Structure and Marking

The Final Written exam is blue printed to the Intermediate Level Curriculum.  It is a written examination taken at various centres across the UK.

Structure of the exam
Multiple Choice Questions

90 Multiple Choice Questions in three hours, 60 x Multiple True/False (MTF) questions plus 30 x Single Best Answer Questions (SBA), comprising approximately of:

60 Multiple True-False (MTF):

  • 20 Advanced sciences to underpin anaesthetic practise
  • 20 General duties (essential units)
  • 17 Specialist (essential units)
  • 3 Optional units

30 Single Best Answer (SBA):

  • 15 General duties (essential units)
  • 15 Specialist (essential units)/Optional Units'


Short Answer Questions

12 compulsory questions in three hours normally comprising of:

  • Six questions from mandatory units: anaesthetic practice relevant to neurosurgery, neuroradiology and neurocritical care, cardiothoracic surgery, intensive care medicine, obstetrics, paesdiatrics and pain medicine.
  • Four questions from general duties:  airway management, day surgery, critical incidents, general/urology/gynaecology surgery, ENT/maxillo facial/dental surgery, management of respiratory and cardiac arrest, non theatre duties, orthopaedic surgery, regional anaesthesia, sedation practice, transfer medicine, trauma and stabilization practice.
  • Two questions from optional units:  anaesthetic practice relevant to ophthalmic surgery, plastics and burns surgery, vascular surgery and advanced sciences (anatomy, applied clinical pharmacology, applied physiology/biochemistry, physics/clinical measurement and statistical basis of clinical trial management).

The marking system

Final Written exam

  • The pass mark is the sum of the percentage pass marks of the MCQ and SAQ 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 is added together and the combined percentage score rounded down to one decimal place.


  • One mark will be awarded for each correct answer in the MTF section.
  • Four marks will be awarded for each correct question in the SBA section.
  • With 60 MTF and 30 SBA the maximum mark obtainable for the MCQ paper is 420 marks.
  • The Pass mark is set by the Examiners using Angoff Referencing.  To allow for the exam reliability this mark is then reduced by 1 x SEM to give the pass mark. 
  • Negative marking is not used.
  • See above re combined pass mark.


  • All 12 questions must be attempted; candidates will fail if one or more questions are not attempted.
  • Questions in the wrong answer book will not normally be marked.
  • Each question is marked out of 20.  The pass mark for each question is determined by the examiners collectively using an Angoff Reference method.
  • The pass marks for the 12 questions are summed to give a total mark for the paper. To allow for the exam reliability this is then reduced by 1 x SEM to give the pass mark.
  • See above concerning combined pass mark. 
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