Blogs > Postgraduate Qualifications

Overview of FRCEM Primary

  • February 13, 2019

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine offers a series of examinations which can lead to either a Membership or Fellowship of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (FRCEM).

How to achieve MRCEM:

How to achieve FRCEM:

Cost of the FRCEM Primary Exam:

£310 (UK Centres) or £390 (Iceland, Malaysia and Oman)

Format of the FRCEM Primary Exam

The FRCEM Primary examination consists of a 3 hour, multiple choice question (MCQ) paper of 180, single best answer questions (SBAQ).

Eligibility Requirements 

The FRCEM Primary exam will test your knowledge against the Emergency Medicine 2015 Curriculum with more details information provided in the RCEM Basic Sciences Curriculum (June 2010).

To apply for the exam, you will need to hold a GMC approved primary medical qualification for the purposes of registration.

Please note, typically, there is not a restriction on the number of places available for the FRCEM Primary examination, but candidates may not always be allocated their first-choice venue.

Structure and Content of the FRCEM Primary

Anatomy – 60 questions

Upeer Limb, Lower limb, thorax, abdomen, head and neck, central nervous system and cranial nerve lesions.

Physiology – 60 questions

Basic cellular Physiology, Respiratory physiology, cardiovascular physiology, gastrointestinal physiology, renal physiology, and endocrine physiology.

Pharmacology -27 questions

Gastrointestinal pharmacology, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, central nervous system, infections, endocrine system, fluids and electrolytes, musculoskeletal system, immunological products and vaccines, anaesthesia.

Microbiology – 18 questions

Pathogen groups and principles of microbiology.

Pathology – 9 questions

Inflammatory responses, Immune responses, infection, wound healing and haematology.

Evidence-based medicine – 6 questions

Statistics, study methodology and principles of critical appraisal.

How to successfully prepare for FRCEM Primary?

  1. Give yourself enough time to prepare confidently and successfully
  2. Utilise the curriculum - according to doctors who have sat the FRCEM Primary exam, it is very representative of the exam content – making it a fantastic revision guide
  3. Practice mock exams – this will provide you with a good picture of your strength and weaknesses, allowing you to narrow down your revision

Useful Revision Resources


FRCEM Primary – All in One

Revision Notes for FRCEM Primary

Question Banks

FRCEM Exam Bookstore Question Bank

FRCEM Success

YouTube Videos

Bromley Emergency Courses

James Rowley

References (2019). Dates and Fees. [online] Available at: 

Ponder Med. (2019). Revision Tips for the MRCEM A/FRCEM Primary - Ponder Med. [online] Available at:

Originally Posted:13/02/2019
Updated: 14/10/2020


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