About the FRCEM Primary Exam

About the FRCEM Primary Exam

The MRCEM Part A has been replaced by the FRCEM Primary exam.

What is the FRCEM Primary?

The MRCEM Part A has been replaced by the FRCEM Primary exam with effect from August 2016. Completion of the FRCEM examinations (Primary/Intermediate/Final) results in the award of Fellowship of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine. The FRCEM Primary and Intermediate examinations are required for entry into ST4+ Emergency Medicine training in the UK.

How is the FRCEM Primary different to the MRCEM Part A?

The method of assessment has changed from a true/false multiple choice paper of 50 4-part questions in 2 hours, to a single best answer question (SBAQ) paper of 180 questions in 3 hours.

What is the format of the FRCEM Primary?

The single best answer questions consist of a question stem followed by 5 possible answers, one of which will be the best or most correct answer. Each correctly answered question is worth 1 mark and there is no negative marking.

What do I need to know for the FRCEM Primary?

The FRCEM Primary examination is mapped to the Emergency Medicine 2015 Curriculum with more detailed information available in the RCEM Basic Sciences Curriculum last updated August 2015. The 180 questions are distributed in the following proportions: Anatomy (60), Physiology (60), Pharmacology (27), Microbiology (18), Pathology (9) and Statistics (6). The pathology questions contain elements of haematology.

What is the pass mark of the FRCEM Primary?

Historically the MRCEM Part A usually had a pass mark of around 70% however the Royal College of Emergency Medicine does not define an official pass mark.

When is the next sitting of the FRCEM Primary?

Exam Date Application Dates Results Date
5th Dec 2018 1st Aug – 24th Aug 2018 16th Jan 2019
13th Jun 2019 2nd Jan – 4th Mar 2019 12th Jul 2019
5th Dec 2019 1st Jul – 3rd Sep 2019 17th Jan 2020

 What if I have already sat or passed the MRCEM Part A?

MRCEM Part A passes obtained prior to August 2012 are deemed time expired. Previous passes in the MRCEM Part A examination after 1 August 2012 remain valid. Candidates will be permitted a maximum of six attempts for the FRCEM Primary examination. Previous attempts at the MRCEM Part A examination will not be counted towards the number of available attempts for the FRCEM Primary examination.

Where can I learn more about the FRCEM Primary?

The Royal College of Emergency medicine have released an information pack and sample questions. If you have any questions about the new FRCEM Primary exam, please email info@frcemsuccess.com and we will do our best to help. For further information, please refer to the Royal College of Emergency Medicine website.


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