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 SOE.
The format of this examination 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 whole syllabus is tested in the Primary FRCA. Those parts tested by the MCQ are detailed in the document entitled 'CCT in Anaesthetics, Annex B, Core Level Training'.
MCQ questions will be divided approximately between the following categories:
The 60 SBA questions will broadly, but not exclusively, comprise:
- 20 questions in pharmacology
- 20 questions in physiology including related biochemistry, and anatomy
- 20 questions in physics, clinical measurement, statistical methods and data interpretation
Each SBA question has a stem or vignette, a lead in question and five plausible options. Candidates must decide which of the five options is the correct or best answer.
The 30 MTF questions will broadly, but not exclusively, comprise:
- 10 questions in pharmacology
- 10 questions in physiology including related biochemistry, and anatomy
- 10 questions in physics, clinical measurement, statistical methods and data interpretation
Each MTF question has a question stem and five options. Candidates must decide which of these options are true and which are false.
Candidates are reminded that MCQ questions may be selected from any of the curriculum codes highlighted as being tested in the Primary MCQ. Candidates should refer to page B96 'Blueprint of the Primary FRCA examination mapped against the core level units of training' within the document 'CCT in Anaesthetics, Annexe B, Core Level Training' for more information.
The format of this exam will change again in 2023; 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 30 MTF and 60 SBA questions, the maximum mark obtainable for the MCQ paper is 390 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.