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The Quesmed Complete Guide to MRCP Part 2

Well done on getting through MRCP Part 1! This was your first step towards achieving the MRCP Diploma and may have also been your first post-graduate examination since qualifying as a doctor. Continue reading as we go through everything you need to know about the second part of the MRCP Diploma, MRCP Part 2.

What is the MRCP Part 2?

MRCP Part 2 Written is an exam taken by doctors who have completed MRCP Part 1 successfully. This includes both UK-trained doctors and international medical graduates (IMGs).

The purpose of MRCP Part 2 is to evaluate a candidate’s ability to integrate clinical presentations alongside test results in order to determine diagnoses and management plans.

Who undertakes the MRCP Diploma?

MRCP Part 2 is the second exam on the journey towards the MRCP (UK) Diploma. It is completed after MRCP Part 1, which candidates are eligible to attempt after having had at least 12 months of postgraduate medical experience (which usually means waiting until completion of FY1 in the UK).

The MRCP Diploma is a post-graduate diploma designed to test the skills, knowledge, and behaviours of a doctor who wishes to undergo medical speciality training in the United Kingdom.

Many doctors - within the UK and abroad - undertake the MRCP diploma even if it is not a training requirement in order to provide additional value to their portfolio, but also to develop their skills and knowledge further.

In order to achieve this qualification, you have to sit and successfully pass three exams:

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    MRCP Part 1

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    MRCP Part 2 Written

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    MRCP Part 2 Clinical, also known as PACES

Any doctor who wishes to start specialist registrar training in the UK within a physician or medical training programme must have completed all parts of the MRCP diploma in order to enter the relevant specialist training. The specialities where MRCP is a requirement are reproduced below:

Exam Format - MRCP Part 2 Written

The MRCP Part 2 Written examination is designed to test the doctor’s knowledge of clinical medicine as relevant to their practice. The aim is to ensure the candidate understands common and important disorders that they may come across during their specialist training, at an entry level.

The exam is currently completed electronically and is comprised of two papers, each with 100 questions in a best of five format, where one answer will be the single best answer.

There is no negative marking, and each correct answer is awarded a single mark. If taken in the UK, you will sit the exam at home and will be monitored remotely whilst doing so; if taken internationally, the exam will be sat at a test centre.

What is the style of MRCP Part 2 Questions?

In the MRCP Part 2 Written exam, the questions are usually complex, with long stems requiring the candidate to integrate several pieces of clinical information, including the results of investigations, in order to come to the correct answer. The questions may require the candidate to apply two-step logic frequently, for example by first coming to the diagnosis based on the information given, but the question being about treatment rather than the underlying diagnosis.

These more complex question stems are designed in order to mimic clinical reasoning and clinical medicine as may be experienced in clinical practice; this is in contrast to Part 1, where the stems are usually shorter, with single-step logic, and a greater focus on clinical sciences.

Therefore, the questions in MRCP Part 2 Written tend to have a slightly more clinical focus, asking the candidate to either make a diagnosis or identify the next best step in management, treatment, or investigation.

There will always be 5 options, and one option will be the best answer, though the other 4 options will often be a close match and possibilities, hence single best answer.

Here are some example exam questions to help you understand the format a bit better!

In this question below, the candidate is expected to integrate the patient’s history, including social history, alongside examination findings, in order to first come to the underlying diagnosis of enterobiasis. The question, however, requires two-step logic; rather than asking what the diagnosis is, it asks what the definitive treatment would be for the patient.

This next question illustrates a more complex stem. The candidate is provided with a clinical history but also investigation test results. The candidate must use this information in order to answer the question, which again relies on two-step logic; first, coming to the conclusion that the underlying diagnosis is most likely Coeliac disease, and then using this to answer the question itself about the most likely long-term complication.

At Quesmed we have worked closely with the best physicians who have taken and successfully passed the MRCP exams in order to develop over 2000 questions as part of our MRCP Part 2 Question Bank that are based on themes from previous papers. What Specialties are covered in MRCP Part 2?

The subject of the questions is based on a careful blueprint designed to ensure that an appropriate range of medical knowledge is tested. Therefore, each speciality or subject area being tested is given a rough proportion of the total number of questions available across both papers, as displayed in this table. For example, across both papers, one would expect to answer approximately 9 questions on Haematology, and 19 questions on Infectious diseases.

MRCP Part 2 Exam dates and Fees

Plan ahead as there are only fixed dates when you can sit the exam, published by the Royal College of Physicians. Application deadlines are usually several months in advance of the exam itself, so it is imperative to check ahead of time so you do not miss out on your desired date.You should check the current fees directly on the [RCP website] ( as it may be subject to change.

Results and unsuccessful attempts

Results are published online, 1-2 months after completing the exam. The results release dates are available on the Royal College of Physicians website, so you have an idea of when to expect to hear if your attempt has been successful or not.

The pass mark for the MRCP Part 2 Written examination is 454. Most candidates will score between 200-800; the minimum score is 0, and the maximum score is 999. This score is scaled, such that it is calculated by taking into consideration not only the number of questions the candidate has correctly answered, but also the relative difficulty of the question and the exam.

All components of the MRCP diploma must be completed within 7 years of the candidate’s first successful attempt at the MRCP Part 1 examination.

If unsuccessful, candidates are permitted a maximum number of 6 attempts. If the exam has not been passed after 6 attempts, then the candidate will need to be supported in additional training with appropriate evidence before further attempts are allowed.

How to prepare

Everyone prepares differently, and there is no single right or wrong answer, but here are some tips that may help you as you plan your revision strategy!

At Quesmed, we have worked closely with expert physicians to develop over 2000 Questions as part of our [MRCP Part 2 Question Bank](]! These are based on themes and topics that have appeared in previous exams.

Alongside our questions, we have generated a dedicated reference textbook that you have access to as part of your subscription. This textbook covers all the key topics that you will need to know about prior to sitting your MRCP exams, and has been developed carefully with the MRCP blueprint in mind.

Here are some useful tips to get you started with your revision:

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    Start early.

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      Don’t underestimate the depth and breadth of topics covered in this exam. Starting well in advance gives you a buffer for unexpected hurdles.

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    Plan your revision.

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      Set timelines and goals.

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      Be aware of the range of topics covered by the exam as discussed above, and ensure your revision strategy covers these specialities

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    Do as many practice questions as possible

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      Practice questions should be the core of your revision, especially questions that cover previous exam themes

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      Take time to read detailed explanations on why your answer is correct or incorrect to further guide your revision and fill in any gaps

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    Diversify your study materials.

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      Don’t rely on one single resource

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      Obtain a good reference textbook or get access to a detailed online knowledge library to synthesise your revision notes

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    Take mock tests

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      Taking tests in timed conditions can help you replicate the exam experience and get used to the time pressures you may face in the exam

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    Use official resources where available.

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      The Royal College of Physicians publish sample questions on their website.

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      These are a great way of getting used to the types of questions asked and can also be used as mock tests.

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    Study groups and flash cards.

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      Join or create a study group!

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      Discussing topics and testing each other can provide different perspectives and help in clarifying doubts.

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      Flash cards can be an invaluable resource to allow you to test yourself on key topics quickly.

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    Breaks and Health

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      Remember to take regular breaks and maintain your health.

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      This is a marathon, not a sprint. We normally recommend 3-6 months of target revision, depending on your clinical commitments.


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