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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Changes to the MRCPsych Written Papers and Transitional Arrangements

In 2015 the number of MRCPsych Written papers was reduced from three to two. This followed extensive work undertaken by the various question writing panels and the Examinations sub-Committee. The main driver behind this was the perception of candidate examination burden. Trainee consultation through trainee representatives took place as part of this process. The Education, Training & Standards Committee agreed that the Examinations Sub-Committee should work towards reducing the MRCPsych Written Papers from three papers to two papers. An extensive rationalising and syllabus mapping programme began in 2012 which has culminated in the development of two written papers.

The new papers were launched in April 2015. Papers 1, 2 and 3 ceased to exist after 31 December 2014.

The new papers comprise of the same areas of assessment:

’MRCPsych Paper A’: The scientific and theoretical basis of psychiatry

’MRCPsych Paper B’: Critical review and the clinical topics in psychiatry

 

The updated syllabus for MRCPsych Papers A and B can be found on the Examinations pages of the College website.

The papers each comprise of 200 items made up of MCQ best 1 of 5 and EMI questions.

For a transitional period Paper A will be split into two sections A (i) and A (ii) and will be held on the same day.  These papers are equivalent to the old Paper 1 and 2. Therefore, those candidates who only hold a pass in either Paper 1 or Paper 2 are required to sit either paper A (i) or Paper A (ii) respectively.

 

These changes have been approved by the GMC.

 

Please see FAQs for further detailed information.

 

Transitional Arrangements

We recognise that there will be candidates who will hold passes in only paper 1, 2 or 3 prior to the introduction of Paper A and B in 2015. The following transitional arrangements are in place for these candidates:

 

1.   Candidates who only hold a pass in Paper 1

Candidates who only hold a pass in Paper 1 are required to sit and pass papers A (ii) and paper B prior to being eligible to attempt the CASC. They have until the end of the Written Paper Validity Period (WPVP) issued with their Paper 1 pass to sit and pass paper A (ii), paper B and the CASC. Those who fail to pass all the aforementioned components of the MRCPsych Exam within the WPVP will be required to sit and Pass Papers A and B prior to further attempts at the MRCPsych CASC.

 

2.   Candidates who only hold a Pass in Paper 2

Candidates who only hold a pass in Paper 2 are required to sit and pass papers A (i) and paper B prior to being eligible to attempt the CASC. They have until the end of the Written Paper Validity Period (WPVP) issued with their Paper 2 pass to sit and pass paper A (i), paper B and the CASC. Those who fail to pass all the aforementioned components of the MRCPsych Exam within the WPVP will be required to sit and Pass Papers A and B prior to further attempts at the MRCPsych CASC.

 

3.   Candidates who only hold a Pass in Paper 3

Candidates who only hold a pass in Paper 3 are required to sit and pass paper A (i and ii) prior to being eligible to attempt the CASC. They have until the end of the Written Paper Validity Period (WPVP) issued with their Paper 3 pass to sit and pass paper A (i and ii) and the CASC. Those who fail to pass all the aforementioned components of the MRCPsych Exam within the WPVP will be required to sit and Pass Papers A and B prior to further attempts at the MRCPsych CASC.

 

4.   Candidates who only hold a Pass in Paper 1 and Paper 3

Candidates who only hold a pass in Papers 1 and Paper 3 are required to sit and pass papers A (ii) prior to being eligible to attempt the CASC. They have until the end of the Written Paper Validity Period (WPVP) issued at the time of the first written paper passed to sit and pass paper A (ii) and the CASC to do this. Those who fail to pass all the aforementioned components of the MRCPsych Exam within the WPVP will be required to sit and pass Papers A and B prior to being eligible for further attempts at the MRCPsych CASC.

 

5.   Candidates who only hold a Pass in Paper 2 and Paper 3

Candidates who only hold a pass in Papers 2 and Paper 3 are required to sit and pass papers A (i) prior to attempting the CASC. They have until the end of the Written Paper Validity Period (WPVP) issued at the time of the first written paper passed to sit and pass paper A (i) and the CASC. Those who fail to pass all the aforementioned components of the MRCPsych Exam within the WPVP must pass Papers A and B prior to being eligible for further attempts at the MRCPsych CASC.

The College will consider requests from candidates for extensions of time in which to complete all necessary components to complete the MRCPsych.  Such requests, which should be accompanied by relevant evidence, will be considered on a case-by-case basis, taking the candidate’s individual circumstances into account.  Candidates are referred to Section 4c) of the MRCPsych Exam Regulations. 

All MRCPsych candidates are advised that it is their responsibility to keep abreast of developments about training and examinations through the College website and to inform the Examinations Unit in writing of any changes to contact details. The College will do its best to send a copy of this statement to all MRCPsych candidates affected whose identity and contact details are known to the College. However, the College does not have a complete list of all affected candidates and accordingly it is not in a position to guarantee that each affected candidate will receive personal notification. Furthermore the College does not accept responsibility for misdirected or delayed communications due to incorrect or out of date addresses of candidates.

Please see FAQs

        

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