the candidate must have successfully passed the MRCP Part 1 written exam within the preceding 7 years.

A candidate will have to re-appear for the Part 1 written exam if he/she could not pass the MRCP Part 2 written or PACES exam within 7 years of passing the MRCP part 1 exam.

MRCP Part 2 Exam Dates

The MRCP exam is also conducted 4 times a year. The 2022/4 part 2 exam will be held on 14th December 2022 and the result will be declared on 25th January 2023.

Exam Schedule for MRCP Part 1 Exam 2023

2023 Session Application Period Exam Date Result Date
1st
(2023/1)
21 Nov 2022 – 28 Nov 2022 22 Feb 2023 05 Apr 2023
2nd
(2023/2)
13 Mar 2023 – 20 Mar 2023 17 May 2023 28 Jun 2023
3rd
(2023/3)
03 Jul 2023 – 10 Jul 2023 06 Sep 2023 18 Oct 2023
4th
(2023/4)
18 Sep 2023 – 25 Sep 2023 22 Nov 2023 03 Jan 2024

MRCP Part 2 Exam fees

  • For UK students, the examination fee is £460.
  • For international students including India, the exam fee is £616, which approximately amounts to 59,904.20 Indian Rupee. The amount in INR can vary depending on the currency difference.

MRCP Part 2 Exam Pattern

  • It is a single-day examination.
  • It consists of two papers of 3 hours duration each.
  • Each paper has 100 questions.
  • MCQ pattern with the ‘best of five options (BOFs)’ type questions.
  • There is no negative marking.
  • These include image-based questions, unlike Part 1.

Subject weightage in MRCP Part 1

For the theoretical questions, you can expect the following pattern of distribution

Specialty Number of questions
Cardiology 19
Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics 18
Dermatology 9
Endocrinology, diabetes and metabolic medicine 19
Gastroenterology and Hepatology 19
Geriatric medicine 9
Haematology 9
Haematology 10
Infectious diseases 19
Neurology 17
Oncology 6
Medical ophthalmology 3
Palliative medicine and end of lifecare 3
Psychiatry 3
Renal medicine 19
Respiratory medicine 19
Rheumatology 19
TOTAL – 200

For the image-based questions, you can expect questions from:

  • Clinical photographs
  • Pathology slides
  • Inheritance trees
  • ECGS
  • X-rays
  • CT and MR scans
  • Echocardiograms

In the Part 2 exam, the questions are usually based on clinical scenarios and may be illustrated images. There can be questions related to the diagnosis, investigation, management, and prognosis of patients.

Passing marks

454 marks are considered a qualifying score for part 2. After you have cleared your MRCP part 2, you can proceed toward your MRCP Part 2 Clinical Examinations, i.e., PACES.

The MRCP Part 1 and Part 2 examination are both written exams and have almost the same pattern, but the PACES exam is entirely different from both parts. It has a completely different pattern and evaluation procedure.

MRCP Part 2 Clinical Examination (PACES)

PACES, abbreviated for Practical Assessment of Clinical Examination Skills, is designed to examine the clinical knowledge and acumen of doctors who wish to enter advanced training (ST3).

Aim of the PACES Exam

You are desired to know each of the following clinical skills:

  • Clinical examination
  • Identifying physical signs
  • Clinical communication
  • Differential diagnosis
  • Clinical judgment
  • Managing patient concern
  • Maintaining patient welfare

Eligibility for MRCP PACES

The eligibility for PACES is the same as is for MRCP 2, i.e, you must have cleared your MRCP part 1 within the last 7 years.

MRCP PACES Exam Date

It is conducted 3 times a year, from January to March, June to August, and September to December.

The dates for the PACES exam are different for the UK and other countries and even for different centers.

MRCP PACES Exam Pattern

It is a half-day examination that takes place at hospitals or clinical centers.

There are five clinical positions (Stations) staffed either by patients with a specific disease or by trained support staff (surrogates). Each station has two independent examiners who observe and evaluate the candidates’ performance.

You can start at any station and move to the next station every 20 minutes until you complete the cycle. There is a 5-minute break between each station.

The five stations are allotted for the following:

  1. Respiratory, Abdomen
  2. History taking
  3. Cardiovascular and Nervous system
  4. Communication skills
  5. Brief clinical consolation

At least 4 weeks before your examination date, admission documents with your assigned examination date, time, and location will be sent.

Application Process

All the candidates are advised to read all the instructions carefully before filling out the application form.

2023 Application dates for the UK

2023 Session Application Period Assessment Period
1st
(2023/1)
14 Nov 2022 – 21 Nov 2022 Late January – March
2nd
(2023/2)
27 Mar 2023 – 03 Apr 2023 Early June – Early August
3rd
(2023/3)
24 Jul 2023 – 31 Jul 2023 Late September – Early December

2023 International Application Period

2023 Session Application Period
1st
(2023/1)
10 Oct 2022 – 17 Oct 2022
2nd
(2023/2)
20 Feb 2023 – 27 Feb 2023
3rd
(2023/3)
19 Jun 2023 – 26 Jun 2023

In the 2023 International Application Period, the assessment period is not yet released.

Exams are not scheduled for each day of the assessment period, and exam schedules differ amongst colleges. Your exam date and venue will be listed in your admissions application.

MRCP PACES Fees

  • For UK students, the examination fee is £657.
  • For international students including India, the exam fee is £1202, which approximately amounts to 1,16,891.00 Indian Rupee. The amount in INR can vary depending on the currency difference.

Marking System for MRCP Part 2 Clinical Examination (PACES)

The candidates are assessed based on their clinical skills in this part of the exam. The exam process is as follows:

  • Five clinical stations are set up with either trained stand-ins or patients with a specific disease (surrogate patients).
  • There are two separate examiners at each station.
  • For prospects to succeed, the candidate must achieve a minimum standard in each of the seven competencies as well as a minimum overall score.

Passing marks in PACES

You need to pass each clinical station separately based on clinical standards. Additionally, a minimum of 130 out of 170 is required to pass the PACES.

Let’s read some relevant information for all the parts of MRCP.

Number of attempts for the MRCP Exam

A maximum of six attempts are allowed at each part of the MRCP (UK) diploma. If any candidate wants to appear after six attempts, then for each re-exam, they must have undertaken additional educational experience. A candidate will also have to submit a form along with evidence of the additional educational experience, supported by the candidate’s Educational Supervisor and the Training Programme Director or equivalent.

MRCP Exam Centre

MRCP (UK) exams can be taken anywhere in the world. Candidates have the option of giving MRCP (UK) written exams at 34 international locations and the MRCP (UK) Clinical Examination (PACES) at 16 different locations.

MRCP Exam Centre in India

 For Parts 1 and 2:

  • Chennai
  • Hyderabad
  • Kerala
  • Kolkata
  • Mumbai
  • New Delhi

For PACES:

  • Bengaluru
  • Chennai
  • Hyderabad
  • Kochi
  • Kolkata
  • New Delhi
  • Pondicherry
  • Thiruvananthapuram

Language requirements

  • The MRCP exam (all parts) is conducted in English language only.
  • The candidates are advised to have a command of the English language equivalent to a 7.5 band score in the IELTS exam. However, no language exam is required to be eligible for the MRCP exam.

Examining Board

There are examination boards for the MRCP (UK) Part 1, MRCP (UK) Part 2 Written, and MRCP (UK) Part 2 Clinical (PACES) exams. The examining board for PACES is also referred to as the Clinical Examining Board (CEB). Its task is to ensure the scientific quality of the examinations, which includes approving the content and determining the passing grade. The examination boards also deal with appeals, cases of scientific or professional misconduct, and complaints.

Withdrawal and Refund

Any candidate who wishes to withdraw his/her application should contact the appropriate administrative office by email and complete all the withdrawal procedures. They must mention the following details in the email for identity verification such as RCP code number, full name, and date of birth. The withdrawal application will not be counted as an attempt.

The withdrawal request must be submitted before the application process ends, so that a refund of 90% can be generated. A 10% application fee is deducted as an administrative charge.

Completion of MRCP Diploma  

Once a candidate completes the last component of the diploma successfully, a results letter that attests to their success is given. Details about membership elections and entrance ceremonies is included in this email.

Right time to take your MRCP Exam

In general, data suggests that candidates have the highest pass rates when the candidates

  • take the first part 1 exam attempt within 12-24 months of graduation
  • take the first part 2 exam attempt within 36 months of graduation
  • take the first part 2 clinical exam (PACES) attempt at least after 36 months of graduation
  • Pass the Part 2 written exam before taking PACES.
  • Before applying for PACES and completing the exam, it is advised to at least have 2 years of core medical training experience. A candidate should involve in emergency medical patient care for at least 4 months in the 2-year tenure of medical practice.

The information here will help you make the best choice about when to take the exam.

Points to note:

  • Candidates are not allowed to apply through any third-party organization.
  • After passing Part 1, candidates are ineligible to retake the exam until the 7-year window is passed.
  • A candidate must complete both Part-2 written and clinical within seven years after the MRCP part 1 exam.
  • A candidate is advised to attempt the mock test available on the MRCP UK official website.
  • Before taking any of the examinations, candidates are highly encouraged to become familiar with the contents of these publications:
  • MRCP (UK) Regulations (updated August 2022)
  • Specialty Certificate Examination Regulations
  • European Specialty Examination Regulations
  • Examination Appeals Regulations
  • Examination Complaint Procedure
  • Reasonable Adjustments Procedure
  • Code of Conduct
  • Misconduct Regulations

If you want the opportunity of working abroad in the UK, the Middle East, Australia, Singapore, and many other countries, then the MRCP is the best qualification to have. The MRCP is a prerequisite to anyone wishing to go on to a specialist training post as a physician in the United Kingdom and in Australia. In the UAE, the MRCP is considered a super speciality degree, and consequently, those who have taken the MRCP are paid at par with super specialists. Doctors who pass the MRCP Exam can apply to jobs in any country that recognizes the degree abroad. Most countries welcome people who have professional degrees and can add value to the country and help its citizens. If you’re a doctor, you have a higher chance of being granted a work visa than most other jobs. If you think at some point you may want to live abroad, the MRCP is by far the best qualification to have.

DigiNerve is an e-learning platform by Jaypee which offers information and online coaching courses for the MRCP exams.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Is there any online course for preparation for MRCP Part 1?

Ans: For cracking your MRCP 1, you have the strongest preparation available on DigiNerve, prepared by the eminent faculty of medicine, Dr. Archith Boloor and Dr. Gurpreet Singh Wander. The course is based on The Royal College of Physicians’ curriculum (RCP). There are 15 online modules in the course, which includes content on major disciplines including Clinical Sciences, Cardiology, Gastroenterology, etc. It also includes high-yield questions, mock papers, e-chapters, video lectures, notes and BOFs.

  1. How many stages does MRCP has?

Ans: It is a set of 3 exams designed to test the knowledge, skills, and behavior of clinicians in training.

  • MRCP Part 1 Written Examination
  • MRCP Part 2 Written Examination
  • MRCP Part 2 Clinical Examination (PACES)
  1. How much is the MRCP exam fees?

Ans: The fees for MRCP Part 1 and 2 (Written):

  • £460 (UK)
  • £616 (International)

The fees for MRCP Part 2 Clinical Examination (PACES):

  • £657 (UK)
  • £1202 (International)
  1. How many attempts do you get at MRCP?

Ans: A maximum of six attempts are allowed for each part of the MRCP (UK) diploma. If any candidate wants to appear after six attempts, then for each re-exam, they must have undertaken additional educational experience.

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