The following document was written by Mr Max Whittaker MBBS(lond) MRCS(eng) in Feb 2008. You may use the information here for personal use but if you intend to publish or present it, you must clearly credit the author and
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The MRCS Examination

Since deciding on a surgical career, the prospect of completing the MRCS exams has been constantly present at the back of my mind. Despite their importance, I found little or no relevant information to guide me through the process with most of my insight gathered by word of mouth.

I have devised the following pages in an attempt to answer some basic questions and offer simple advice to help preparing for the surgical membership exams as well as dispelling some of the hype which surrounds them.

The MRCS exams are currently in a state of flux, with the old 3-part structure being phased out and replaced by a 2 part system, namely A and B.

Part A

Part B

Part 1: Applied Basic Sciences

Part 2: Clinical Problem Solving


These may not apply to everyone but having sat many such exams throughout medical school these seemed to have worked for me so far.

Revision material:

Finding the motivation to revise while working a busy schedule is not a virtue possessed by many. The greatest amount of work seems to be achieved in the final 2 weeks before exams when fear begins to outweigh laziness. For this reason I found wading through textbooks of minimal value: it is both time-consuming and tedious.

Commonly used sources of practise questions include:

Part 3 - Oral Examination

Revision material:

Part 3 - Clinical Examination

Revision material:

Part 3 - Clinical Communication Skills


Good luck!!

For more information contact:

Royal College of Surgeons of England
35-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London WC 2A 3PE
Tel: 020 7869 6281
Fax: 020 7869 6290

Other Links:

BMJ careers

Another BMJ careers document


The authors of this document have attempted to provide information that is medically sound and up-to-date. The authors nor cannot take any reponsibility for the accuracy or completeness of this article. The reader should confirm the statements made in this website before using the information outside this website.