Primary and Final FRCA examinations regulations

Published: 29/07/2019

Appendix 2: The Marking Systems

All sections have to be passed to pass the whole examination at Primary and Final levels.
In all sections of the examination, the performance of borderline candidates is reviewed by the board of examiners before the final marks are awarded. The Board reserves the right to review a candidate who performs particularly badly in any sub-section. If, in the opinion of the examiners, a candidate’s answers in the SOEs have been dangerous then the candidate’s performance is reviewed by the Board of Examiners before the marks are confirmed. The Chair reserves the right to send a letter to the candidate where, in the opinion of the Board of Examiners, poor performance raises concern. Letters are designed to inform a candidate of ways to improve their performance and to offer College support.

Primary FRCA Examination

MCQ

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 question in the SBA section. Negative marking is not used. The marks for each section of the MCQ will be combined to produce the total mark. With 60 MTF and 30 SBA questions, the maximum mark obtainable for the MCQ paper is 420 marks. The pass mark is provisionally set by the examiners using assessment methods approved by the GMC. To allow for the examination’s reliability this mark is subject to a Standard Error of Measurement (SEM) adjustment to give the final pass mark. The MCQ 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.

OSCE

Each station is marked out of 20 with the pass mark (the Angoff score) for each station/question being determined by the examiners before the examination, using modified Angoff referencing. The Angoff score for each of the 16 live stations are summed to obtain the pass mark for the whole examination. Up to two additional (test) stations may be included in an examination to test new questions. Neither the candidates nor the examiners will know which stations these are and the marks will not contribute to the final result.

SOE

Two examiners mark each part of the SOE. Both examiners independently mark every question. There are 12 questions, 2 marks are given for a pass, 1 mark for a borderline performance and 0 marks for a fail, giving a maximum total score of 48 marks. The pass mark is 37 which was determined using two years of data from the pre 2009 exams.

 

Final FRCA Examination

Final FRCA Written Section

The pass mark for the written section is the sum of the percentage pass marks of the MCQ and CRQ papers. The pass mark for each paper will be calculated as a percentage and rounded down to two decimal places. The resultant pass mark for each paper will be added together and the combined percentage score will be rounded down to one decimal place, which will be the published examination pass mark. Candidate combined scores will also be given to one decimal place, with scores rounded up.

MCQ

One mark will be awarded for each correct answer in the Multiple True False (MTF) section of the paper and four marks will be awarded for each correct question in the Single Best Answer (SBA) section. There is only one scoring answer for each SBA question. Negative marking is not used. The marks for each section of the MCQ will be combined to produce the total mark. With 60 MTF and 30 SBA questions the maximum mark obtainable for the MCQ paper is 420 marks. The pass mark is provisionally set by the examiners using assessment methods approved by the GMC. To allow for the examination’s reliability this mark is subject to a Standard Error of Measurement (SEM) adjustment to give the final pass mark. The MCQ 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.

CRQ paper

All 12 questions must be attempted; candidates will fail the written section if one or more questions are not attempted.

If a candidate answers a question in the wrong answer book normally that answer will not be marked by the examiners (and the candidate will fail the written section).

Each question is marked out of 20 with the pass mark for each question being determined by the examiners collectively before the examination using modified Angoff referencing. Each set of answer papers are marked by six separate examiners using strict marking guides. Each examiner marks two questions. All examiners attend a paper checking and standard setting meeting which ensures the accuracy and consistency of marking is of a high standard. The pass marks for the 12 questions are summed to give a total mark for the whole paper. To allow for the examination’s reliability this mark is subject to a Standard Error of Measurement (SEM) adjustment to give the final pass mark.

Structured Oral Examination (SOE)

Two examiners are present for each subsection of the SOE. Each examiner marks every question independently. Linked clinical short cases and science questions are marked separately. Therefore, there are 12 questions/sections, four linked short cases, four linked science questions, two sections of a long case and two stand-alone short cases. Examiners can apply a score of 0, 1 or 2 for each question/section, giving a total of 48 marks for both subsections. The pass mark is determined using standard setting methods approved by the GMC.