How to prepare for the MRCPsych Exams

Dr. Deoman’s Journey through MRCPsych

Many doctors are interested in the RCPsych examinations and are looking for guides on how to prepare for the MRCPsych exams? Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (MRCPsych) is a post-nominal qualification mandated by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Starting in 2015, the RCPsych reduced the number of Written papers from three to two—Paper A and B. 

  • MRCPsych Paper A: The scientific and theoretical basis of psychiatry.
  • MRCPsych Paper B: Critical review and the clinical topics in psychiatry.

1 Clinical Examination (CASC): Clinical Assessment of Skills and Competencies


FACTS

A new 1643-day (equal to 4 years and 5 months) “Written Paper Validity Period” begun for such candidates. it started from the publication of the results of the first paper PASSED. Those who within the 1643-day Written Paper Validity Period had taken time out from employment and/or training for parental leave would on the production of supporting documentation be entitled to a further maximum of 365 days by reference to the period of parental leave. October 2014, an examination was undertaken and passed whilst outside an approved training post will only count towards a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) if the candidate re-enters training within seven years of passing the relevant examination.

ATTEMPTS

Following a requirement imposed by the GMC, with effect from 1 January 2015, candidates are normally allowed a maximum of six attempts within their individual Written Paper Validity Period at any one component of the MRCPsych examinations (i.e. each written paper and the CASC). 22 June 2020 the MRCPsych was conducted as online proctored exams to be taken in the candidate’s chosen location (normally home or workplace, but a few places may be available to test centers). The College will review the situation after January 2021; it is presently undecided whether subsequent CASC diets will be conducted remotely.

CASC

1 January 2020: To ensure equal opportunities for all candidates, whether based in the UK or overseas, only two attempts at the CASC are permitted in each calendar year, regardless of venue. 24 months’ whole time equivalent post foundation/internship experience in Psychiatry by the time of sitting the CASC to include: Individual posts should normally be of a minimum of 4 months duration regardless of the number of weekly sessions. The college expects trainees to work a minimum of 50% (or five sessions a week). Experience gained by candidates is to be verified by sponsors.

MCQs

MCQs are one of five single best answer type. This type of MCQ comprises a question stem, which is usually one or two sentences long but maybe longer. The question stem is followed by a list of five options. Candidates should choose the single best option that fits the question stem. One mark is given for the correct answer.

 Skills needed 

The RCPsych examiners will assess communication skills in every station and expect candidates to demonstrate adaptive communication skills depending on the scenario. Candidates will be examined across a range of clinical scenarios commonly encountered in psychiatric practice. This could include scenarios in in-patient settings, out-patient, emergency care, hospital liaison, prisons, and other situations where a psychiatric assessment might be requested.

4mins to read task+ 7 mins-task Post MI depression mgt with studentSodium Valproate- 5 weeks pregnant lady mgtMorbid jealousy mgt with partnerClozapine initiation explanation Discuss psychological therapy OCDAngry mother- clozapine rehab- discuss her son and managementDelirium Tremens- seeing snakes reach D/DAsperger’s + psychosis History in a young man90 Sec to read task + 7 mins taskGBH dependence and impact on life-HXElderly lady psychosis + delusion of Guilt-MSEFinancial capacity to pay rent assessment – hoarding and believing member of the Royal familyDementia wandering Risk19 Years overdose- EUPD- Risk MSE- Alfa and omega- grandiose delusion PTSD with BZD- HxCollateral history from key worker – patient with moderate to severe LD with bruises and epilepsy 

Communication Skills

  • 1. Organized/structured consultation. 
  • 2. Management of consultation
  • 3. Consultation appears formulaic
  • 4. Show appropriate attitude or behavior
  • 5. Listening skills. 
  • 6. Effective use and response to cues
  • 7. Good questioning style
  • 8. Effective use of language in the scenario
  • Time- limit for this exam:

A new 1643-day (Roughly 4 years 5 months) Written Paper Validity Period will commence for such candidates starting from the date of publication of the results of the first paper PASSED

Those who within the 1643-day Written Paper Validity Period have taken time out from employment and/or training for parental leave will on production of supporting documentation be entitled to a further maximum of 365 days by reference to the period of parental leave.

Following a requirement imposed by the GMC, with effect from 1 January 2015, they normally allow candidates a maximum of six attempts within their individual Written Paper Validity Period at any one component of the Mrcpsych examinations (i.e. each written paper and the CASC).

Changes because of COVID-19: 

22 June 2020 the Mrcpsych are conducted as online proctored exams to be taken in the candidate’s chosen location (normally home or workplace, but a few places may be available to test centers).

CASC- Clinical Examination (CASC)-Clinical Assessment of Skills and Competencies: 

1 January 2020: To ensure equal opportunities for all candidates, whether based in the UK or overseas, only two attempts at the CASC are permitted in each calendar year, regardless of venue 

24 months’ whole time equivalent post foundation/internship experience in Psychiatry by the time of sitting the CASC to include:

  • Individual posts should normally be of a minimum of 4 months’ duration, regardless of the number of weekly sessions. They expect trainees to work a minimum of 50% (or five sessions a week).
  • Experience gained by candidates is to be verified by sponsors

Cost for the exam: In a world where doing exams seems to cost half your salary

Paper APaper BCASC
PMPT Trainees and Affiliates £486£437£1,004
Non-PMPT Trainees and Affiliates £539£485£1,115

Need a few things to be aware of:

  • try to keep life going whilst you do your exams. 
  • Keep eating healthily and keep doing some exercise, even if that’s only a walk to the shops. 
  • Keep seeing friends and give yourself some time off to relax.
  • Positive attitude: Keep exam Hat, Exam is an artificial environment

Royal College of Psychiatrists

Training | Royal College of Psychiatrists (rcpsych.ac.uk)

Dr. Deoman Gurung
Dr. Deoman Gurung

MBBS, MRCPsych. I have Widespread experience including in Addiction Psychiatry, Crisis Teams, Early Intervention Teams, PICU, and Adult Inpatient Units. I am currently a Senior ST4-Dual trainee (adult/old age) in Lancashire care and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, UK.

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Published by Waleed Ahmad

Consultant Psychiatrist, Mercy Teaching Hospital, and Peshawar Medical College. MBBS, FCPS. I study and treat only patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). I have NOT attempted or passed any part of MRCPsych and have no intention at the moment, but I am enlightened about how people prepare and keep myself up to date on psychiatric knowledge.

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