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The Complete Guide to MRCPCH FOP/TAS
  • 09 Apr 2024

What is the MRCPCH FOP Exam?

MRCPCH Foundation of Practice (FOP) (previously known as MRCPCH Part 1A) is one of the three theory examinations needed to become a Member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (MRCPCH). The FOP exam is designed to assess each candidate’s understanding, knowledge, and clinical decision-making.

What is the MRCPCH TAS Exam?

MRCPCH Theory and Science (TAS) is one of three theory examinations needed to achieve Membership of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (MRCPCH). MRCPCH TAS tests specifically for basic scientific principles needed in clinical practice.

Do People Sit MRCPCH FOP/TAS at the Same Time?

Yes, it’s very common for people sitting the exam to take both on the same day. FOP is always sat in the morning and TAS in the afternoon, however, if you choose to, you can sit these exams on separate dates, but many sit the exams on the same day as much of the knowledge is transferrable.

How long is the MRCPCH FOP/TAS Exam?

The MRCPCH FOP and TAS are both 2.5 hours long, and questions are in the Single Best Answer (SBA) and Extended Matching Questions (EMQs) format with a vignette containing case history, and often photographic material and data interpretation images.

When can I take the MRCPCH FOP/TAS?

To qualify for the FOP/TAS exam, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) states:

  • Candidate must hold a valid primary medical qualification (PMQ) from a registered institution.
  • “Primary medical qualification” shall mean a qualification rendering the holder eligible for registration with the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom, or in the case of overseas bodies, being recognised by the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom.

How do I apply for the MRCPCH FOP/TAS Exam? (Examination Centre)

According to the RCPCH website, to apply for an exam, you must be registered for an exam account, this should be done at least 10 days before the exam application window.

  1. Log in to your RCPCH online account.
  2. On My Account, go to the Exams panel, and click on the link to apply. This opens the exam booking system.
  3. First you'll see your exam dashboard. This displays your qualification progress - which exams you need to sit, and whether you have sat and passed each. It also displays the exams you can apply for, i.e. when the application period is open for your next exam(s).
  4. Click on Bookings > Available bookings to see the exam options you are eligible for and select the exam.
  5. Select the method of delivery (test centre or online delivery) and then the location in which you wish to sit your exam. Not all candidates are eligible for online delivery - see the online invigilation eligibility criteria on our How You Sit Your Exam page.

Exam dates, Fees, Locations

As previously mentioned, MRCPCH FOP and TAS can be sat in person at a designated exam centre or online (if eligible to do so, if unsure, please check here). The exam centres in question are all conducted at Pearson Vue exam centres.

For 2024, the first FOP and TAS diet was sat on the 21st of February 2024. For the rest of the year, the dates are as follows:

MRCPCH FOP & TAS 2024 June Date

Exam date: Wednesday 26 June 2024

Applications open: From Monday 8 April 2024 (09:30 UK time)

Applications closed (all at 16:00 UK time):

Friday 12 April - Online invigilation (UK and overseas)

Thursday 18 April - Test centres (UK and overseas)

MRCPCH FOP & TAS 2024 October Date

Exam date: Wednesday 16 October 2024

Applications open: From Monday 5 August 2024 (09:30 UK time)

Applications closed (all at 16:00 UK time):

Friday 9 August 2024 - Online invigilation (UK and overseas)

Thursday 15 August 2024 - Test centres in all countries (UK and overseas)

How do I apply for the MRCPCH FOP/TAS Exams? (Online)

The RCPCH states, To apply for online invigilation, you will need to provide evidence that you meet one of the following criteria:

  • No test centre in the country of residence during the time of the exam
  • Residence more than 200 miles from a test centre
  • Approved reasonable adjustment as sitting the exam at a test centre would be detrimental to your health.

What Are Pearson Vue Exam Centres like for MRCPCH FOP/TAS?

Pearson Vue has nearly 6,000 test centres across the globe in over 180 countries. You’ll need to choose a test centre location that is convenient for you to travel to, and that has availability for the dates you want to take the exam. Keep in mind that test centre availability can be limited as you will see candidates sitting a wide range of other exams from driving theory tests to risk management qualifications.

When selecting a test centre, make sure to take note of the opening times and any special instructions or rules for that location. Some test centres may have specific requirements for what you can bring into the testing room, or how you should behave during the exam.

However, it can be noted Pearson VUE have some allowances for comfort aids, which can be found here.

How to Prepare for MRCPCH FOP/TAS

When should I start revising for MRCPCH FOP/TAS?

Although there is no specific guideline for how long a person should revise for MRCPCH FOP and TAS, various online forums indicate that 2 to 3 months is sufficient preparation time to pass the exams. It’s also acknowledged within these forums that exam material for both FOP and TAS does crossover at parts.

Pastest offers a joint FOP/TAS subscription, allowing users to combine their revision for both FOP and TAS exams to swiftly get through the first two written exams of MRCPCH. It can also be noted that Pastest offers separate resources for those more interested in thoroughly revising for each exam.

MRCPCH FOP Syllabus Breakdown

According to RCPCH, The FOP examinations consist of 70 single best answer (SBA) best of 5 (BO5) questions and 10 extended matching (EMQ) questions. From September 2024, the FOP examinations will consist of 100 SBA BO5 questions. Below is the percentage of each sub-specialty used in the FOP examinations.

Percentage of questions to be included in examinations [25% min-38% max]

·        Adolescent Health/Medicine

·        Behavioural Medicine/Psychiatry

·        Cardiology

·        Ethics and Law

·        Genetics and Dysmorphology

·        Metabolism and Metabolic Medicine (including fluid management and acid-base balance)

·        Neurology

·        Ophthalmology

·        Palliative Care and Pain Management

·        Patient Safety and Clinical Governance Safeguarding

·        Science of Practice

Percentage of questions to be included in examinations [44% min-53% max]

·        Dermatology

·        Diabetes Mellitus

·        Endocrinology and Growth

·        Emergency Medicine (including accidents and poisoning)

·        Haematology and Oncology

·        Musculoskeletal

·        Neonatology

·        Nephro-urology

·        Neurodevelopment and Neurodisability Nutrition

·        Pharmacology

Percentage of questions to be included in examinations [18% min-22% max]

·        Gastroenterology and Hepatology (including surgical abdominal conditions)

·        Infection, Immunology and Allergy

·        Respiratory Medicine with ENT

MRCPCH TAS Syllabus Breakdown

According to RCPCH, The TAS examinations consist of 70 SBA BO5 questions and 10 EMQ questions. From September 2024, the TAS examinations will consist of 100 SBA BO5 questions. Below is the percentage of each sub-specialities used in the TAS examinations.

Percentage of questions to be included in the examinations [28% min-40% max]

·        Adolescent Health/Medicine

·        Behavioural Medicine/Psychiatry

·        Dermatology

·        Diabetes Mellitus

·        Emergency Medicine (including accidents and poisoning)

·        Ethics and Law

·        Musculoskeletal

·        Neurodevelopment and Neurodisability

·        Nutrition

·        Ophthalmology

·        Palliative Care and Pain Management

·        Patient Safety and Clinical Governance

·        Safeguarding

Percentage of questions to be included in examinations [36% min-43% max]

·        Cardiology

·        Endocrinology and Growth

·         Genetics and Dysmorphology

·        Haematology and Oncology

·        Metabolism and Metabolic Medicine (including fluid management and acid-base balance)

·        Nephro-urology

·        Neurology

·        Pharmacology

·        Science of Practice

Percentage of questions to be included in the examinations [24% min-29% max]

·        Gastroenterology and Hepatology (including surgical abdominal conditions)

·         Infection, Immunology and Allergy

·        Neonatology

·        Respiratory Medicine with ENT

What resources should I use to revise for the MRCPCH FOP/TAS?

Free MRCPCH FOP/TAS Revision Resources

MRCPCH Theory Examination Syllabi: 

This is the official MRCPCH Theory examination guidelines for FOP, TAS and Applied Knowledge in Practice (AKP). This document details everything you need to know about all three of the written exams for MRCPCH as well as what you need to know about each topic in the exam.

Pastest FOP/TAS Instant Insights:

Another useful free tool is the Pastest FOP/TAS Instant Insights. This blog post details the thoughts and feelings of those who sat the last exam diet. This covers a useful overview of the area exam candidates found most difficult in the exam whilst also discussing issues exam candidates faced such as timekeeping.

The article also covers what our customers thought of the exam and common exam topics (topics that have appeared twice in the last three FOP/TAS exams).

Useful Resources to Plan Your MRCPCH Revision

Exam Countdown Lite: As the name explains, this app allows you to keep track of all upcoming exam dates.

Forest: Forest is a productivity management app that stops you from going on your phone whilst helping you contribute to saving the planet. By activating Forest on your phone, you plant a tree, and your tree will grow if you stay on the app, when the tree is fully grown, someone from Forest will plant your tree in real life!

Notion: Notion is a versatile productivity tool that helps you organise your life and work in one place. It's similar to a digital notebook where you can create pages, databases, and to-do lists to keep track of everything important to you. Notion allows you to customise your workspace to fit your needs, whether you're managing projects, taking notes, or planning your revision schedule. It's designed to be flexible and adaptable, so you can use it in whichever way works best for you.

Reclaim.AI: Reclaim.AI is a time management app that is paired with your Google Calendar, removing the headache of allocating your timeslots yourself. This time-blocking app will add everything to your schedule, whilst taking into consideration the tasks you already have in your calendar. For example, if you realise you haven’t factored in an exam that’s coming up in four weeks. You can give reclaim a due date and a time allocation of how many hours you need per week to get this task done… and voila! Reclaim will integrate your new task into your schedule without disrupting your previous arrangements.

Google Calendar: This is the #1 digital calendar app in the world. You can embed links, quickly change the schedule if necessary and colour code your schedule to ensure you can get to your shifts on time, revise effectively and have time to socialise in between!

Best Textbooks for MRCPCH FOP/TAS

Essential revision notes in paediatrics for MRCPCH by Mark Beattie and Mike Champion: This is a guide to revision for the MRCPCH examination. It has 25 chapters covering all areas of the MRCPCH syllabus in note format. It provides you with a concise presentation of information, with hints and tips.

Clinical Cases for MRCPCH Foundation of Practice: This resource uses a similar question format to the exam, helping you understand what examiners look for in a successful candidate. It’s invaluable for those preparing for FOP.

Clinical Cases for MRCPCH Theory and Science: With fifty clinical cases mapped to the examination syllabus, this book serves as a great resource for the TAS exam. It includes questions and answers for each clinical case.

Clinical Cases in Paediatrics: DCH Clinical Examination: Developed with input from current and former DCH Clinical examiners, this comprehensive textbook familiarises candidates with the exam format and scoring systems. It covers a broad range of clinical cases.

The Science of Paediatrics: MRCPCH Mastercourse (2016): Provides essential background preparation for the MRCPCH TAS Exam. It reviews the application of science to everyday paediatric clinical practice, including interpreting clinical signs, investigations, drug prescribing, and best management.

Online MRCPCH FOP/TAS Resources

Pastest FOP/TAS Resources: Online sources recommended Pastest as the best site for MRCPCH online preparation. They found that the “Questions are very well formatted, and answers are also, to the point.”

Alongside the questions aligning closely with the FOP and TAS exams, Pastest also offers excellent past papers as they work with previous exam candidates to make highly relevant revision resources.

Pastest offers separate FOP & TAS resources as well as a resource which combines both courses for a seamless revision experience. Buying the FOP/TAS bundle also costs less, making it ideal the Q Bank if you’re planning on sitting both on the same day. Pastest also has a variety of great other features to prepare you for your exam such as, “Expanded Explanations”, telling you everything you need to know about the topic tested in the question vignette and Microlearning, a comprehensive, searchable library of Media, Expanded Explanations (written topic summaries) and Flashcards, designed to strengthen your knowledge on hot topics that commonly appear in the MRCPCH FOP/TAS exam.

For a free trial of the Pastest FOP/TAS question bank, click here! 

123Doc: 123Doc offers separate QBanks for both FOP and TAS, which have been commended as “good” by 123Doc prides themselves on offering a dynamic QBank which is updated to cover past exam themes.

BMJ Onexamination: Although, found this website is not very useful for parts 1 and 2”. BMJ Onexamination offers a comprehensive QBank with a variety of great features such as the ability to revise based on the difficulty or topic you would like to revise and “group learning”, allowing you to revise against your friends in a daily leaderboard.

PassPaeds: PassPaeds is the Passmedicine recommended MRCPCH FOP/TAS. The QBank uses an intelligent database to ensure the questions remain relevant to the users whilst tracking the strengths and weaknesses of the user simultaneously.

Do's and Don’ts for MRCPCH Revision


Identify personal weaknesses: establishing your weak points and dedicating more time to them from the very start rather than only spending time on favoured topics will build your self-confidence in those weaker areas and take away the pressure of revising the topics last minute. Pastest has an amazing tracking dashboard that allows you to see your weaknesses. Furthermore, if you feel a question has flagged a gap in your knowledge, utilise the “more questions like this” feature to quickly test yourself before hopping back into your session!

Maintain motivation: setting some short- and long-term goals during the preparation period and establishing a rewards system can help you remain on track with your revision.

Effectively use resources: solid revision should use a wide variety of different types of resources that best suit your learning style, whether it is textbooks, webinars, practice questions, or others. Pastest offers a range of different revision types such as videos, podcasts, flashcards, and expanded explanations. (Link to course)

Dedicate revision time accordingly: The clinical domain comprises 80% of the exam questions, and an appropriate amount of time should be spent on studying for this section. However, ensure you do not overlook critical appraisal and administration.


Always work alone: working in a group of other GP trainees preparing for the exam is a great way to revise some components of the AKT. You can learn from each other’s mistakes and help and support each other.

Underestimate the time needed for revision: at least 3 months are needed to revise for the AKT, but if your home life or your placement is particularly busy you should dedicate more time, trainees commonly start revising 4-6 months before the exam.

The day of the MRCPCH FOP/TAS (Exam Centre)

What do I need to take me with on the day of the MRCPCH FOP/TAS?

On the day of the exam, candidates will need two IDs. Primary ID which must be photographic and secondary ID must display at least the candidate’s name and signature. The name on the IDs should be identical to that on the application. If this is not the case, supporting documents showing a link between the different names must be brought. Candidates must arrive on time. All personal belongings will be left in a locker outside the test room.

Candidates will be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement before the start of the test. The exam is computerised, and all candidates will complete a short tutorial to get used to the computer system before the exam begins. No additional time will be given if candidates decide to leave the room for water or to use the bathroom.

What can I take into the MRCPCH FOP/TAS Exam?

Pearson Vue has its own examination centre rules which can be found here. In brief, the rules include:

You cannot take:

  • Bags
  • Coats
  • Calculators
  • Books
  • Notes
  • Mobile phones
  • Electronic equipment including laptops, tablets and pagers.
  • Watches
  • Wallets or purses
  • Food and drink

Personal items must be left in a locker and your mobile phone switched off.

The day of the MRCPCH FOP/TAS (Online)

When sitting the exam online, you will be monitored remotely by an online invigilator. The online invigilation team uses trained human invigilators combined with AI proctor software. The footage will also be recorded and reviewed later by the RCPCH. Online exams must take place in a suitable private space, such as your home, to maintain exam conditions.

International candidates in most countries without test centres will be able to use online invigilation. This is subject to eligibility requirements, local laws, network connectivity, and other technical requirements. The software is currently not able to support candidates in UAE to sit the exam online (due to local legal restrictions). Many candidates have had connectivity problems attempting to sit the exam online in Egypt, Iran, Myanmar, Syria, and Sudan - if you do wish to sit online, we would recommend seeking a venue where there is more likely to be backup generators and strong internet connectivity.


When do I get my MRCPCH FOP/TAS Results?

According to RCPCH, Your results will be available in your online account 6 to 7 weeks after you sit your exam. We will also email you your results, with more detailed feedback, a week later.

Is the MRCPCH Hard?

The difficulty levels of the FOP/TAS exam papers are set to guarantee that all candidates have reached the required standard of someone entering specialist training. You can find out more about the content of the exams in the RCPCH Exam Syllabus.

What are the MRCPCH FOP/TAS Pass Rates?

Between 50 and 70% of all candidates pass FOP, with the UK graduate pass rate normally being roughly 10-20% higher.

Between 40 and 70% of candidates pass TAS, and there is less variety between UK and non-UK graduates. Suggesting FOP is more about clinical experience in a UK-type healthcare system and TAS more about book study.

How many times are you allowed to sit the MRCPCH FOP/TAS?

According to RCPCH, each examination candidate will be allowed up to 6 attempts at each part of MRCPCH.

If a candidate has failed an examination on six occasions, that candidate must provide the RCPCH with evidence of additional educational experience before further attempts at that examination will be allowed.

Candidates who do not attend an examination will have that examination counted as an attempt. Candidates must inform the College in writing and provide evidence to support non-attendance within thirty days of the examination date to ensure that their non-attendance is not counted as an attempt.

  • 09 Apr 2024