MRCP or Membership of the Royal Colleges of Physicians is a postgraduate (specialty) medical diploma in the UK for those medical postgraduates who are seeking to work in the UK as a doctor. MRCP exam ensures the continuing professional development of Physicians in the UK or abroad. It is a pre-requisite exam for those internationally trained medical graduates who are wishing to work in a specialty in the UK, as a doctor. To measure the level of attainment of those graduates who are working outside the UK, this exam is very important.

What is MRCP Exam?

MRCP is a membership examination in the general Medicine. MRCP is aimed to test the acquisition of a representative sample of medical knowledge, skills, and behaviors of the candidates wishing to work as a specialist doctor in the UK.

MRCP examinations are run by the Federation of the Medical Royal Colleges. So, in a nutshell, the MRCP examinations will make you eligible to obtain the diploma from one of the following 3 Royal Medical Colleges of Physicians:

  1. Royal College of Physicians of London
  2. Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
  3. Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

These three Royal Colleges of Physicians share this common 3-part assessment exam in general medicine which consists of 2-written parts and 1-clinical assessment exam. MRCP examinations are held throughout the UK and at many other international centers.


Aims and Objectives of the MRCP Exam

The MRCP examination will assess the candidate’s knowledge of basic medical sciences as well as testing the clinical skills which are required for the diagnosis and the management of the disease. This examination emphasizes more in the communications skills and the professionalism. In a nutshell, the aims and objectives of the MRCP examination are summed up here:

  • To test the basic medical sciences and the clinical skills required to diagnose and manage the disease
  • To assess the communication skills and the professionalism of the candidate
  • To make a post-graduate physician work as a specialist doctor/physician in the UK
  • The ultimate objective is to ensure that NHS consultants have demonstrated their acquisition of sufficient knowledge in their chosen specialty to practice safely and competently
  • To make the UK physicians in training in a line with the training physicians in North America


Components of the MRCP Exam

The MRCP is a 3-part assessment examination which is aimed to make the postgraduate candidates fit to work as a specialist in the UK.

Examination Pattern
MRCP Exam part 1 Written
MRCP Exam part 2 (A) Written
MRCP Exam part 2 (B) Practical Assessment of Clinical Skills (PACES)


This table shows that the MRCP exam is broken down into 3 different components. Two parts are written and only one part of the MRCP examinations is Clinical Assessment or Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).

We will be discussing each part of the MRCP examination individually.


 For a Brief Guide to MRCS Examinations, follow the link below:


MRCP Exam Part 1

MRCP part 1 is the entry-level exam. Given below is a brief overview of it:

What is asked? Part 1 Examination is designed to assess a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the clinical sciences relevant to medical practice and of common or important disorders to a level appropriate for entry to specialist training.

Format of the Exam: Part 1 consists of 2-separate papers of 200 MCQ’s each, no images

Length of the exam: part 1 is one-day long exam, each paper is 3 hours long (total=6 hours)

When to take? Usually, after one year of your post-graduate training

Test Centers: There are many test centers in the UK as well as internationally which conduct MRCP exam. Some of the international test centers are mentioned below:

  • Bahrain (Manama)
  • Bangladesh (Dhaka)
  • Egypt (Cairo)
  • Ghana (Accra)
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland (Reykjavik)
  • India (Chennai)
  • Iraq (Baghdad)
  • Jordan (Amman)
  • Kuwait (Kuwait City)
  • Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)
  • Malta
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal (Kathmandu)
  • Oman (Muscat)
  • Pakistan (Karachi)
  • Pakistan (Lahore)
  • Qatar (Doha)
  • Saudi Arabia (Jeddah)
  • Singapore
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan (Khartoum)
  • United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi)
  • West Indies (Barbados)
  • Zimbabwe (Harare)

 There are multiple test sites in different cities of the countries mentioned above.

Eligibility Criteria: The only eligibility criterion to take MRCP 1 exam is:

  • Post-graduate student with a minimum of 12-months experience (1 year)
  • No prior training is required


MRCP Exam Part 2 (Written)

Once you have passed your MRCP part 1, you can take MRCP part 2 written exam. A brief overview of the MRCP part 2 written exam is given below:

What is asked? Part 2 written exam is aimed to test your ability to apply clinical understanding, make clinical judgments, and take responsibility for:

  • Planning investigation
  • Prioritizing diagnostic lists
  • Selecting an immediate management plan
  • Selecting a long0term management plan
  • Assessing prognosis

The format of the Exam:

Old Pattern New Pattern
Part 2 written examination consists of 270 MCQ’s and there are 3 separate papers, each containing 90 MCQ’s The part 2 written exam will move to a single day format in 2018. The new pattern will consist of 2-three hour papers with 100 MCQ’s each.



Length of the Exam: Unlike part 1 exam, Part 2 exam is two days long exam. There are a total of 3 different papers, each with a length of 3 hours (total=9hours) and have 90 MCQ’s.

When to take? Usually after passing MRCP part 1 examination.

Test Centers: the test centers which conduct MRCP part 1 examination are also devised to conduct MRCP part 2 written examination. The international test centers for the MRCP part 2 written exam are:

  • Bahrain (Manama)
  • Bangladesh (Dhaka)
  • Egypt (Cairo)
  • Ghana (Accra)
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland (Reykjavik)
  • India (Chennai)
  • Iraq (Baghdad)
  • Jordan (Amman)
  • Kuwait (Kuwait City)
  • Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)
  • Malta
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal (Kathmandu)
  • Oman (Muscat)
  • Pakistan (Karachi)
  • Pakistan (Lahore)
  • Qatar (Doha)
  • Saudi Arabia (Jeddah)
  • Singapore
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan (Khartoum)
  • United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi)
  • West Indies (Barbados)
  • Zimbabwe (Harare)


Eligibility Criteria: The only eligibility criterion to take MRCP part 2 written examination is:

  • Passing MRCP part 1 examination.


MRCP Exam Part 2 Clinical Component (PACES)

The final, most important, and the most difficult part of the MRCP examinations series is PACES (Practical Assessment of Clinical Examination Skills). After clearing your PACES part, you are eligible for the registration with GMC and work as a specialist doctor in the UK. Once cleared, you will be offered higher specialist training in the UK.

Given here is a brief overview of the PACES:

What is asked? PACES are aimed to assess the following skills of the physician;

  • Physical Examination
  • Identifying Physical Signs
  • Clinical Communication
  • Differential Diagnosis
  • Clinical Judgment
  • Managing Patient’s Concerns
  • Maintaining Patient Welfare

The format of the Exam: PACES examination consists of 5 clinical stations, each assessed by 2 independent examiners. You will have to start from any of the 5 different stations. There are a total of 10 patients encounter.

Length of the Exam: PACES examination is a half-day long exam. There are 5 different clinical stations, and each station will be given 20 minutes. There is a break of 5 minutes between 2 stations.

When to take? You can take PACES examination after you have cleared your MRCP part 2 written part.

  • Make sure you have very strong clinical skills
  • Your history taking is very strong
  • Must take PACES within 7 years of passing MRCP part 1
  • Make clinics very strong before taking PACES

Test centers: PACES examination is conducted inside the UK at any of the Royal Colleges and also internationally. Some of the international centers to conduct PACES examination are:

  • Brunei
  • Egypt
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Kuwait
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Myanmar
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Singapore
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • The United Arab Emirates

Eligibility Criteria: The only eligibility criterion to take PACES is;

  • Passing MRCP part 2 written examination

Although the eligibility criterion for PACES is simple, it is highly recommended to have a very strong grip on the clinics before taking PACES. PACES will assess your clinical skills and it is also considered very difficult part of the MRCP examination series.

Is IELTS Required for the MRCP Exam?

Of course, if you are looking to take the MRCP exam you will have to pass the IELTS as mentioned below:

IELTS Component Scores Needed
Speaking 7  bands
Listening 7  bands
Writing 7  bands
Reading 7 bands
Overall 7.5 Bands


Scoring Criteria

The scoring criteria for the MRCP exam is given in the below-mentioned table:

Examination Passing Score
MRCP part 1 528/999
MRCP part 2 written 454/999
MRCP part 2 (PACES) 130 overall


Fee Structure of MRCP Exam

Fee structure for the MRCP exam is compiled in the below-mentioned table;

Examination Fee in UK Fee Internationally
MRCP Part 1  £419 £594
MRCP part 2 Written £419 £594
MRCP part 2 (PACES) £657 £1202


Registration Procedure of MRCP Exam

To register for the MRCP examination please follow the below link:



Roadmap to MRCP Exam in a Nutshell

Screenshot 55 - What is MRCP Exam? How You Can Pass MRCP exam?


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A word from Author

More articles, relevant to MRCP PART 1, MRCP PART 2, and PACES will be uploaded soon with the complete guidelines. stay tuned for more informative articles.

If there is anything missing mention it below in the comment box. Feel free to drop an email at for any queries and questions.


  1. Thanks for your brilliant information. Can you please highlight in steps what it takes to get the GMC registration done . Secondly can you please mentioned the country where we can use mrcp for training jobs. Thanks

    • The eligibility criterion for taking MRCP part 1 exam is already mentioned in the article. You need to have your primary qualification degree (MBBS) and 12-months of clinical experience. So, yes you can take part 1 after 12 months of your house job.

  2. Thank you doctor for your efforts.
    I think that IELTS isn’t required for registration in MRCP or MRCS, it is required for registration in GMC after you get your diploma (MRCS or MRCP).

  3. 1-How many months or years that I need in the non-training job to get training job (ST3) if I’m hard worker doctor?
    2-Can I get a training job (ST3) directly from my country especially in (less competitive) specialties

  4. Brother, great infrmation. It really help alot.
    I hve a confusion, some where i hve read, Candiate is eligiable fr mrcp part 1 after 12 months of his graduation(MBBS), Is it so? Kindly confirm?


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