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Trainees will need 6 months solid exam preparation and it is recommended that once trainees have decided on the timing of their exam then they should start revision ASAP by working through the RCoA e-LA section of the Primary FRCA exam and the recommended text books.   http://www.rcoa.ac.uk/e-la

It is the Schools suggestion that trainees appointed in February should attempt the November MCQ giving them 9 months of solid preparation.  If a trainee should be unsuccessful, then they have the opportunity of resitting the MCQ exam in February.

Trainees appointed in August, should attempt the MCQ in September or November.

The Primary Revision Course

This is a 3 month weekly course which runs twice in a year – November to February & May to August, and is tailored towards candidates planning either the Spring or Autumn sitting of the Primary FRCA Exam.   The aim of the course is to provide interactive lectures and discussions on topics that may be asked in the Primary Exam. It is useful in exam preparation and should be used to consolidate trainees own reading.

The course is held in various Anaesthetic Departments around the region and follows a full and varied programme.    The course covers major aspects of the Primary FRCA syllabus, concentrating mainly on the Basic Sciences. The aim of the course is to provide interactive lectures and discussions on topics that may be asked in the Primary Exam.

Topics include:

Physics & Clinical Measurement

Electricity & Monitoring



General Physiology I & II


Pharmacology – Anaesthetic Drugs Study Day

Respiratory Physiology Study Day



Central Nervous System – Anatomy

Central Nervous System – Brain

Trainees will have been expected to have revised each topic before attending the course and  to use the lecturer’s knowledge to answer any questions they may have difficulty with or to clarify areas of their learning.

We ask each lecturer to cover a short number of MCQ/SBA questions during their talk.  This is to reinforce your knowledge and promote interaction between trainees throughout the day.  Trainees must ensure they have a good knowledge of the subject as they may be asked to lead the discussion within the group.

Throughout the Primary exam, you will need to demonstrate your ability to deliver knowledge in a variety of ways.   Group discussion is a useful way to get you used to talking about topics and explaining them, as you will need this skill in the Structured Oral Examination (SOE).



Further information –  Email

The course also offers MCQ, OSCE & VIVA practice.

MCQ Examination

You will be invited to attend a Practice MCQ  Day approx. 2-3 weeks before the Royal College of Anaesthetists Primary MCQ examination.    This is an all-day event completing a whole MCQ paper under exam conditions.   Feedback and results will be given at the end of the day.

OSCE Practice

When successful at the MCQ Exam, trainees will be invited to attend  OSCE practice approx. 2 weeks before the Royal College of Anaesthetists Primary OSCE Examination.

VIVA Preparation Sessions

Trainees will be invited to attend a serious of VIVA preparation sessions over a 4/5 week period before the Royal College of Anaesthetists Primary Viva Examination.