Updated on 31.10.2016.
MRCOG exam changes (according to the RCOG website)
“The MRCOG exam will be changing in September 2016.
In September 2016 the Part 2 MRCOG examination will be changing.
There will be no changes to the Part 1 MRCOG. A new Part 3 MRCOG Clinical Assessment will be introduced in November 2016, replacing the existing Part 2 Oral Assessment. The Part 2 MRCOG written examination will be separated from the Part 3 MRCOG Clinical Assessment, and each will function as a standalone assessment.
Existing format (until May 2016)
New format (from September 2016)
Progression to the next examination can only occur once the previous examination has been passed.
Part 3 MRCOG Clinical Assessment
The Part 3 MRCOG Clinical Assessment aims to assess candidates’ ability to apply core clinical skills in the context of the skills, knowledge, attitudes and competencies as defined in the Part 2 MRCOG curriculum.
The examination will assess the following five core skill domains:
- Patient safety
- Communicating with patients and families
- Communicating with colleagues
- Information gathering
- Applied clinical knowledge
The examination will consist of 14 tasks in a circuit, each task based on one of the 14 O&G curriculum modules listed below:
- Core surgical skills
- Post-operative care
- Antenatal care
- Maternal medicine
- Management of labour
- Management of delivery
- Postpartum problems (the puerperium)
- Gynaecological problems
- Sexual and reproductive health
- Early pregnancy care
- Gynaecological oncology
- Urogynaecology and pelvic floor problems
Each task will be 12 minutes in length, which includes 2 minutes of initial reading time. A comparison to the existing Part 2 Oral Assessment is outlined below.
|Part 2 MRCOG Oral Assessment(until May 2016)||Part 3 MRCOG Clinical Assessment (from November 2016)|
|Total number of tasks||12||14|
|Number of examined tasks||10||14|
|Number of preparatory tasks||2||0|
|Time per task||14 minutes
+ 1 minute reading
+ 2 minutes reading
|Number of clinical examiners||10||14|
|Number of lay examiners||0||4|
To allow for more depth in the assessment of applied clinical knowledge, a circuit may contain ‘linked tasks’, where the second task is connected to the first. Candidates will be expected to build on the knowledge acquired in the first task. There may also be tasks where candidates are required to undertake a writing task.
All candidates (UK-based and non-UK-based) are permitted four attempts of the Part 3 MRCOG. If they do not pass within four attempts, they will be required to retake Part 2 MRCOG.
The existing Part 1 MRCOG and Part 2 MRCOG regulations regarding numbers of attempts will not change.
Validity of Part 2 MRCOG written examination passes
Candidates who pass the Part 2 MRCOG written examination must attempt the Part 3 MRCOG clinical assessment within seven years (pro rata). If they do not attempt the Part 3 MRCOG clinical assessment within this timeframe, they will be required to take the Part 2 MRCOG examination again.
Assessment of Training requirements
There is no change to the Assessment of Training requirements. Candidates are required to have their training assessed prior to taking Part 2 MRCOG as per the current regulations.”
Part 2 MRCOG (written)
The written component of the Part 2 MRCOG exam has changes from three papers to two papers. Short answer questions (SAQs, paper 1) have been removed. Extended matching questions (EMQs) have been expanded. The MCQ component has changed into an SBA component.
The changes include:
- Paper 1: 50 SBAs and 50 EMQs
- Paper 2: 50 SBAs and 50 EMQs
There will be 3 hours available for each paper in the new arrangement.
Why are these changes being made?
Although the MRCOG is an effective assessment for those undergoing formal postgraduate training in O&G, the exam needs updating to modernise it and ensure the assessment is fair, robust and as reproducible as possible. The MRCOG not only serves to recognise specialists as fit to practise within the NHS, it also has a global reach and supports non-UK candidates. The changes will benefit both UK and non-UK candidates.
The exam won’t be easier or harder to pass as the standards will stay the same.
Will you be testing different subjects in the new exam?
There has been no changes to the curriculum when the new exam started. The exam won’t test anything you’re not already learning in your day-to-day training.
The new exam won’t be any harder or easier – we’re carefully designing it to ensure that, subject to appropriate knowledge, your chance of passing the current exam will be the same compared to the previous exam.
While guidelines were often assessed in the previous exam using SAQs, they can be assessed equally well using EMQs and will remain an important revision tool.”
Important Topics for the Part 2 MRCOG
This article includes the important topics for the Part 2 MRCOG Examination. These topics would be relevant to the SBAs, EMQs and OSCEs. The topics have been selected following a review of the previous examination questions and relevant literature. These have been divided into two main categories e.g. Obstetrics and Gynaecology. In each category the topics are arranged according to the chapters in an “order”. I believe the candidates would find these useful.
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Important Topics for the Part 2 MRCOG Examination September 2015 (PDF)
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