FRCA Primary MCQ examination
The successful MCQ candidate will have demonstrated an appropriate breadth and level of knowledge and understanding of core sciences and their relevance to practical anaesthesia and anaesthesia related medicine. Candidates must pass the Primary FRCA MCQ before they can apply for the Primary FRCA OSCE and SOEs.
Due to social distancing restrictions, the Primary MCQ examination in August will be sat online with remote invigilation. More information on this delivery method is provided at COVID-19 and Examinations.
The Primary FRCA MCQ currently comprises, 90 MCQs in three hours, 45 Multiple True False (MTF) questions and 45 Single Best Answer (SBA) questions.
Each MTF question has a question stem and five options. Candidates must decide which of these options are true and which are false.
The 45 MTF questions are in three categories, comprising approximately:
- 15 questions in pharmacology
- 15 questions in physiology including related biochemistry, and anatomy
- 15 questions in physics, clinical measurement, statistical methods and data interpretation
The 45 SBA questions cover a broad spectrum from the whole curriculum but with the majority of questions from the categories listed above.
Each SBA question has a stem or vignette, a posed question and five plausible options. Candidates must decide which of the five options is the correct or best answer.
This format will be used for exam on 1 September 2020 but from March 2022 the format will change (please see ‘planned changes to the examination’).
How it is marked
One mark will be awarded for each correct answer in the MTF section of the paper and four marks will be awarded for each correct answer in the SBA section. Negative marking is not used. The marks for each section of the MCQ are combined to produce the total mark. With 45 MTF and 45 SBA questions, the maximum mark obtainable for the MCQ paper is 405 marks.
The pass mark is provisionally set by examiners using a modified Angoff method. This mark is then reduced by one Standard Error of Measurement (SEM) to give the pass mark. The core group reserve the right to remove questions from the overall marks where error or ambiguity is found. Candidates will not be disadvantaged where this occurs.
Candidate resources are a consolidation of the various example questions, videos, courses and guides, any of which may guide a candidate in their preparation for the various FRCA examination components.