FFICM Final MCQ
The next FFICM MCQ will be held on 10 January 2024.
To sit the FFICM Exam you must be successfully registered and in good standing with the Faculty in one of the following membership categories:
- ICM Trainee
- Affiliate Fellow
- Member (MFICM)
- Associate Member
- MTI (are required to register as an 'Affiliate' of the Faculty)
All FICM membership applications (Affiliate, Associate Member, Member (MFICM), Affiliate Fellowship) submitted with the intent of being approved for eligibility to sit the FFICM MCQ exam must be submitted by 3 months before the exam date. There is no guarantee that an application will be processed in time for you to apply for the exam.
LATE APPLICATIONS AND PAPER APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED
The FFICM MCQ exam will be delivered online with TestReach
Please review the RCoA guidance on:
- Taking written exams online
- Process for scheduling the exam
- Technical support during the exam.
- FurtherTestReach tutorials and demonstrations
You must pass the MCQ before you can apply for the OSCE/SOE. The MCQ is valid for three years.
The MCQ section of the examination tests breadth of factual knowledge in the areas of science applied to clinical practice including resuscitation and initial management of the acutely ill patient; diagnosis, assessment, investigation, monitoring and data interpretation; disease management; therapeutic interventions and organ support; perioperative care; comfort and recovery; end of life care; paediatric care; transport; patient safety and health systems management.
The MCQ section consists of
- SBA (Single Best Answer)
The duration of the FFICM MCQ examination is 3 hours.
The pass mark for the MCQ exam is set using the Angoff reference method and adjustments are made for the borderline candidate using methods approved by the GMC.
The MCQ paper pass mark is set by the MCQ sub-group examiners. The Angoff method is applied to each question individually. These scores are then weighted, because ‘long’ single best answer questions are worth two marks compared to ‘short’ single best answer questions. The paper pass mark is the sum of the weighted individual question Angoff marks. Because of the small number of candidates taking this exam, (which is a ‘gateway’ to the oral components), one standard error is then subtracted to arrive at the final MCQ paper pass mark. This subtraction works in favour of a candidate who has scored just below the calculated pass mark; however, it does lead to a few candidates who have not demonstrated the required knowledge progressing to the oral components of the exam.
In addition to our main standard setting methods that are used in the examination, the exam also has secondary and backup standard setting methods to either check or to control for any changes in the delivery or format of the examination.
FFICM MCQ is now all SBA questions
Since June 2022 the FFICM multiple choice paper has consisted of all Single Best Answer (SBA) questions.
Each of these has a stem and five alterative answers, one of which is the best (or ‘most correct’) answer.
There are two types of questions:
- 80 ‘Short’ questions where the stem is short. 1 mark is awarded for each correct response.
- 50 ‘Long’ questions with a longer stem, often a clinical scenario. 2 marks are awarded for each correct response.
The overall exam time remains 3 hours.
Please see our separate statement on advice for doctors in training on the new joint COVID guidance website.
Why did the MCQ move to all SBA questions?
The MCQ moved from only true-false multiple-choice questions to Single Best Answer questions over a period of years, at the request of the GMC. The paper changed gradually, with an increasing number of SBAs included. The paper became 50% SBAs in January 2019. The final step of moving to all SBA questions has been delayed twice by the COVID pandemic but took place in June 2022.
Example MCQ questions
Please read the following guidance before booking
- MTI Doctors: You will need to be registered with the Faculty as an 'Affiliate' in order to take the FFICM exam (Affiliate status with the Faculty does not guarantee eligibility to sit the exam. You must meet all the eligibility criteria in the FFICM Exam Regulations). You can apply here. You will fall under the trainee category for booking purposes in the online system and you must have your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) and Sponsorship Letter from either your Royal College or Trust hospital ready when booking. .
- Eligibility: The detailed rules for eligibility can be found in the FFICM Examination Regulations and you may also want to read the 'Eligibility & Exemptions' page on our website.
- Disclosure of information: Under the Data Protection Act 2018 (C.12), the information provided on this form and your examination result may be processed and passed to examiners, your ICM Regional Advisor, ICM Training Programme Director, Postgraduate Dean, employer, etc. for legitimate purposes connected with your training. If you are registered or anticipate being registered with the GMC then your personal data, including data about your exam results, will be passed to the GMC if applicable. This passing of data is for quality assurance and research purposes and to facilitate the awarding of certificates of completion of training (CCTs). The GMC will use the data for its own research and for any research as part of the UK Medical Education Database (www.ukmed.ac.uk). Data held in UKMED will only be disclosed to third parties in accordance with the UKMED Research Process and therefore it will not be possible for researchers to identify your data. All data will be handled in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018 (C.12) and the RCoA/GMC Confidentiality and Data Sharing Agreement.
- Adequately prepared for this exam: Online applications received by the College will be accepted as an indication that the applicant is adequately prepared for the examination applied for.
- All FFICM Final MCQ 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).
- Secure pay link: You will be directed to a secure pay link to pay your exam fees via the online booking system. Should you experience any difficulties with this, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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. A candidate who withdraws in any other circumstance within 7 working days of an exam date, including non-issue of entry visas or failure to appear for an examination, will not be entitled to any refund of fee. Exceptional circumstances will be considered on receipt of written evidence. Fees cannot be deferred from one exam to another.
Documentation for your exam entry and results
- Information on your exam: Approximately two weeks before your exam (or earlier if there is an extended public holiday between the booking window closing and the examination date), you will receive an email from TestReach to explain the steps you need to take in preparation for your exam, including the choice of start times for the examination. Your email address will be the unique identifier on the online platform.
- Results: All candidates will be e-mailed directly with their FFICM examination results with a detailed breakdown of the scores.
- Guidance: Guidance interviews are not provided on failure of the FFICM Final MCQ.
Do you still have questions?
For any questions not covered above, please contact the Exams team.