Assessment Strategy for 2021 Anaesthetics Curriculum

Published: 12/01/2023

FRCA Examinations: Feedback

The RCoA believes it is important to provide feedback to candidates beyond a standard pass-fail result, to assist them in understanding and interpreting their overall result. The RCoA does not attempt to justify the result given or the marks awarded, whether overall or for specific sections or skill domains. Marks are awarded using strict guidelines. The decision on marks awarded is final and therefore papers cannot be remarked.

The first form of feedback on a candidate’s performance is a pass-fail list, which is published on the examination pages of the RCoA website at a pre-announced date and time. Further feedback is provided to candidates in the form of a ‘results letter’. The type of feedback given to candidates will vary according to the examination component, however, the RCoA has ensured that feedback meets the AoRMC and GMC’s guidelines, and is in line with other medical colleges. All candidates, whether pass or fail, receive the same type of feedback. This is because the RCoA believes that the provision of numerical information about a candidate’s examination performance not only assists with improving a candidate’s performance at future examinations but also provides important information on which to base further continuing professional development.

The following feedback is provided in all examination results letters/feedback enclosures:

  • confirmation of the candidate’s pass-fail result
  • confirmation of the number of attempts used/maximum number of attempts
  • the examination pass mark as a raw score in relation to the maximum achievable test score (e.g. 315/420) and/or the percentage value (e.g. 75%).

The candidate’s overall score as a raw score and/or as a percentage.

In addition, candidates who sit the Primary and Final FRCA MCQ examinations receive a full breakdown of question performance against the areas of the curriculum/syllabus tested in the examination. Candidates who sit the OSCE are given a breakdown of the score they achieved in each station. Candidates who sit the SOEs are given their score for each section and are provided with examiner comments made on their performance.

The RCoA believes it is necessary to provide more detailed feedback where a candidate’s performance on an OSCE and/or SOE is poor or causes concern. This feedback, along with suggestions for additional educational support, is sent to the candidate’s tutor or senior anaesthetic consultant, and copied to the candidate concerned. The letter is designed to bring trainer and candidate together to discuss areas of concern and to agree on what additional training is needed before the next attempt