General Info

 CONTENTS


  1. General information
  2. Examination procedure
  3. Admittance to the examination
  4. Guidance
  5. Results
  6. Sample MRCS PART A (MCQ) Question

 

CANDIDATE GUIDANCE NOTES


  1. General information – Intercollegiate MRCS

Part A is a four-hour MCQ examination consisting of two papers, each of two hours’ duration, taken on the same day.

The marks for both papers are combined to give a total mark for Part A.

The papers administered by any of the colleges at any particular sitting are identical and are held almost simultaneously. The papers cover generic surgical sciences and applied knowledge, including the core knowledge required in all nine specialties as follows:

Paper 1. Applied Basic Sciences

Paper 2. Principles of Surgery in General.

To achieve a pass in Part A the candidate will be required to demonstrate a minimum level of competence in each of the two papers in addition to achieving or exceeding the pass mark set for the combined total mark for Part A.

Candidates may attempt to pass Part A of the MRCS examination six times.

 

  1. Examination Procedure

Candidates are required to obey the instructions of the senior invigilator. It is the duty of the senior invigilator to prevent any behaviour likely to cause disturbance to other candidates. Both entry to and exit from an Examination shall be at the absolute discretion of the senior invigilator.

Candidates who are late by no more than 30 minutes for an Examination may be allowed entry to the Examination at the discretion of the senior invigilator but will not be given extra time to compensate for their late arrival.

Candidates may not leave in the first 60 minutes or the last 15 minutes of the Examination and then until their Answer sheets and Question booklet have been collected from their desk. Candidates leaving the Examination Hall within the allotted time period should leave quietly without causing disturbance to other candidates.

Candidates should assemble outside the Examination Hall as instructed on the letter sent from the relevant Examinations Department before the start of the Examination and should not enter until instructed to do so by the senior invigilator. Coats, bags or any books and papers brought into the Examination Hall should be deposited away from the candidate’s desk as directed by the senior invigilator. All stationery required for the Examination will be provided.3

ALL MOBILE PHONES BROUGHT INTO THE EXAMINATION HALL MUST BE SWITCHED OFF. MOBILE PHONES OR OTHER HAND-HELD ELECTRONIC DEVICES ARE NOT PERMITTED EITHER ON YOUR PERSON OR AT YOUR DESK DURING THE EXAMINATION

Any candidate found to have a mobile phone; pager, calculator or other hand-held electronic device on their person in the Examination may be suspended from the Examination, and will have his or her results withheld pending investigation.

Each desk in the Examination Hall will be numbered and candidates must sit at the desk that corresponds to their examination/candidate number. Please ensure that the coloured flash on the Question booklet and Answer sheet is the same. (E.g. answers corresponding to a Purple Question booklet should be marked on a Purple Answer sheet.)

 

 

  1. Admittance to the examination

You must bring proof of identity to each examination. Proof of identity must be an official document, such as a current passport or driving licence that includes your name, signature and a photograph.

Once seated, candidates should leave their identification and anything else required by the relevant examinations department/ section on the desk ready for inspection.

For the purposes of visual identification, any candidate sitting any examination may be required to remove any clothing and/or other item which covers all, or part of, the candidate’s face. The Colleges will observe sensitivity in the visual identification of candidates.

 

 

  1. Guidance

Candidates should write their examination/candidate number on the Question booklet provided and on the Answer sheet using the pencil provided.

Candidates shall not give or receive any assistance or communicate by any means with one another or any person, other than the invigilator(s), at any time during the Examination period. Any candidate acting in breach of this Regulation or misbehaving in any other way that may disrupt the Examination may, at the discretion of the senior invigilator, be suspended from the Examination, or have their results withheld pending investigation.

Candidates may not begin reading the paper (apart from the instructions on the front of the Question booklet), or marking answers on the Answer sheet before the senior invigilator announces the start of the Examination period.

Candidates must stop writing when the senior invigilator announces the end of the Examination. If they fail to do so they will be disqualified. All answers must be transferred to the Answer sheet before the end of the Examination. 4

Extra time will not be allowed for the transfer of answers. No part of a Question booklet shall be torn out or removed from the Examination Hall.

Any candidate who wishes to leave the Examination Hall to go to the toilet must ask the permission of an invigilator who will escort them. Candidates should be aware that they may finish well within the time allowed. For security reasons if a candidate stays until the end of the Examination they will be unable to leave the Examination all until ALL the Question booklets and Answer sheets have been collected.

Candidates who have any questions or comments on the content of the Examination should report these to the invigilator or record those on the Feedback Questionnaires provided. All such comments will be noted and considered at the adjudication stage. No clarification will be given by the invigilator.

Refreshments are not always available at a centre. Candidates may bring a small plastic bottle or carton of drink with them to the Examination.

Any candidate who contravenes any of these instructions will be liable to penalties that may include expulsion from the Examination, annulment of results and referral to the appropriate Registration body. The Malpractice Regulations that the colleges adhere to are available on our website (www.intercollegiatemrcs.org.uk). It is the candidate’s responsibility to be familiar with these before they attend the examination. Candidates should note that the copyright on the content of the papers is held by the three Surgical Royal Colleges of Great Britain and that unauthorised use of any of the questions is prohibited. In the event of contravention of this copyright, legal action may be taken. Any candidate found making notes on the content of questions will be disqualified.

 

  1. Results

Results will appear on the college website on the date specified on examination documentation sent to the candidate, or as announced at the examination. Candidates will receive subsequently written confirmation of their results.

 

 

 

Examination Format


 

The Examination:

Part A of the MRCS will be a four-hour examination consisting of two MCQ papers, each of two hours’ duration.

The papers will cover generic surgical sciences and applied knowledge, including the core knowledge required in all nine specialties as follows:

  1. Paper 1 Applied Basic Sciences
  2. Paper 2 Principles of Surgery in General

 

To achieve a pass in Part A the candidate will be required to demonstrate a minimum level of competence in each of the two papers in addition to achieving or exceeding the pass mark set for the combined total mark for Part A.

The mark for each paper will be combined to give a total mark for Part A. Both papers must be taken on the same day.

Guidance to Candidates


 

» There are equal marks for each question.

» Marks will not be deducted for a wrong answer. However, you will not gain a mark if you mark more than one box for the same item or question.

» The answer sheets are scanned by a machine. If you do not enter your answer to each question correctly and clearly on the answer sheet the machine that scores your paper may reject it.

» Only answers that are clearly struck horizontally across the correct response will guarantee a mark. Faint marking may be misread, resulted in no mark being awarded for that question.

» Many candidates find it easier to mark their answers on the question booklet first and transfer them to the answer sheet later. If you do this, you should allow time to transfer your answers to the answer sheet before the end of the examination. No extra time will be given for the transfer of answers.

» You should check that each page of your question booklet has been correctly printed and that the coloured flash on the top of the front page of your question booklet and answer sheet match.

 

Instructions to Candidates


 

» Do not make any marks on your answer sheet other than inserting your candidate number and indicating your answer with a bold horizontal line in the boxes provided.

» Use only the pencil provided. Do not use pen or ballpoint.

» If you need to change an answer, you should make sure that you rub it out completely so that the computer can accept your final answer.

» Do not fold or crease the sheet.

 

Intercollegiate MRCS Part A: Sample Questions

Paper 1 Applied Basic Sciences

Single best answer (SBA) format

» This two-hour paper will consist of 135 single best answer questions.

» Each question contains five possible answers, of which there is only one single best answer.

» You should decide which option from the list is the single best answer.

» When you are satisfied with your decision, record your answer on the answer sheet.

» In the example below, the answer is D; you would record your answer by making a heavy black mark, in pencil, in the box labelled D on line 76 (as shown).

 

Example single best answer question

  1. A 67-year-old woman is brought to the Emergency Department having fallen on her left arm. There is an obvious clinical deformity and X-ray demonstrates a mid-shaft fracture of the humerus. She has lost the ability to extend the left wrist joint. Which joint has most likely been damaged with the fracture?

A The axillary nerve

B The median nerve

C The musculocutaneous nerve

D The radial nerve

E The ulnar nerve

 

Paper 2 Principles of Surgery in General

Single best answer (SBA) and Extended matching questions (EMQ) format

» This two-hour paper will consist of a mixture of single best answer and extended matching questions. The paper will consist of 135 questions in total and the two types of questions will be within separate groups within the paper.

» For an explanation of how single best answer questions function, please see above.

» In extended matching questions, each theme contains a variable number of options and clinical situations. Only one option will be the most appropriate response to each clinical situation.

» When you are satisfied with your decision, mark it on your answer sheet, following the example given, by making a heavy black mark in pencil in the box containing the letter corresponding to the option you have chosen.

» You should only mark the option that you believe to be correct.

 

Example extended matching questions

Theme: Chest injuries

Options

A Tension pneumothorax

B Aortic rupture

C Haemothorax

D Aortic dissection

E Ruptured spleen

F Cardiac tamponade

For each of the patients described below, select the single most likely diagnosis from the options listed above. Each option may be used once, more than once or not at all.

  1. A 24-year-old man is brought into the Emergency Department having been stabbed with a screwdriver. He is conscious. On examination he is tachypnoeic and has a tachycardia of 120 beats/minute. His blood pressure is 90/50 mmHg. He has a small puncture wound below his right costal margin. A central venous line is inserted with ease and his central venous pressure is 17 cm. A chest X-ray shows a small pleural effusion with a small pneumothorax. He has received two units of plasma expander, which has failed to improve his blood pressure.
  2. A 42-year-old man is admitted following a road traffic accident complaining of pains throughout his chest. He was fit and well prior to the incident. He is tachypnoeic and in considerable pain. His brachial blood pressure is 110/70 mmHg and his pulse rate is 90 beats/minute. Both femoral pulses are present though greatly diminished. A chest X-ray shows multiple rib fractures and an appreciably widened upper mediastinum. Lateral views confirm a fractured sternum. An ECG shows ischaemic changes in the V-leads.

heavy black mark in the box labelled F on line 61. If you decide that the answer to the second

situation is option B you would record this by making a heavy black mark in the box labelled B on line 62.


 

***Please visit :   http://www.rcseng.ac.uk for more info regarding MRCS UK

Join now