To become a Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists by examination, you must pass:
Those who pass the above exams will then be able to use the letters FRCA (Fellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists) after their name, as long as you are a Fellow or Member of the College.
Primary OSCE & SOE
Final Written Exam
This part of the exam is broken into two sections (taken separately)
Please note that you must pass the Primary FRCA MCQ before you can apply to sit the OSCE/SOE.
The MCQ has a three-year validity.
You must then pass the Primary Exam before applying for the Final FRCA.
A pass in the Primary FRCA is valid for seven years as part eligibility towards the Final FRCA.
Multiple-Choice-Question Exam Format
Structure of the Exam
The Primary MCQ consists of 90 multiple-choice-questions (60 x Multiple True False and 30 Single Best Answers in three hours).
The exam is held three times a year in March, September and November.
The exam is held at several venues across the UK in London, Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast.
The format of the Primary exam is changing from September 2022 the Primary FRCA MCQ exam will comprise 90 MCQs in three hours: 60 Single Best Answer (SBA) questions and 30 Multiple True False (MTF) questions.
The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OCS) and Structure Oral Examination
Please note that the FRCA OSCE and SOE must be taken together at the first attempt. If one component is failed only that component must be retaken. If you fail both sections, then you must retake them together.
Purpose of the Exam
The Primary OSCE and SOE examinations are blueprinted to the Basic Level Curriculum.
The OSCE examination tests skills (both procedural and cognitive) which are underpinned by knowledge.
The SOE tests your depth of knowledge and understanding of mechanisms and relevance.
These exams will take place at the Royal College, Churchill House, 35 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4SG.
Structure of the OSCE Exam
During this part of the exam, there will be 16 stations, candidates must complete each station in succession.
Currently, the stations comprise of:
Structure of the SOE Exam
There are two sub-sections to the SOE section comprising:
This part of the exam has two sections (taken separately)
Please note you must pass the Primary FRCA before you can apply for the Final FRCA. You must also pass the Final Written component before you apply for the SOE.
The Final Written exam has a three-year validity.
Purpose of the Exam
The Final Written Examination is a stand-alone exam, applied for separately from the Final SOE Examination.
The aim of the MCQ is to test your factual knowledge. The SAQ aims to test your higher thinking including judgement, ability to prioritise and summarise, and capability to present an argument clearly and succinctly in writing.
Structure of the Exam
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
90 MCQ Examinations (60 x Multiple True False and 30 Single-Best-Answers in three-hours)
12 compulsory questions in three-hours normally comprising of:
There will be a maximum of one question from the optional units.
The written exam is held twice a year in September and March and is held at several venues across the UK. Currently: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast.
The Final SOE comprises of two sections:
The aim of the clinical parts of the exam is to allow you to complement the Written Based Answers and examine the understanding and theoretical application of knowledge in clinical practice.
Please note you must pass the Final Written Examination (in the preceding three-years) is required before you can sit the SOE.
Link to example SOE Questions.
The fundamental reason people fail their FRCA exams is the lack of preparation. In this section of the blog, we aim to provide you with guidance on how to successfully pass your exams.
Study leave – If you are planning on attending a revision course, you will need to check with your department how much study leave you qualify for prior to booking and do not forget to factor in the exam periods
We would like to wish anyone who is sitting their FRCA exams a big good luck! And if you are a doctor who has recently obtained your fellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists then send your CV to [email protected] and one of our Specialist Advisers will be in touch.
Come and join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor! Here you will have frequent access to our relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional answers and to meet other IMGs!
Rcoa.ac.uk. (2018). Primary FRCA MCQ | The Royal College of Anaesthetists. [online] Available at: https://www.rcoa.ac.uk/examinations/primary-frca-mcq [Accessed 3 Sep. 2018].
Rcoa.ac.uk. (2018). Primary FRCA OSCE/SOE | The Royal College of Anaesthetists. [online] Available at: https://www.rcoa.ac.uk/examinations/primary-frca-osce-soe [Accessed 3 Sep. 2018].
Rcoa.ac.uk. (2018). Final FRCA Written | The Royal College of Anaesthetists. [online] Available at: https://www.rcoa.ac.uk/examinations/final-frca-written [Accessed 3 Sep. 2018].
Rcoa.ac.uk. (2018). Final FRCA SOE | The Royal College of Anaesthetists. [online] Available at: https://www.rcoa.ac.uk/examinations/final-frca-soe [Accessed 3 Sep. 2018].
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