O&G ST1 Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA Exam) and Essential Reading

The key to any assessment is preparation. Candidates who prepare will have a much higher success of scoring highly as if you have practised your exam technique. Below we have given some guidance on how to start preparing for this exam, including useful links for further information. Information about other aspects of the application process such as the interview can be found on our O&G ST1 Interview Format page. We have also developed an O&G ST1 Interview Question Bank to help you prepare in more detail.

There is some general information about the MSRA exam that is important for you to be aware of at the beginning of your revision and preparation.

Key exam details:

How does O&G use the MSRA exam during the application process?

  • The MSRA is used for shortlisting and 25% of the overall selection score.
  • The highest scoring applicants in the MSRA will bypass the interview and get an automatic offer.
  • The pass mark for bypassing is not readily available.
  • The lowest scoring applications in the MSRA will not proceed further in the selection process.
  • Those that pass the MSRA but do not reach the bypass score will be invited to an online interview. There the scores from the MSRA and interview and combined to decide who is offered a place on the specialty training programme.

Where is the exam held?

Usually held in Pearson VUE test centres (depending on Government Guidelines for the Covid-19 pandemic).

Do you have to pay for the exam?

There is no charge for the exam, however there may be travel and/or accommodation costs for you, which will not be reimbursed.

Which specialties have to sit the exam?

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • General Practice
  • Psychiatry
  • Ophthalmology
  • Radiology
  • Community and Sexual Reproductive Health
  • Paediatrics
  • Anaesthetics
  • ACCS Emergency Medicine
  • Neurosurgery

This is useful to know as you can find revision buddies for this exam, even if they aren’t applying for O&G.

What is the structure of the exam?

There are two parts to the exam that are based on the Foundation Programme curriculum. The most up-to-date information on the curriculum can be found on the UK Foundation Programme website.

The two parts of the exam are below, along with the details:

MSRA Paper Pilot Questions Exam Questions Paper Time
Professional Dilemmas 8 52 95 minutes
Clinical Problem Solving  11 86 75 minutes

Is there anything more I should know about the Professional Dilemmas Paper?

It is split into two parts. Part 1 is ranking, where you are asked to rank actions to a scenario in order from most to least appropriate. Part 2 is multiple choice, where you are asked to choose the three most appropriate actions from a choice of eight.

Is there anything more I should know about the Clinical Problem Solving Paper?

  • Of the 86 questions, there are usually around 43 extended matching questions and 43 single best answers. The questions will cover the whole of medicine and surgery and focuses on core competencies.
  • The core competencies are:
    • Diagnosis
    • Investigation
    • Emergency
    • Prescribing
    • Management (non-prescribing)

How is the MSRA exam scored?

  • There is no negative marking.
  • There is one mark for each correct response.

If you pass the MSRA but do not reach the bypass score, you will be invited for interview.

Take your MSRA revision to the next level with our artificial intelligence powered, adaptive question bank

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Further Interview Preparation

O&G ST1 Interview Tips

O&G ST1 Interview Format

The Day in the Life of an O&G Trainee

Try our Interview Question Bank, providing worked examples to help you ace the interview.

Professionally written Obs and Gynae question bank

Competition is fierce, so let us give you that extra edge to get the job.

Further reading

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