Online Exam Applications FAQs


How does the system work?
The new online appplication system for exams uses the information held on the College's database to calculate which exam an applicant would be applying for and determine whether or not the applicant is eligible to sit that exam.  The system has been designed to follow the paper application process and should seem familiar to those who have completed the paper applications before; we will also still collect some information from applicants in order that the College can provide the necessary evidence regarding exams to the GMC.  Once you have completed the booking you will receive confirmation emails to confirm your eligibility, your place at the exam, and a receipt of payment.

As the system is dependent on the information submitted to the College those intending to apply for exams will need to ensure that they submit the relevant evidence in a timely fashion; this infomation cannot be submitted during the online process.  This includes submitting the following: Initial Assessments of Competency (IACs), Basic Level Training Certificates (BLTCs), evidence of the attainment of exempting qualifications, and Additional Educational Training (AET) form 1s; if this information has not been submitted in advance then an application cannot be completed online.  Information supporting a request for additional provisions for dyslexic and disabled applicants should be submitted by post or email and will need to be received in good time prior to the exam in order that any adjustments can be made.  Temporary Examination Eligibility (TEE) applicants should make their application for TEE status in the normal way and will then be able to apply for exams online.

Please note that applicants who have attained an exempting qualification from The College or Faculty of Anaesthetists, Ireland, will not normally need to submit documentation supporting this element of their application as this is verified directly between the bodies involved.  If you have any query about whether the College holds any of the aforementioned information on your record please get in touch at onlineservicesexams@rcoa.ac.uk.

How do I book onto an exam?
To book on to an exam follow this link and log in to the College's online services, you will need to register if you have not used this service before; please ensure that you use the email address that you have previously registered with the College.  Once logged in you will find a link in the left hand menu to Book an exam then follow the on screen prompts.

You can still download a copy of a relevant paper application form by following the menu on the left and submitting your application by post with a cheque.

How do I know if I'm eligible for an exam?
Before applying for an exam you should first read through the relevant regulations; you can download a copy of the FRCA exam regulations here.  Your eligibility for an exam will be determined by the data held on the College database; if there is an error in the determination of your eligibility then you will be given the opportunity to contact the College to resolve any issue.  We would advise early application in order to allow sufficient time to resolve any problems.  Typical problems would include the non-receipt at the College of copies of certificates such as IACs and BLTCs - we only receive these certificates if you send them to us!

How many attempts do I have at exams?
All candidates have six attempts to pass each exam.  Withdrawals and absences from exams do not count as attempts; however, if you attend an exam and then decide to not continue then this will count as an attempt.
Candidates who are on their sixth attempt at an exam will need to complete and submit an Additional Educational Training (AET) form 1 three months prior to the exam that they wish to apply for; a copy of the form can be downloaded from here.

When will I receive my admission notice?
Exam closing dates (as listed in the calendar, which can be downloaded here) will remain in effect with the online booking system.  Admission notices for written exams are usually despatched within one week following the closing date; admission notices for OSCE and SOE exams are usually despatched within two weeks following the closing date.  Admission notices will be sent to you via email; please ensure that you check your junk mail folder before contacting the College about non-receipt of an admission notice.

Can I get a copy of my receipt?
Please contact the Examinations Department if you require a receipt at exams@rcoa.ac.uk; please note that your admission notice will have the amount paid on it and will be sufficient evidence if you are planning to claim for tax relief.

Where are the exams held?
FRCA written exams are held in a number of different cities across the UK: Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Manchester, and Sheffield; the particular venues may differ between exams and you will be notified of the particulars in your admission notice.  We cannot guarantee that you will get the venue requested but we will offer an alternative venue in the rare occurence that demand has exceeded capacity.

All FRCA OSCE & SOE exams, and all FFICM and FFPMRCA exams, are held at the RCoA.

How do I get to the RCoA?
To view directions to the RCoA, please click here.

How do I know if the exam is fully booked?
For written exams the College will always endeavour to find an appropriately sized venue, but as venues are booked over a year in advance if may be difficult to change the venue once all exam applications have been received; in the rare situations where demand has exceeded capacity some candidates may be asked to attend the exam at an alternative venue but no candidate will be turned away on the grounds of capacity.

For OSCE & SOE exams the total number of places available depends on the volume of applications received from priority applicants (see section 4 of the exam regulations for details); the spaces left in the calculated miniumum number of days required to examine the priority candidates will be offered to non-priority candidates as per the regaulations.  If you are a non-priority applicant then we will not ask you to pay for the exam until your place has been confirmed.  On completion of the eligibility checks you will be informed whether you will be on the waiting list or not and then you will be emailed after the the closing date of the exam as to whether there is a place available at the exam for you.  The email will contain a link to enable you to pay for the exam and a further deadline by when to make this payment in order to confirm your attendance.  You will then receive your admission notice in due course.

How do I withdraw from the exam?
Requests for withdrawal from an examinations should be made in writing to exams@rcoa.ac.uk.  Withdrawals requested prior to the closing date of the exam can receive back the examination fees paid, less a £40 administration charge.  Withdrawals requested after the closing date of the examination are not normally entitled to any refund.

Can I defer my booking to another exam sitting?
No, exam places cannot be deferred to a later date.  You will need to withdraw from the exam and re-apply for the desired sitting of the exam at the appropriate time.

When will I get my results?
We aim to to post results for OSCE & SOE exams on the College website (in the exam specific area) at 2pm of the day following your exam; for those sitting the exam on Friday we aim to post your results by 5pm that day.  We aim to post results for MCQ only exams on the College website a week Friday following the exam, FRCA Final Written results will normally take two weeks longer than this; you will be advised of the proposed dates of written exam results in your admission notice.  These results will be pass or fail results only and will be listed by your College Reference Number and candidate number only - names will not be published.  You will be sent a formal results letter following this, with a breakdown of your score.

What support material is available from the College?
You will find all the information supplied by the College on the Resources for Candidates page - including guide books, practise questions, and videos - here.

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