Structure and Marking

The Primary OSCE and SOE examinations are blue printed to the Basic Level Curriculum.  The OSCE examination tests skills (procedural and cognitive) which are underpinned by knowledge. The SOEs test depth of knowledge and understanding of mechanisms and relevance. These exams take place at the College in Red Lion Square.

Structure of the OSCE exam
18 stations in one hour 48 minutes. Of which 16 count towards the result. From January 2015 two test stations will be run in order to test new questions. Neither the candidates nor the examiners will know which stations these are and the marks will not contribute to the fianl result.  Currently stations comprise of: resuscitation, technical skills, anatomy (general procedure), history-taking, physical examination, communication skills, anaesthetic hazards and the interpretation of X-rays. One or more of the stations may involve the use of a medium fidelity simulator. Resuscitation stations are based on the 2010 Resuscitation Guidelines.

Structure of the SOE exam
There are two sub-sections to the SOE section comprising:

  1. 30 minutes; consisting of three questions in pharmacology and three questions in physiology and biochemistry; followed by
  2. 30 minutes; consisting of three questions in physics, clinical measurement, equipment and safety and three questions on clinical topics (including a critical incident).

See below for ‘the OSCE in a nutshell’ diagram (click the image to see a bigger view), which gives an overview of the structure of this exam.

The Marking System

Each station is marked out of 20, the pass mark for each station is determined by the examiners using the Angoff method. The pass mark for each of the 16 live station is summed to obtain the examination pass mark.

Two examiners mark each part of the SOE.  Both mark independently. There are 12 questions, 2 marks are given for a pass, 1 mark for a borderline and 0 marks for a fail performance, giving a maximum score of 48.  The pass mark is 37 which has been calculated using a modified Rothman system and historic data reference.

Both the OSCE and SOE are pass or fail.

Primary OCSE/SOE Links
Primary OSCE/SOE Homepage
Dates, Fees and Applications
Results, Allocations and Statistics


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