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The MRCS Part B exam is the final step to gaining membership at the Royal College of Surgeons. This exam is an OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination), which consists of a multi-station, clinical skills assessment that is based on objective testing and direct observation of the candidates performance.

Since the beginning of the COVID 19 Pandemic, the first diet of the MRCS Part B OSCE in May 2020 was cancelled as the face to face examination setting would increase the risk of virus transmission. It was then announced in July 2020 that the October diet will proceed as a "modified" OSCE, ensuring that candidates, examiners, and actors would be able to withhold the national guidelines for social distancing. This exam format was thoroughly assessed by the four Surgical Royal Colleges, and ensured that the exam was taken in a format that was equally as effective in assessing that the candidates meet the same standards set by the college in the previous exam diets.

The decision to carry out the socially distanced OSCE continues in 2021. The exam in February 2021 had been cancelled for the second wave of COVID 19, but the decision was made to carry on with the May 2021 diet in the socially distanced format. Due to the increased number of candidates, an extra July 2021 diet was added to allow those who passed their online MRCS Part A exam in January 2021 to register for their Part B exam. Another diet is due to be held in October 2021. The Royal Colleges have declared that if these exams are unable to be held in this format for further restrictions pertaining to COVID 19, the exam would be delivered using a videoconferencing software. The method of delivery of the exam will be declared when the candidate receives their admission letter.

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Apr 11, 2021

Thanks for shedding some light on this process!

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