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An Insight into: MRCPsych Qualification

Jun 30, 2020.

The MRCPsych qualification is an essential requirement if you’re looking to practice psychiatry here in the UK. In our latest blog, we look at the MRCPsych in more detail and cover all the essential information you need!

What is the MRCPsych qualification?

MRCPsych is held by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and it consists of three examinations: Paper A, Paper B and CASC. The qualification allows you to evidence your specialist knowledge and skills and work at a senior grade, starting from ST3+.

Being a Royal College Member comes with an array of advantages that can be explored in our blog post here!

How much is MRCPsych Qualification?

The examination fee depends on what criteria you fall under, please see the fees below (June 2020):

Paper APaper BCASC
Pre-Membership Psychiatry Trainee£476£428£984
Non-Pre-Membership Psychiatry Trainee£528£475£1,093
International Candidate£674£674£1,491
What can I expect from each qualification?
Paper A

The first exam is a scientific and theoretical basis of Psychiatry of which you’ll be tested over a three-hour sitting and the exam is worth 150 marks, comprising of 150 questions.

Two-thirds of the exam will be multiple-choice questions and one-third extended matching-item questions.

You’ll be tested on:

  1. Behaviour Science and Sociocultural Psychiatry
  2. Human Development
  3. Basic Neurosciences
  4. Clinical Psychopharmacology
  5. Classification and Assessment in Psychiatry

Click here for the full examination syllabus.

Paper B

The second exam is also a written paper that will assesses your critical review and the clinical topics within Psychiatry.

It’s a three-hour exam, worth 150 marks, comprised of 150 questions. Similarly to Paper A, it’s a mix of multiple-choice questions and extended matching-item questions.

You’ll be tested on:

  1. Organisation and Delivery of Psychiatric Services
  2. General Adult Psychiatry
  3. Old Age Psychiatry
  4. Psychotherapy
  5. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  6. Substance Misuse/Addictions
  7. Forensic Psychiatry
  8. Psychiatry of Learning Disability
  9. Critical Review

Click here to view the full syllabus.


CASC stands for The Clinical Assessment of Skills and Comptencies (CASC) and will test your clinical skills in a range of clinical situations.

You’ll be tested within two circuits of individual stations – testing your knowledge, clinical abilities and communication skills via history taking, explanation and patient advice, breaking bad news and managing challenging consultations.

Overview of each Circuit:
Circuit 1:

6 stations focused on Management

1 station focused on Examination

1 station focused on History Taking

4 minutes reading

7 minute task

Circuit 2:

4 x stations focused on Examination

4 x stations focused on History Taking

90 seconds reading

7 minute task

Tip for when preparing for the CASCSpeak to other doctors who have successfully passed the exam. The most popular piece of advice is to train your body to recognise what 7 minutes feels like – timed practice is essential to your examination success.


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Our Tips on How to Successfully Prepare for Your CASC Examinations
1. Plenty of time to Prepare

Preparing early is crucial as it gives you time to analyse your strengths and weaknesses whilst ensuring you have enough time for revision and practice. Not only will advanced preparation leave you feeling less stressed, but it will also give you the time to explore various revision techniques from reading books, watching videos, listening to podcasts and most importantly, practising on patients.

2. Analyse your areas of improvement

The key to success is to identify the specific areas where you need to improve your knowledge, communication skills or technique. The best way to do so is to practice with a peer or a Consultant in the form of a ‘Mock Exam’. Your mock examiner will then be able to provide you with objective feedback and help you identify ‘your areas of concern’, allowing you to focus on those areas within your revision schedule.

3. Revise in a Group

Group work increases productivity, satisfaction and most importantly, your knowledge. The aim of group study is to interact with peers of different abilities to you which will help you become accustomed to varying your communication style.

Practising with the same group of people can provide you with a false sense of securing of your knowledge, so it’s best to vary your study group to gain maximum benefits.

We can support you in finding the perfect fixed-term or locum role!

If you’re a Psychiatrist who would like our support with securing a fixed-term or locum post within the NHS, we can support you with the below:

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