MRCP Part 2 Complete Guide
MRCP 6th November 2023

MRCP Part 2 Complete Guide

This MRCP Part 2 complete guide has been created to help you prepare for the exam. If you’re planning to undertake the MRCP Part 2 in 2024, you’ll find everything you need to know here.

MRCP Part 2 is the second of three exams that you need to pass in order to receive the Membership of the Royal Colleges of Physicians Diploma.

In order to be awarded the MRCP diploma and transition into specialised medical training, you need to pass all three separate parts of the exam:  

Which specialties require MRCP?

If you’re applying for any Physician Higher Specialty Training (PHST) programmes, you need to have successfully completed all elements of the MRCP(UK) – or an acknowledged equivalent – before the specified deadline. Usually, this will be by the offer date; however, you can check the individual specialty deadlines here.

This applies for the following specialties:

Acute Internal Medicine (AIM) ST4 Geriatric Medicine ST4
Allergy ST3 Haematology ST3
Audiovestibular Medicine (AVM) ST3 Immunology ST3
Aviation and Space Medicine ST3 Intensive Care Medicine ST3
Cardiology ST4 Medical Oncology ST3
Clinical Genetics ST3 Medical Ophthalmology ST3
Clinical Neurophysiology ST3 Neurology ST4
Clinical Oncology ST3 Nuclear Medicine ST3
Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics (CPT) ST4 Paediatric Cardiology ST4*
Combined Infection Training (CIT) ST3/ST4 Palliative Medicine ST4
Dermatology ST3 Rehabilitation Medicine ST3
Endocrinology & Diabetes Mellitus ST4 Renal Medicine ST4
Gastroenterology ST4 Respiratory Medicine ST4
General Internal Medicine ST4 Rheumatology ST4
Genitourinary Medicine (GUM) ST4 Sports & Exercise Medicine ST3

*Physician training only.

What is the MRCP Part 2?

When you sit MRCP Part 2 you will be expected to complete two papers over the course of a day. For each paper, you will have three hours to go through 100 multiple choice questions.      

MRCP Part 2 will test your knowledge, skills and behaviour as a doctor. In addition, your ability to understand and make clinical judgements will be assessed across a multitude of topics. The questions within Part 2 of the exam are based on the diagnosis, investigation, management and prognosis of a patient. 

What is the difference between MRCP Part 1 and 2?

Although MRCP Part 2 requires you to build on the knowledge that is assessed in Part 1, there is one key difference between the two exams. While Part 1 is purely made up of text based multiple choice questions, MRCP Part 2 often uses images to display clinical scenarios. Among other medical related occurrences, these images usually include x-rays, pathology slides, CT and MRI scans. On top of having the relevant medical knowledge, you will need to be able to interpret the information that is given to solve the problems and answer the questions.  

MRCP Part 2 Dates

There are four different periods throughout the year that you can sit the exam. Generally, these occur in February, May, September and November. For UK students, the application fee is £460, while international students have to pay £616. You can submit an application for the MRCP Part 2 exam through the MRCP UK website.

The upcoming exam dates for 2023 and 2024 are as follows:

Exam date Application period Results by
22 November 2023 18 – 25 September 2023 3 January 2024
21 February 2024 4 – 11 December 2023 22 March 2024
15 May 2024 18 – 25 March 2024 14 June 2024
11 September 2024 8 – 15 July 2024 11 October 2024
 20 November 2024 16 – 23 September 2024 20 December 2024

MRCP Part 2 Pass Mark 

The pass mark for MRCP Part 2 is 454. After sitting the exam, you will receive a result which has been curated by a process referred to as equating. This method of marking relies on a statistical approach, to ensure that candidates are awarded a comparable score for similar rates of performance across different parts of the MRCP exams. 

What is a good score in MRCP Part 2?

To achieve the set pass mark of 454, you need around 121 correct answers from the 200 questions. However, due to the marking process, answering this many questions correctly won’t necessarily result in a pass mark. Therefore, you are better off aiming for an overall score of 475 to 575. 

The key to achieving a good score on the MRCP Part 2 exam is making sure that you prepare effectively. As well as gaining an insight into the type of questions that will be included in the exam, going through sample questions will encourage you to understand the concepts behind the right answers. 

Resources

There are a number of resources that are available to help you with your preparation for MRCP Part 2. As the exam is written in accordance with the UK core medical training curriculum and the UK national guidelines, you should form the basis of your preparation around these specifications. It’s also wise to study the latest clinical textbooks and medical journals to ensure that you are taking on the exam with up to date knowledge.

However, to ensure that you’re familiar with the types of questions you’ll be asked in the exam and confident answering them, completing a wide range of example MRCP Part 2 questions is essential.

Finally, there are several courses that you can make use of to get ready for your MRCP Part 2 exam. These courses are available in a variety of formats and are delivered by the three Colleges that make up the Federation of Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom.

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