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MRCS Part B Exam Overview
The MRCS Part B exam consists of 18 stations each lasting 9 minutes. Each station is designed to assess the selection criteria outlined by the Royal College of Surgeons. You will rotate round all 18 stations during the PART B OSCE with 1 minute between stations.
Our MRCS Part B Question bank features a mock MRCS Part B OSCE.
- MRCS Part B Stations
- Competency Domains
MRCS Part B Stations
- Anatomy and surgical pathology (5 stations)
- Applied surgical science and critical care (3 stations)
These two BCAs will be grouped together for the purposes of passing the examination and will be known collectively as “Applied Knowledge” (8 stations = 160 marks)
- Clinical and Procedural Skills (6 stations)
- Communication skills (4 stations)
- History Taking
These two BCAs will be grouped together for the purposes of passing the examination and will be known collectively as “Applied Skills” (10 stations = 200 marks)
There may, in addition, be one or more preparation station and one station that is being pre-tested. Any such pre-testing station will not contribute towards the final mark of the examination. Candidates will not be informed which station is being pre- tested. Each of the 18 examined stations is ‘manned’. Some of the stations will have two examiners and some one. In stations with two examiners, each examiner will be examining different aspects of a candidate’s performance.
It is important to note that to score the highest marks it will be necessary for a candidate to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, competencies and professional characteristics described by the domains across the stations of the OSCE.
In addition to being given a maximum mark of 20 for each examined station, candidates will be awarded a separate, overall global rating for the station as follows:
In order to pass the examination candidates must obtain a pass mark in the two aggregated Broad Content Areas defined in 2.1 above - Knowledge and Skills. Using information from the structured mark sheets for each station out of 20, and the global rating for each station, a mark will be calculated out of 160 for Knowledge and 200 for Skills, that is judged to be the mark required to pass each BCA.
To be awarded a pass in the OSCE a candidate must pass EACH of the two grouped areas at the same sitting. Candidates will note, therefore, that from February 2013, there will be no overall pass mark.
Knowledge (8 stations) incorporating the broad content areas of anatomy and surgical pathology and applied science and critical care. Skills (10 stations) incorporating communication skills in giving and receiving information and history-taking.
Clinical knowledge and its application: the clinical knowledge specified in the syllabus; the ability to understand, synthesise and apply knowledge in a clinical context.
Clinical and technical skill: the capacity to apply sound clinical knowledge, skill and awareness to a full investigation of problems to reach a provisional diagnosis, the ability to perform manual tasks related to surgery which demands manual dexterity, hand/eye coordination and visual/spatial awareness.
Communication: the ability to assimilate information, identify what is important and convey it to others clearly using a variety of methods; the capacity to adjust behaviour and language (written/spoken) as appropriate to the needs of differing situations; the ability actively and clearly to engage patient/carer/colleague(s) in open dialogue.
Professionalism: the demonstration of effective judgement and decision making skills; the consideration of all appropriate facts before reaching a decision; the capacity to make the best use of information and think beyond the obvious; being alert to symptoms and signs suggesting conditions that might progress or destabilise; being aware of own strengths/limitations and knowing when to ask for help; the ability to accommodate new or changing information and use it to manage a clinical problem, to anticipate and plan in advance, to prioritise conflicting demands and build contingencies, to demonstrate effective time management; being aware of the need to put patient safety first.
The four domains are assessed via the 18 stations of the OSCE.
Candidate performance on domains will not be pass/fail criteria. Domains will be used primarily for structuring the scenarios and mark sheets
Applying for the MRCS Part B
The MRCS Part B (OSCE) examination may only be applied for after successful completion of Part A (Written).
The Intercollegiate Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (iMRCS) may be sat at any of the four Royal Colleges below and covers the same syllabus.
The main differences between colleges you sit the MRCS with are: the use of college facilities, membership benefits and where the MRCS Part B examination centres are located.
Following successful completion of the MRCS Part B a retention fee is payable in monthly or yearly instalments to the college of application.
- Top Tips
- February (Application Deadline November)
- May (Application Deadline March)
- October (Application Deadline July)
Royal College of Surgeons of England
|The Royal College of Surgeons of England|
• Sheffield (May diet only)
Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
|The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh|
Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Glasgow
|The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow|
Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland
- There is no rush to complete Part B. Most specialties do not expect you to have completed it by Core Training application but do require it for ST3 applications.
- Think about when you will be getting on the job experience such as during or after a General Surgical placement.
- Consider doing it during a specialty that gives you the time to revise or one that you do not wish to pursue for specialty training to maximise revision time.
- Once you have decided when to sit the exam book early and start revising early.
- There is no 'best' Royal College. Examine all the membership benefits, think about convenience of location and library and Athens facilities offered to members.
- Practise as many MRCS Part B Questions as possible.