• Aug 31, 2023   MOKSH Academy

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Demystifying MRCP: A Comprehensive Guide to Mastering the Medical Royal College Exams

Introduction to MRCP exams

MRCP full form in medical is Medical Royal College Exams, commonly, are an essential step in the career of any aspiring physician. These exams serve as a benchmark for assessing a doctor's clinical knowledge, skills, and competency in various medical specialities. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of MRCP exams, providing you with a clear understanding of what they entail, how to prepare for them, and tips for success.

Understanding the MRCP test

MRCP full form in medical is Medical Royal College Exams. The MRCP test is a rigorous examination conducted by the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom. The MRCP (UK) exam has three parts.

MRCP Part 1: This is the first step and is open to doctors with at least 12 months of postgraduate medical experience.

  • The exam is completed in a single day.
  • It involves two parts.
  • Each part includes two three-hour papers.
  • There are 100 multiple-choice questions (best of five) in each paper.
  • No images are included in the exam.
  • You can take the exam at an international test centre or online with supervision in the UK.

MRCP Part 2 Written: After passing Part 1, physicians in training can take Part 2 Written. 

  • Two papers are completed in a single day.
  • Each paper lasts for three hours.
  • There are 100 multiple-choice questions in each paper, and you choose the best answer from five options.
  • Questions include images.
  • You can take the exam at an international test centre or online with supervision in the UK.

MRCP Part 2 Clinical (PACES): This is the practical assessment of clinical skills. It's for trainee doctors aiming for higher specialist training. You need to have passed Part 1 within the last 7 years and have at least 2 years of clinical experience. 

  • It's a half-day exam.
  • It happens in a real clinical setting like a hospital or a clinical skills center.
  • It checks seven important skills.
  • There are five stations where the assessment takes place.
  • You encounter eight patients during the exam.

MRCP vs MRCS: What's the difference?

It's important to note the difference between MRCP and MRCS. While MRCP full form in medical is Medical Royal College Exams, MRCS refers to the Membership of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons. MRCP primarily focuses on medical specialities, while MRCS is geared towards surgical specialities. The content and assessment methods differ between the two exams, as they are tailored to the specific skills and knowledge required for each discipline.

The MRCP procedure explained

To embark on your MRCP journey, you must first complete your medical degree and foundation training. Once eligible, you can register for the MRCP exams through the Royal Colleges of Physicians' official website. The exams are held at designated test centres and are conducted in a secure and standardized manner. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the MRCP examination regulations and guidelines to ensure a smooth experience. It is efficient to understand MRCP procedure for the easygoing pathway of a medical career.

MRCP(UK) Pathway

  • Complete Your Undergraduate Medical Degree: You can't begin the journey to becoming a specialist until you finish your undergraduate medical degree.
  • Complete Your Internship: Completing your internship makes you eligible to take MRCP Part 1. You should have at least 12 months of medical employment experience.
  • Take MRCP Part 1: You have up to six attempts to pass this exam. It assesses your knowledge of clinical sciences and common medical conditions.
  • Take MRCP Part 2: This must be taken within seven years of passing Part 1. It consists of two parts: MRCP Part 2 Written and MRCP Part 2 Clinical Examination (PACES). It's recommended that you have completed two years of training, including internships, before attempting this. You'll need support from your most recent supervising consultant for the PACES application.
  • IELTS/OET: You must achieve the required score in either IELTS or OET. IELTS requires an overall score of 7.5 (with a minimum of 7.0 in each module), and OET requires a grade of B in all four subsets and overall.
  • EPIC Verification: This involves verifying your medical and postgraduate degrees. It must be completed before applying for GMC registration.
  • Apply for GMC Registration: You'll need to attend a GMC check in the UK. Full GMC registration is possible if you received your MRCP no more than three years before your application date. If it's been more than three years, GMC may require additional evidence of medical work.
  • Secure a Job in the NHS: Job searching and application are done online through the NHS job website. Start with CT1/SHO/trust grade level jobs to get familiar with the system. Later, you can transition to registrar-level jobs and specialty training applications.
  • Tier 2 Visa Application: If you're coming from abroad, you'll need a Tier 2 Visa. Ensure you have a Certificate of Sponsorship from your job, and be prepared to provide proof of English proficiency and criminal records certificates.

This simplified guide outlines the key steps on your journey to becoming a doctor in the UK.

Benefits of taking the MRCP exam

The MRCP exam offers numerous benefits to doctors who undertake this challenge. Firstly, it provides a recognized qualification that enhances professional credibility and opens doors to career advancement opportunities. Successful completion of the MRCP exams demonstrates a high level of expertise and dedication to the medical field. Additionally, MRCP qualification is recognized worldwide, allowing doctors to explore job prospects internationally. It also serves as a stepping stone for further specialization and subspecialization. 

If you pass the MRCP exam and meet the IELTS/OET language requirements, you can become fully registered with the GMC and work as a doctor in the UK without needing to take the PLAB exam.

How to prepare for the MRCP exam

Preparing for the MRCP exam requires a well-structured study plan and a systematic approach. Start by familiarizing yourself with the exam syllabus and content specifications provided by the Royal Colleges of Physicians. Utilize reliable resources such as textbooks, online question banks, and educational websites to enhance your knowledge and understanding of the exam topics. It is advisable to join study groups or online forums where you can engage in discussions with fellow candidates and share study materials. Practice solving past papers and mock exams to familiarize yourself with the exam format and time management.

MRCP exam costs and pricing

The financial aspect of the MRCP exam is an important consideration for aspiring candidates. The exam costs vary depending on the specific parts you are taking and your location. Find the table below to understand the MRCP test price or MRCP test cost.

Here are the exam fees and associated costs:

Exam UK Fees International Fees
MRCP(UK) Part 1 £460 £616
MRCP(UK) Part 2 Written £460 £616
MRCP(UK) Part 2 Clinical (PACES) £657 £1202*
IELTS/OET (For GMC registration) ~£160(IELTS) ~£332 (OET) ~£160(IELTS) ~£332 (OET)

*The cost for PACES international may vary based on location.

Overview of MRCS exams

While our focus has primarily been on MRCP exams, it is essential to briefly outline the MRCS exams for a holistic understanding. The Membership of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons (MRCS) exam comprises two parts: MRCS Part A and MRCS Part B. Part A assesses theoretical knowledge through multiple-choice questions, while Part B evaluates clinical and practical skills. Similar to MRCP exams, MRCS exams require thorough preparation and dedication to succeed.

Conclusion and final thoughts

Mastering the Medical Royal College Exams is a significant milestone in a physician's career. The MRCP exams provide an opportunity to showcase your medical knowledge, clinical skills, and dedication to the field. By understanding the exam structure, preparing diligently, and implementing effective study strategies, you can increase your chances of success. Also, it is important to study the MRCP test price or you can say the MRCP test price. Remember, the journey to becoming a successful doctor requires continuous learning and growth, and the MRCP exams are just one step towards achieving your professional aspirations.