Changes to MRCS Part B examination in 2020

18 Dec 2019

With effect from the October 2020 examination diet, the MRCS Part B examination will feature the following changes:

  • Reduced number of physical examination stations from 4 to 3;
  • Thus, reduced number of stations contributing to a candidate’s result from 18 to 17;
  • Routine inclusion of a Pilot station (which will not contribute to a candidate’s result) in all OSCE diets, thus keeping the total number of stations at 18;
  • Incorporation of ‘Health Promotion’ into the ICBSE MRCS syllabus. This is in response to the introduction of the General Medical Council’s General Professional Capabilities (GPCs). This will be added to the communication skills element of the exam over time as new scenarios are developed;
  • Incorporation of ‘Patient Safety’ into both Anatomy and Procedural Skills sections of the exam. This will not be an additional domain on which to be tested; instead, MRCS Part B (OSCE) scenarios have been reviewed to ensure that this topic was already being tested within them.

The consequences of making the changes above have been modelled and found to yield a very similar pass rate to that previously achieved by candidates. The changes have been approved by the General Medical Council. Candidate guidance will be updated to reflect these changes.