News about changes to the 2018 MRCS Part A exam

The MRCS A exam is designed to test each candidate’s skills, knowledge and clinical competence to see if you are ready for the next step into specialty training.

As a result, you need to be aware of an important change by the Intercollegiate Committee for Basic Surgical Examinations (ICBSE) relating to the MRCS A exam in 2018. Currently, the MRCS A exam uses a mixture of single best answer multiple choice questions (MCQs) and extended matching MCQs (EMQs) in Paper 2. From September 2018, only single best answer MCQs will be used in the paper.

What’s the difference between extended matching and single best answer questions?

Paper 2 currently includes extended matching MCQs which include an overall theme, possible diagnoses, and a list of scenarios. This is an example from Pastest’s current Qbank:

mrcs part a extended matching questions

From September 2018, the MRCS A exam will exclusively feature single best answer MCQs. Many students will be glad of this change as the question format is much simpler with a scenario and a single answer. This is an example from Pastest’s current Qbank:

mrcs part a exam single best answer question

What Pastest is doing to stay ahead

To adapt to these changes and accommodate for our customers’ changing needs, we will be adjusting our revision resources accordingly. Michael Upchurch, Commissioning Editor at Pastest, said: “In situations like this, Pastest can show its versatility and dedication to its customers. We were the first Qbank provider to make changes to our questions following the new MRCS exam changes in January 2017 and we intend on being the first to prepare our customers for the additional MRCS A exam changes in 2018. This will be related in the Qbank, mock exams and past papers.”

How should I revise for MRCS A in and after September 2018?

If you want to begin revising for the MRCS exams held after September 2018, then you can change your Qbank setting to only see single best answer MCQs. Simply open the MRCS Part A Qbank filter options and change the question type to ‘Single Best Answer’ (as shown below).

mrcs part a exam

Updates will be available when the updated Qbank for 2018 is launched.

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