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General Advice for Written Papers (MRCPsych Paper A and B)

General Advice for Written Papers (MRCPsych Paper A and B)

We need preparation for the written exams, and we would suggest you think about starting your revision at least three months before each one. Although it’s difficult to balance examination revision with a full-time job, it is possible with wonderful organisation and discipline. Furthermore, many people have other responsibilities, such as children, which makes it much more difficult to fit in. It may have been years since you took your medical school examinations, and getting back into the swing of things can take some time. One technique is to start with half a day on weekends or a couple of evenings each week, then escalate the time as the examination approaches. There will be times when you can’t do any revision, for example, during weeks of night shifts. Although individuals strive to cram as much studying as possible into the weeks leading up to the test, it is equally crucial to relax and enjoy yourself. Rather than making your preparation less time-effective, scheduling some relaxation time will make your revision period more productive.


A good first step would be to study the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ examination web pages. There are details of the syllabus, regulations, frequently asked questions, and lots more useful bits and pieces. Google’ MRCPsych examinations’ to find the official College website.


Regarding what to revise, make sure you look carefully at the syllabus for each examination on the Royal College website to check the areas you need to cover in your revision. There is no point in covering areas that don’t appear in the examination, and you would better spend your time learning things. Although the proportion of questions in each subject area is worth bearing in mind, it isn’t the only factor. It would likely be better to allocate your time to concentrate on the areas you find most challenging.


The biggest change in the written exams has been moving from 3 written papers to 2. There are now 2 written exams, papers A and B, each comprising 200 questions over three hours. The exams contain multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and extended matching items (EMIs), with a rough split of 2/3 MCQs and 1/3 EMIs.

Examination online sites from the Royal College of Psychiatrists are a fantastic place to start. There are syllabus details, restrictions, frequently asked questions, and a slew of other valuable information. The official College website may be found by searching for "MRCPsych exams."


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