FRCA Primary SOE

About the SOE

The Primary FRCA SOE is a summative assessment of a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the basic sciences, which are the foundations upon which further clinical knowledge is based. The SOE is taken along with the Primary FRCA OSCE and is aligned to the core level training curriculum.

 

A successful candidate in the SOE will have demonstrated their knowledge and understanding of basic sciences, clinical decision-making and the principles and safety aspects of equipment used in core level training. Candidates are required to pass both the OSCE and SOE components before they can be awarded the FRCA Primary.

The SOE complements formative and summative assessments undertaken in the workplace and provides assurance that candidates have reached the accepted national standard of knowledge and competence to allow progression to intermediate level training. 

The Primary SOE consists of two subsections:

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

How it is marked

Two examiners mark each part of the SOE. Both examiners independently mark every question. There are 12 questions, 2 marks are given for a pass, 1 mark for a borderline performance and 0 marks for a fail, giving a maximum total score of 48 marks. 

Primary OSCE SOE – maximum six attempts – component pass valid for three years
Registered with the GMC or other National Medical Council

Either:

  • Currently registered with the College as a UK trainee in Anaesthesia or ACCS or registered with the Faculty as a trainee in ICM, OR
  • An Anaesthetist who is registered with the College in a recognised membership category (not affiliated) (see Related Information) OR
  • Has previously successfully applied for Temporary Examination Eligibility (TEE) AND
Passed the Primary FRCA MCQ in the last three years

Awarded the Initial Assessment of Competence in Anaesthesia or recognised equivalent.

Has not exceeded the maximum number of attempts for the exam applied for.  Has submitted an Additional Educational Training form (AET1) prior to the sixth attempt.

The full eligibility for this exam is listed at Section 6 Paragraph 15 of the Examination Regulations.

Language

All FRCA examinations are conducted in English. Where a candidate’s first language is not English, the College recommends that an applicant’s communication and written skills in English are at least equivalent to the level at which a doctor could successfully pass the PLAB (Professional Linguistics Assessment Board) tests or at a level where they would expect to gain an average score of approximately 7.5/9 across all bands of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). However we do not require you to provide us with a certificate proving competency in English.

Primary OSCE/SOE Examinations Calendar; August 2019 to July 2020

Application opening date

Monday, 19 August 2019

Monday, 14 October 2019

Monday, 17 February 2020

Application closing date

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Examination date
(week commencing)

Monday, 4 November 2019

Monday, 27 January 2020

Monday, 18 May 2020

Examination fees
Both

OSCE

SOE

 

 

£615
£335
£305

 

 

£615
£335
£305

 

£615
£335
£305

 

Primary OSCE/SOE Examinations Calendar; August 2020 to July 2021

Application opening date

Monday, 24 August 2020

Monday, 19 October 2020

Monday, 1 February 2021

Application closing date

Thursday, 1 October 2020

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Examination date
(week commencing)

Monday, 2 November 2020

Monday, 25 January 2021

Monday, 17 May 2021

Examination fees
Both

OSCE

SOE

 

 

TBC
TBC
TBC

 

 

TBC
TBC
TBC

 

TBC
TBC
TBC

 

Apply and pay online.                                                                                                                 

The online application process will be open for each exam from 0900 on the exam opening date to 1700 on the exam closing date (see dates and fees in the section above).  Applications are not accepted outside the application window.

The Primary clinical exams (OSCE and SOE) are held at the RCoA, Churchill House, 35 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4SG.

Reasonable adjustments: Any applicant who has a physical or mental disability, specific learning difficulty (SpLD) or on-going or fluctuating medical condition may be entitled to reasonable adjustments. When applying online, check the ‘I have a disability’ and ‘I require exam adjustment’ boxes . For more information on reasonable adjustments, please refer to the Examination Regulations.

Withdrawals: withdrawals before the closing date may receive the full fee paid. Candidates withdrawing after the closing date may be entitled to a full refund, providing the request is made within 14 days of receipt of the application. For withdrawals greater than 14 days, the refund is subject to an admin fee.  Fees cannot be deferred from one exam to another.

The result date for the Primary FRCA OSCE/SOE is on the admission notice. 

Results in the form of a pass/fail list are released at 2pm on the date indicated on the admission notice. Candidates will be identified using a three figure candidate number. This is an exam specific number issued to candidates on their admission notice.  Please do not call the College to confirm your candidate number. 

Candidates can choose to opt out of the pass/fail list by contacting the exams department exams@rcoa.ac.uk at least 48 hours before the release of results date.                                   

All candidates will be sent a breakdown of their results within seven working days after the pass/fail list has been published. 

No results will be given or confirmed by telephone.

All candidates who pass or fail FRCA exams will receive the same feedback which will be set out on their 'results letter' this is despatched to all candidates using first class post within seven working days of the release of the pass/fail list.  A full list of the type of feedback provided for each exam component is set out in the Primary and Final FRCA examinations regulations - feedback policy.

Additionally, candidates who have been unsuccessful in their SOEs may request examiner comments on their performance.  Examiner comments are not available for the MCQ or OSCEs. Written requests should be emailed to the exams department.
 

Exam Guidance interviews are also available to candidates, see below.  Guidance is provided by local examiners who will recommend the action to be taken by a candidate in relation to the information provided on a candidate's performance.

There are no mandatory requirements for candidates to attend guidance interviews up to the fifth attempt for each component.  At the sixth attempt candidates must have attended a guidance interview.

A candidate who has failed any of the following components more than once may request a guidance interview.  Guidance is limited to one per examination component:

  • Primary OSCE/SOE

Please note that no special consideration will be given in respect of refunds following guidance interviews.

Interviews are arranged locally wherever possible although interviews can be arranged at the College if local trainers and examiners are not available.
To arrange a guidance interview, please contact the exams department.

Candidate resources are a consolidation of the various example questions, videos, courses and guides, any of which may guide a candidate in their preparation for the various FRCA examination components.